William Smith 
Member since Jul 13, 2018


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Re: “The 'Real Alamedans'

All sides of the rent control debate make valid points. All sides also gloss over valid points that undermine their position. A real debate among the sides rather than vitriolic exchanges could ultimately lead to more housing for every income level. In his comment above Mr. Foreman is correct: ACT's policy of opposing market rate housing to increase the pressure on governments and tech companies to build or finance affordable housing is worth considering.

However, given ACT's long history of opposing housing developments and their silence on the few all affordable housing developments that have been built, such as the recently opened Stargell Commons, ACT's motives for opposing market rate housing remain unclear. If ACT actively supported affordable housing projects for more than seniors, the proposed Health and Wellness Center for the homeless on McKay Avenue, and bonds and other measures to fund housing, more progressives might accept their claimed motive for opposing market rate housing. But at least on the point of market rate housing in Alameda ultimately making the shortage of affordable housing here worse, ACT is right, and many progressives are wrong.

The tech companies that many progressives ally with (e.g. Brian Hanlon of California YIMBY [Yes In My Back Yard]) promote market rate housing, which helps the companies recruit, and so far have shown little concern for where the service workers that support their businesses and employees will live.
If we are to build market rate housing without increasing the number of affordable units we are short in the future, I estimate that we need to build between 1.5 and 2 affordable units for every market rate unit.

For the basis of my estimate, refer to the description of the Affordable Housing and Preservation Alternative I wrote that is in the Final Environmental Impact Report for the Alameda Marina Master Plan posted on a City Website.

Let's do more than exchange vitriol - let's debate.

Posted by William Smith on 07/13/2018 at 8:41 AM

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