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High praise for affordable housing complex

Original post made on Sep 5, 2013

Being picked to live in one of 51 new subsidized apartments on Evelyn Avenue and Franklin Street in downtown Mountain View was a bit like winning the lottery, residents said at a Sept. 4 grand opening.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, September 5, 2013, 12:38 PM

Comments (35)

Posted by Keep the Kids Out, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 5, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Why is the playground area locked up? This project was built with public funds and therefore the playground area should be useable by all children.


Posted by Member, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 5, 2013 at 2:39 pm

This is such a slap in the face to the residents of Mountain View that have lived here for years and had their rents raised again and again. A person making $45K would NEVER qualify for this 'low income housing lottery'.

A person making $45K a year will take home about $37K after taxes. The 'average' rent for a 2bdrm apartment in Mountain View is $2,957. That is $35,484 a year! This leaves nearly nothing for food, gas, insurance, clothing and stuff our kid(s) need for school.

I'm not knocking the people the lucked into the minimal number of units that are available for these low income residents, but the people that set the standard for who qualifies SUCK!

By the way, why didn't the article mention what the income qualifications are and if applications are being accepted?


Posted by Political Insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 5, 2013 at 2:43 pm

"Being picked to live in one of 51 new subsidized apartments on Evelyn Avenue and Franklin Street in downtown Mountain View was a bit like winning the lottery, residents said at a Sept. 4 grand opening."

More accurately they did win the lottery and have lifetime tenure regardless of how their future income changes.


Posted by Grumpy, a resident of Shoreline West
on Sep 5, 2013 at 6:38 pm

I'm sure that each and every one of us who puts up with paying exorbitant rents (that continue to increase far beyond reason) for crappy, run-down Mountain View apartments all have a soft spot in our hearts for these lucky 51 families who get a nice, modern building with all the amenities for a lower percentage of their income than we have to pay just because we're not fortunate enough to be poor.

All this does is placate 51 families by throwing tens of thousands of dollars at them while making the rest of us resent not only the rich elite of Mountain View, but now also the "poor elite." If you're looking for examples of how the middle class is being manipulated out of existence, this is Exhibit A.

This apparently is the future that the leaders of Mountain View want: Moneyed libertarian techies packed like sardines into high-density, high-rise, "new urbanist" nightmares, and the downtrodden, destitute, hopeless underclass that is in eternal service to cater to their every superficial whim, unable to afford living here but equally unable to afford to leave.

The tinderbox will someday explode, and it's not going to be pretty.


Posted by OMV Resident, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 6, 2013 at 7:23 am

@Grumpy - "...packed like sardines into high-density, high-rise, "new urbanist" nightmares..."

Have you ever been inside one of the new apartment complexes in Mountain View that you're criticizing?

Prometheus held an open house at Madera Apartments last week for the grand opening, and I had a chance to walk through the complex. The apartments were reasonably spacious, had good natural light, and each had a private patio or balcony, some having a private front door/porch facing the street, just like a townhouse. The complex had unbelievable amenities, including several beautiful courtyards, a large pool, nice landscaping, an herb garden, a roofdeck patio with a view, a gym, theatre, etc etc.

Obviously nothing like a 'nightmare'... in fact, judging by the 100% occupancy rate and the rents they're commanding ($5000+ for a 2-bedroom), more like a dream for many people.

Just because you prefer not to live in a certain type of housing, doesn't mean you should denigrate it. Otherwise it just makes you look jealous... or foolish.


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Sep 6, 2013 at 12:59 pm

I am glad this was built, not everyone is a techie or has gone that way. I talked with some people about the rent for a 1 bedroom apartment. More then their house payment which I agree.

One day in the not to distance future you will have to pay big bucks to get workers that aren't techies or professional.

We don't have a Brooklyn next Mountain View.


Posted by Andrew, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 6, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Is there a time limit for living here? Places like this shouldn't be "lotteries", rather opportunities for personal investment and development such that, in a short period of time, government subsistence is no longer necessary.


Posted by Ann, a resident of The Crossings
on Sep 6, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Agree with Andrew. The article doesn't provide any details about this particular project. How were the residents chosen? I used to park in this parking lot by the Tied House so I'm interested in knowing that downtown lost valuable parking space for a good cause. MV - Voice, please give us more information about this project.

Also, the Mercury News recently ran an article on section 8 vouchers. Are these folks on section 8 or is it a different program? Santa Clara country now requires section 8 participants to live 2 to a room (except for the person named on the voucher) so if this college student lives only with her aunt and daughter, under the new section 8 rules, they could only live in a 2 bedroom place. Having a 3 bedroom place for two adults and a child seems like a luxury in the Bay Area, especially for low-income families.


