Turning Pleasanton and other Bay Area suburbs into a high density urban monstrosity Around Town, posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 14, 2012 at 12:02 am
Bringing residential skyscrapers, mega growth and high density housing to the mega-urbanized Bay Area --- brought to you by the Greenbelt Alliance
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 14, 2012 at 11:56 pm
Greenbelt Alliance (previously an environmental organization but apparently no longer one)and ABAG are the stooges of the Developer PAC and Building Industry and want building to occur all over CA
See this Web Link Guest Opinion: ABAG vs. Palo Alto's "infrastructure-housing imbalance"
"To begin correcting our infrastructure-housing imbalance, we must sharply question high-growth allocations set at the state level and divided among cities by ABAG.
Stepping back, let's look at some of the influences on policy in Sacramento. The California Building Industry Association (CBIA) -- the "official voice" of 6,500 member companies -- outlines its mission on its Web site: www.cbia.org/index.cfm?pageid=425.
It lists a "top ten" set of reasons to join, one of which is to improve a firm's bottom line. But the number-one reason to join is: "Advocacy. Our lobbyists work year-round in Washington, D.C., Sacramento, and your community to promote the homebuilding industry and protect your livelihood."
Another influential organization, Home Builders of America, Northern California (HBANC) has a political action committee. The committee's purposes, according to HBANC's Web site (www.hbanc.org are to "identify local and state elected officials and candidates for office of the State of California who have supported the political and economic interests of the California building industry, or who are or may be in a position to support those interests, and to make financial contributions to their campaign funds, and to participate, where consistent, with the objectives of HBANC, in local, regional, or statewide ballot measures and issues campaigns."
Posted by Vinny, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2012 at 7:52 am
Affordable housing for the younger generation is long overdue in this town. It will stimulate the economy and create some diversity around here. If we do not build new housing and welcome a new generation of Pleasantonians, the city will be inhabitted by a majority of old and mostly white elderly people. Now how interesting is would that be?
Posted by jay, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2012 at 10:48 am
There is a difference in building smaller homes that the younger generation can afford than building subsidized housing. Pleasanton will be going through a phase of subsidized housing. With the rates being lower, not just anybody can move in. You have to prove each year that you qualify with an income level below a certain amount. If your salary goes over that, you have to pay the market rate and/or move out. The apartments have to keep the percentage of subsidized units the same so if you no longer qualify, you will probably have to move out, or lie about your income somehow. We actually had some issues several years ago with one senior complex and the amount of subsidized housing. They could not find enough people that met the income requirements that city put upon them and those units ended up being vacant (at a cost to the owner) until the City allowed them to change their social engineering requirements. As mentioned earlier, subsidized housing is really welfare housing. To help pay the subsidies, owners get bonds from the state (that the taxpayers pay for), or get a tax shifting formula where they can sell their subsidy credits for major tax breaks. So the subsidized housing does cost the taxpayers just like any welfare program.
To add to the cost, the city requires that the subsidized units have exactly the same amenities as the market rate units. If a market rate has granite counter tops, the subsidized units have to have granite counter tops, etc. The goal is not to make a diverse housing stock but a homogeneous housing stock and subsidize it for some.
I don't know where Vinny has been lately but this community is quite diverse right now. Something that has been going on for 10-20 year in Pleasanton. I have been here for over 25 years and have seen the diversity changes, especially in our schools. I think it is a good thing but it is happening already. Offering subsidized housing is not needed for that, and would not help. Did you know the housing element required by the state has to specify where homeless people can stay in Pleasanton?
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2012 at 11:21 am
Many Pleasanton residents, who are older and retired now, are low income but bought their house so long ago that it cost next to nothing (100K or less).
So what is the big deal about today's "low income" young people? Many of them have bigger salaries than some of the older retired folks on a fixed and not so good income, who are also btw on medicare.
Do not be so quick to judge the younger generation of people who may be low income for today's standards but are still making more money than some of the older Ptown residents complaining about affordable housing.
It is the taxes of the younger people that subsidize the older generation, that generation of folks who despise universal healthcare but are themselves on medicare, that despise affordable housing but are themselves low income and pay no taxes and collect government assistance of some sort.
