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Council OKs $1.2m for senior home purchase

Original post made on May 25, 2011

A group of five low-income seniors will soon have a group home in Mountain View after $1.2 million in city affordable housing funds were approved Tuesday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, May 25, 2011, 1:41 PM

Comments (17)

Posted by Duke, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm

What is the difference between Senior Home and Senior Center?

Posted by Steve, a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm

You must be joking. $1.2 million should buy a lot more than 5 bedrooms. Where's the rest of the cash going?

Posted by Ann, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm

What will be the criteria to decide which seniors get to live in this housing. I would like the City to have a plan that ensures that long time Mountain View resident seniors get to live in this housing rather than people who have just moved to California.

Ginzton Terrace on California was built using CDBG money and other tax payer money and most of the residents living there come from the Ukraine and other eastern European countries. This means we are subsidizing seniors who never worked or grew up in our community. In fact, some of these people get on section 8 housing lists before they even move to California. So they get the housing over people who have grown up in our area and need help. That just isn't fair.

This problem was pointed out to City staff at least a decade ago and I doubt any plans were put in place to stop this from happening. So if Mtn. View is going to subsidize seniors, we should have a way to ensure it in long term residents who get the housing.

Posted by GDM, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm

That pile of money in the affordable housing fund is burning a hole in the Council's pocket.

Posted by Observer, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm


The same applies to Lynton Gardens in Palo Alto. The majority of seniors are right off the boat from Asia and the Ukraine. All on the taxpayer's dime. Good luck getting a long-term resident into that choice place.

Posted by @Duke, a resident of Castro City
on May 25, 2011 at 5:11 pm

The Senior Center is like a social hall that also has services like hearing tests. A Senior Home is a home where people live and sleep.

Posted by Jack, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 25, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Unbelievable :-(

Posted by reader, a resident of Waverly Park
on May 25, 2011 at 9:38 pm

Sounds like there is a lot of information missing from this story, such as how seniors are selected, a breakdown of costs, state or other laws that regulate such agencies, etc.

Why would Jac Siegal make the comment "Go try a project" to a group that already operates 15 of these homes?

Where did Laura Macias get these "pragmatic standards" about staffing? What are the laws and the procedures for overseeing these homes?

It seems that the information needed by the reader to make sense of this issue is missing from this story.

Posted by SuzyQ, a resident of North Whisman
on May 25, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Something is very wrong with this picture!!
Way too much money and it should also only be for long time mountain view residents..not recent immigrants!

Posted by Dominick, a resident of Waverly Park
on May 25, 2011 at 11:03 pm

I agree about the comments concerning Russian and Asian immigrants. The same holds for nursing homes. There are lists of Mountain View seniors waiting to get into nursing homes on Medical. From my personal observations there are at least 2o% in nursing homes on Medical who cannot speak English and have no idea about the country they are in.Thier children visit them driving fancy expensive cars.

Don't hold your breath if you are expecting the City council to work on this problem. Thier response is, " we can't discriminate, everyone has an equal right to get into government funded housing or nursing homes"

Posted by Observer, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 26, 2011 at 6:30 am

A similar picture at the senior center. Lots of pricey cars pulling in driven by Asian immigrants for free lunches and groceries. A lot of it is cultural. They view these free handout as just that, free handouts, since they are unaccustomed to the idea that a government would provide any thing free at the rate ours does.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 26, 2011 at 7:51 am

There is a lot of information missing from this story. Perhaps low income senior subsidy is a requirement to obtain greater CDBG federal funding. Regardless, $1,200,000.00 to house 5 people is absurd. What is the exact cost breakdown of this scheme? More info, please.

Posted by Observer, a resident of Waverly Park
on May 26, 2011 at 10:49 am

@Steve: "You must be joking. $1.2 million should buy a lot more than 5 bedrooms. Where's the rest of the cash going?" Have you looked at home prices in Mountain View? 5-bedroom homes in a lot of neighborhoods (like yours, Sylvan Park area) are going for that or more.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 26, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Yep, I keep up on real estate prices regularly. If we hope to get any value out of our tax dollars, let's not house low income residents in luxury neighborhoods. $1.2M will buy 2 seperate 3br homes in Orion Park or around Farley street with cash left over. It'll buy a sixplex in Sunnyvale or Santa Clara.
I'd like to live in Waverly Square or even in a nicer part of Sylvan Park, But my income after taxes just won't allow it. Maybe the city could give me some money too.

Posted by Hardin, a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 26, 2011 at 2:46 pm

"You must be joking. $1.2 million should buy a lot more than 5 bedrooms. Where's the rest of the cash going?"


LOL, I said pretty much the same thing about the price tag of my home when I bought in this area.

It appears the business plan for the organization Senior Housing Solutions is to purchase 5 bedroom homes in local communities and rent them out to seniors. I could see a 5 bedroom home in Mountain view costing close to $1.2M. With an average rent of $300 per month per senior, that works out to $1,500 a month, which presumably gets used to pay for property taxes, maintenance costs, and admin costs. Doesn't seem unreasonable.

Now whether its cost effective to spend this kind of money for this purpose is debatable. However, I can see benefits from this type of housing for seniors:

1. Gives them a social environment of their peers that is not institutional feeling. Kind of like dorming with friends, and they can look out for each other.

2. Get's them out of a secluded, lonely existence, where they can be cared for and care for others, a compromise between maintaining privacy and freedom of movement and ensuring safety for the elderly.

May not be the singular best solution for every city, but in a town like Mountain View that treasures its small town feel and wants to preserve its suburban areas, this is a partial solution.

However, I would hope that the homes are actually owned by the City, and not Senior Housing Solutions.

Posted by Steven Nelson, a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 27, 2011 at 9:27 am

I attended the council meeting and pre-read the extensive city staff report available in the lobby. It is avaliable following the usual MV City web site trail to council minute reports (gee if you want heavy details do the heavy lifting research). FYI - I spoke in support of this motion. The $1.2 million is for a loan at 3% on the property TBD. (there is also direct support). The city will have an OK on the house selected. The organization is a public charity (IRS 501(c)3) that already knows how to run these facilities. It is really no more complicated than a private landloard running 15 houses - with two full-time people to help {note Kasperic who seems to have some landload experience supported). The selection is through county Title 8. I WOULD AGREE IT'S A PROBLEM WITH IMMIGRANT PARENTS - not residents - unsupported by wealthy 'sponsoring' local children. ORGANIZE to get all local old/poor folks on the Title 8 Lists. The Russian imigrant community works hard to get all possible gov. benefits - learned it in the old USSR, they know how to 'wait in line'.

Posted by Steven Nelson, a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 27, 2011 at 9:54 am

Section 8 housing ( hmm - waiting list for vouchers is "closed"). There was much council discussion with how to get staff to set up agreement so MV poor-oldsters have a chance at this. It appears that much of the county low income housing (PMI) DOES NOT restrict low income to just "tax credit units only". "open to persons with or without a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher." is how the county page reads. This appears to be the HOOK to a local agreement that will try to thwart any unreasonable 'immigrant parent loading' that might exist in the closed 'voucher' list. [Gee - if you sponsor your parents to immigrate - it really IS your legal and moral responsibility to provide for them in the USA). I'm all for family charity FIRST, and I'm all for public charity LAST (only when you down-grade from a Beamer, Lexis or Mercedes to help support your 'sponsored' immigrant parents. {not sure - but seemed city would hold first mortage - which would be interest only for 30? years]

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