Posted by Cuesta Park homeowner, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Sep 6, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Kasperzak's dig at Google is unprofessional and uncalled for. The City Council, save for Mayor Inks who appears to be the only educated council member, could do a better job learning economics and perhaps they can then understand what Google has done for the city. Vibrant restaurants, upwardly valued properties, strong employment -- all can be directly attributed to Google. Yes, there is more traffic and higher rents, but that hasn't seemed to bother the Council who is approving all developments right and left without regard to quality of life of its' existing residents. Kasperzak and other council members who want to constantly trash Google -- remember how many of your constituents are Google employees. Many of them are your neighbors.


Posted by Mr Advice, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 7, 2013 at 7:24 am

I bet the low income winners will trash up the place like they always seem to do.


Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 7, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Public housing starts out nice, clean and shiny. The "community activists" celebrate their success in getting taxpayers to throw their money into it. But, the residents don't take care of the place as would people who had to work to earn the right to live in their neighborhood. It will decay. Drugs. Violence. Urban "culture". Nightly police visits to break up fights. The community activists will re-emerge from their cafes to decry how terrible the government is to these poor people and how we really need to pay for a new nice, clean and shiny building.


Posted by nikki, a resident of North Whisman
on Sep 8, 2013 at 6:56 am

I've been living in MT View for 13 years way before anyone wanted to live here. Now it is outrageous -it's not that you cant afford to live here but there isn't anything to rent. I looked for 3 months and was competing with google employees who I think should pay more rent since they are above middle income but there answer is why should we so they always beat me out on a decent rental. Affordable housing should include middle income since we are the majority and minority nowadays. I must say sunnyvale and santa clara are just as much if not more...santa clara's excuse...the 49er stadium.


Posted by Reward BadChoices, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 9, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Is this what public housing is for? Why should a woman who got pregnant out of wedlock with no plan to support her child be given something so nice for practically nothing while a middle-class married couple who planned their children must pay $5000/month for the equivalent?   Why on earth would you punish someone who made good decisions in life to give a fat discount to someone who didn't?? 

Is there a deposit? What happens if the residents trash the place? Will residents who bring gang activity into the complex be kicked out? If the single mother has another child she can't afford, will she be kicked out in favor of someone who makes better choices? Are there any rules for living there that will actually be enforced, or are rules only for us suckers who are stuck paying sky high rents or having 2hour commutes? 


Posted by Mr. DePortum, a resident of Blossom Valley
on Sep 9, 2013 at 3:04 pm

It's the bleeding heart liberals that messed things up for the decent folks. Something should have been done 50 years ago, now we have to live with problem.


Posted by Greg David, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 9, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

Yeah... they won the lottery all right... at the expense of Mtn.View taxpayers.....


As for Google...

I'd like to know how much sales tax revenue Google generates for Mtn.View per square foot of occupancy. I'd bet a dime to to a dollar that my 600 square foot retail store generates 1000X the sales tax revenue per square foot as Google.

Yes, this is a challenge to the mathematicians out there. Find out how much sales tax Google collects, divide it by how many square feet of office space they occupy and give me a number. I will then tell you how much my business collects and see how it compares....


Posted by Greg David, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 9, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

What the hey... It may not seem like much, but I estimate I collect about $160 per square foot per year. I'd like to see some comparisons to our so called corporate friends.


Posted by nah, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 9, 2013 at 10:20 pm

@GregDavid: "I'd bet a dime to to a dollar that my 600 square foot retail store generates 1000X the sales tax revenue per square foot as Google."

Yeah, but your store's products kill people...so you and your customers SHOULD pay more!


Posted by Greg David, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 9, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Greg David is a registered user.

@nah

They only kill bad people because I only sell them to good people.

Talk to me after you've had your home invaded, then we'll see how you feel about them.

In the mean time, this is off topic. Back to taxpayers paying for fancy homes for underachievers...


Posted by nah, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 10, 2013 at 1:05 am

@Greg:

"Talk to me after you've had your home invaded, then we'll see how you feel about them."

Do you make sure that your customers have completed tactical training classes and keep their up-to-date yearly? No? Then what's to keep them from accidentally shooting neighbors in our community? As you should know, but are likely turning a blind eye on, having a gun (especially a handgun) for home defense is stupid. To use them effectively, you need to have the right temperament, you need the right training and a lot of regular tactical practice. You check for that right? Didn't think so.

@Greg: "In the mean time, this is off topic. Back to taxpayers paying for fancy homes for underachievers..."

Instead of ripping on Google for this imaginary sales-tax-per-square-foot statistic and instead of ripping on the community for wanting to provide 52 lower-income families with the ability to live in Mountain View, take a look at all the negativity businesses like yours bring to the community.



Posted by Political Insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm

@Ann
How were the residents chosen?

From a list of applicants. Besides low income there is a priority list. Mtn. View residents get a higher priority

Are these folks on section 8 or is it a different program?

Different program. Here the city uses redevelopment money and tax credit bonds to pay for the building and subsidize the rents. Sec 8 offers a voucher you can use anywhere.