Posted by Been There, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2012 at 11:47 am
You know, it stands to reason that people who are 50+, 60+ or 70+ years old would have more money than younger people because they have had a few decades to save and invest. I don't get it...why do 20-30 somethings expect that they should have accumulated a lifetime of savings for retirement nest egg at their point in life? And whatever house they can squeeze themselves into now will be worth more when they are elderly (even with the current downturn). Aside from that, older people have been paying into medicare for their entire working lives and many of them started working regularly as teenagers so that may amount to 50+ years of work... the last 20 of them with their children grown up so they can save a lot more than they did when they were in the throes of raising families.
Also, as helpful as medicare is to older folks, it still leaves huge medical bills when illness strikes and I can tell you that is my mother's greatest fear - that she will use up her savings if she has a stroke and can't take care of herself.
Don't you guys have parents? I love mine. And if they are fortunate enough not to have an expensive medical crisis, whatever they have left over will go to their children...to defray college costs for their children perhaps or to help with their own retirement security.
I sure wouldn't want to have some of you as children!
And do you know what it takes to care for an infirm elderly person in your own home? It ain't pretty.
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2012 at 10:19 pm
Oops accidentally pressed send too soon --
Web Link shows a for sale packet for 'affordable' housing, meaning subsidized below market housing, for Pleasanton from the Pleasanton city's website which clarifies the definition.
Web Link is the State definition for 'affordable housing' in terms of housing. Very low income means below 50% the median salary for a family of four. Low income means below 80% of the median salary for a family of four.
Posted by jay, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Jan 16, 2012 at 12:26 pm
You are correct, "affordable housing" is subsidized housing. Whether it is rental or ownership. If you qualify financially, you receive either a lottery in a purchase (where you can only resale to somebody else who qualifies and you cannot sell it at market rate), or a rental unit, for below-market, meaning your unit is subsidized.
"affordable" defines the income levels. In Pleasanton, the Bay Area, and many parts of California, you cannot build the units for less than what you can rent/sell them for. So they are subsidized to get down to that income level affordability. During construction, their building fees are subsidized to bring the cost of building down, meaning everybody else has to pay more to pay for that subsidy.
Posted by Patriot, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm
"Aside from that, older people have been paying into medicare for their entire working lives and many of them started working regularly as teenagers so that may amount to 50+ years of work....
Also, as helpful as medicare is to older folks, it still leaves huge medical bills when illness strikes and I can tell you that is my mother's greatest fear - that she will use up her savings if she has a stroke and can't take care of herself."
But older people, on the whole, take far more out of Medicare than they ever put in. On top of that, Medicare isn't some kind of medical savings account. Your tax money was used to pay current recipients while you were working. It is not saved in some personal savings account that is later used by the tax payer. The program hasn't worked that way from its inception. I think the younger generation is right to call for reform of the program since it won't be there for them if it is stays in its current form. It will probably be there for me, since I'm getting on in years, but it probably won't be there for twenty somethings. I personally have nothing against older white people (not into self hate), but I do have issues with the Medicare program and I thought it was a disastrous mistake to put in the prescription drug coverage that was added recently.
What I don't like about the state requirement for Pleasanton to build this quota of "affordable" housing is that I don't think it is good for the state to micromanage a town's development toward the goal of greater economic diversity. To me, it goes against the basic American principles of freedom and self-determination.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jan 16, 2012 at 2:15 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
What defines affordable is ... take your gross annual household income and multiply by 30% for ownership (mortgage + taxes + insurance) or take monthly net income and multiply by 28% for rent. Now you know how much home or rent is really affordable to your situation.
Government agencies work backwards from this. They know the prevailing market prices on housing, they know how much you need to afford what is available, they know average and median household incomes from the census, etc.
Posted by jay, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 16, 2012 at 5:59 pm
Then they define affordable, they look at the median income for the region. So for us they are looking for the median income for all of Alameda County (including Oakland and all the inner cities).
The amount of housing that Pleasanton, or any other city, has to provide under their methodology comes from the ABAG methodology committee. So while our elected officials and the staff say this is all imposed upon us and we never know from release to release what it will be, our mayor is on the methodology committee, setting the methodology. When at the dais, she acts like she has no control because ABAG makes us do this, she is actually one of the bureaucrats defining how much subsidized housing we should be adding.