Posted by @nah, a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 10, 2013 at 2:37 pm

@nah, When you have your own business then lets hear you talk. Until then your words are garbage.


Posted by Steve, a resident of another community
on Sep 10, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Thank God for subsidized housing! Otherwise businesses (like McCalister's Baskin-Robbins, for example...) would need to pay market rate wages.


Posted by CJ, a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Sep 10, 2013 at 2:53 pm

I have to agree with "Member" comment. I have rented in Mtn View for 25 years, a Single Mom with my Daughter. We certainly do not live in a ritzy complex, by an means. I did not receive notification of this lottery, and never even have a chance to enter. I did for the Prometheus property on Evelyn, but could not afford a BMR unit. Wonder why I did not, for this one? Yes, the income qualifications would be good to know, and if applications are still being accepted. Though I get the feeling all the BMR slots have been filled. I will be contacting City Hall to ask these same questions.


Posted by Eva, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 10, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Let that family enjoy this time.
There is plenty for everyone in this world!
Nothing in this physical world belongs to you anyway.

I live in Mountain View and I am considering moving to another city because of housing expenses as well.
I am sure there is something perfect for me out there.
Don't worry about it and be happy that you can afford living here and not depend on programs like this. Being independent and being free to move around in this world without any limitations is one of the greatest gifts a human can obtain. Maybe this is the only opportunity they have had in their entire life. Possibly you somehow owe what you have to someone who came before you, a friend, your parents,a great mentor or teacher, the food you ate, the opportunities that were given to you before, ...

Cheers! Let's go to the Tied House patio and make more extra noise now :*)


Posted by CJ, a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Sep 10, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Forgot to mention when I saw the paper in our lunch room yesterday, I was totally shocked and disappointed, sad. Tried to "Ask MV" on Mountain View City website, but did not have a lot of time (at work). I will go in person to City Hall.


Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 10, 2013 at 9:09 pm

"How were the residents chosen? From a list of applicants. Besides low income there is a priority list. Mtn. View residents get a higher priority"

WTF? These people already live in Mountain View?

Why in the hell are we subsidizing people who by definition can already afford to live here?


Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 10, 2013 at 9:15 pm

I would love to live in one of those nice new houses on Grant Road or those $5,000 apartments on Evelyn, but there is no fricken way that I would ever feel entitled to it or expect my fellow residents to subsidize me.

Lottery indeed. At least let me buy a dollar ticket for that giveaway.


Posted by doit, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 10, 2013 at 9:19 pm

USA: If you would love to live in the super-expensive homes you cited, why don't you?


Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 10, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Because I have not EARNED it.

Perhaps you would like to have the government force you to pay for me to live there.


Posted by doit, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm

USA: What do you mean you have not EARNED it? Why don't you go buy one of those big beautiful houses on grant road? Is there a law preventing you from doing that? You are not making much sense...


Posted by No dolt, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 11, 2013 at 4:05 pm

In the context of personal responsibilty, and not expecting others to carry us on their shoulders, USA makes perfect sense. What right could I possibly have to force someone else to provide me with luxuries?


Posted by doit, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 11, 2013 at 10:12 pm

"In the context of personal responsibilty, and not expecting others to carry us on their shoulders..."

I guess you and USA do not believe in police, fire departments or first responder medics. Maybe the victims that these orgs service should have more personal responsibility?

Right wingers like to spout off about personal responsibility, but only to denigrate others. Often, these same zealots have their hand out first for help. Stop being haters guys...


Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on Sep 12, 2013 at 7:47 am

I am not going to blame single mothers, people who just didn't make the greatest choices in life or even chosen the big money jobs.

This area has become more and more pricey, if you don't land the top earning jobs chances are you going to be priced out. Ok can't afford MV you can go somewhere else with your nice income. Drive up the rents somewhere else.


Posted by @ doit, a resident of Monta Loma
on Sep 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm

@ doit, your words are the first to show hate.

"I guess you and USA do not believe in police, fire departments or first responder medics. Maybe the victims that these orgs service should have more personal responsibility? "

What's this have to do with anything the others were talking about? This just shows Your logic is seriously flawed. And your last statement proves it.


Posted by FormerResident, a resident of Cuesta Park
on Dec 5, 2013 at 8:29 pm

I was born and raised in Mountain View. It has turned into a very unpleasant place to live and raise kids. Rent is outrageous, housing costs are insane, and the school system isn't good at all for the cost you pay to live there. So, we moved to Brentwood, a GORGEOUS country town with a city feel. We paid $399,000 for a brand new house (3,000 sq ft, 2 story) in a gated community. We LOVE it here. So, if you can work from home a day or two a week, it's worth it. It's about an hour from Mountain View in the East Bay. People are so much nicer here, schools are good, and we you can have Mountain View! It's out of control there!


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