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Guest opinion: Building affordable housing requires partnerships

Community members visit family units at the opening of LifeMoves Mountain View, an interim housing complex for the unhoused, in May 2021. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

With big, complex issues, sometimes even when we’ve identified the problem, worked through the challenges, and devised the solutions, it can take a while to see the fruits of our labor.

Our persistent housing crisis is one such example. If there was any doubt before, the COVID-19 pandemic firmly laid bare the long-standing inequities in access to safe, stable, and affordable housing. At the same time, we’ve got hundreds of vacant lots and sites seemingly meant to provide affordable housing sitting empty.

It’s painful to watch how much time it takes to get just one project completed. Progress is delayed for many reasons – lack of funding, escalating construction costs, and complicated rules. Meanwhile, folks of modest means who are essential to the fabric of our community bear the brunt of these stymied efforts.

As our region grapples with this issue, we thought, how can we take a quantum leap forward instead of making incremental progress on a project-by-project basis? The truth is partnerships are key to overcoming these barriers. Simply put, we can do together what none of us can do alone.

One example: The county Board of Supervisors recently took significant steps toward this effort by voting to receive $16.7 million in Homekey funding from the State.

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That opportunity was made possible in part by the partnership forged between the city of Mountain View and the county of Santa Clara with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to allocate 2016 Measure A bond money and other funding for affordable housing projects in Mountain View. The MOU is already paving the way for the delivery of hundreds of approved units, as well as a number of projects in the pipeline.

While the city of Mountain View hosts the housing, the county’s financial support is essential in helping the city complete its approved affordable housing developments, including the La Avenida Apartment project and the purchase and conversion of the Crestview Hotel for housing. Measure A also presents an opportunity to help bring badly needed “pipeline” projects to fruition.

We all benefit when we’re able to help people get off the streets. We know this can be done swiftly because we’ve done it before. When the pandemic began, virtually every level of government took action to provide immediate financial assistance to individuals and small businesses, with local governments in particular providing COVID-19-related tenant protections, investing in emergency interim housing, and rent and utility relief to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.

We took those measures because we were dealing with a public health crisis and wanted to limit the spread of the virus as much as we could. But now, as the pandemic is winding down, we’ve got to remember we’re still dealing with an ever-present human crisis.

By providing safe, stable, and affordable housing, we all reap some very tangible benefits. We maintain a workforce that’s essential for our economy. We reduce traffic by reducing commute distances. And we ensure our very survival during the next catastrophe by keeping emergency service professionals (police, fire, and nurses) here in the community.

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We also build resiliency, foster unity, and create a sense of community. When we not only work together, but live together in the same community, we develop strong ties with friends and neighbors. And, in the long run, it’s those bonds that will help us not only survive but thrive in the face of the next pandemic or natural disaster.

We hope our work on this city-county MOU serves as a model for other cities looking to bring more affordable housing opportunities to their communities. If we work together in partnership, there is no limit to the progress we can make.

Joe Simitian is a member of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. Lucas Ramirez is a council man and former mayor of Mountain View.

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Guest opinion: Building affordable housing requires partnerships

by Joe Simitian and Lucas Ramirez /

Uploaded: Sat, Feb 4, 2023, 8:28 am

With big, complex issues, sometimes even when we’ve identified the problem, worked through the challenges, and devised the solutions, it can take a while to see the fruits of our labor.

Our persistent housing crisis is one such example. If there was any doubt before, the COVID-19 pandemic firmly laid bare the long-standing inequities in access to safe, stable, and affordable housing. At the same time, we’ve got hundreds of vacant lots and sites seemingly meant to provide affordable housing sitting empty.

It’s painful to watch how much time it takes to get just one project completed. Progress is delayed for many reasons – lack of funding, escalating construction costs, and complicated rules. Meanwhile, folks of modest means who are essential to the fabric of our community bear the brunt of these stymied efforts.

As our region grapples with this issue, we thought, how can we take a quantum leap forward instead of making incremental progress on a project-by-project basis? The truth is partnerships are key to overcoming these barriers. Simply put, we can do together what none of us can do alone.

One example: The county Board of Supervisors recently took significant steps toward this effort by voting to receive $16.7 million in Homekey funding from the State.

That opportunity was made possible in part by the partnership forged between the city of Mountain View and the county of Santa Clara with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to allocate 2016 Measure A bond money and other funding for affordable housing projects in Mountain View. The MOU is already paving the way for the delivery of hundreds of approved units, as well as a number of projects in the pipeline.

While the city of Mountain View hosts the housing, the county’s financial support is essential in helping the city complete its approved affordable housing developments, including the La Avenida Apartment project and the purchase and conversion of the Crestview Hotel for housing. Measure A also presents an opportunity to help bring badly needed “pipeline” projects to fruition.

We all benefit when we’re able to help people get off the streets. We know this can be done swiftly because we’ve done it before. When the pandemic began, virtually every level of government took action to provide immediate financial assistance to individuals and small businesses, with local governments in particular providing COVID-19-related tenant protections, investing in emergency interim housing, and rent and utility relief to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place.

We took those measures because we were dealing with a public health crisis and wanted to limit the spread of the virus as much as we could. But now, as the pandemic is winding down, we’ve got to remember we’re still dealing with an ever-present human crisis.

By providing safe, stable, and affordable housing, we all reap some very tangible benefits. We maintain a workforce that’s essential for our economy. We reduce traffic by reducing commute distances. And we ensure our very survival during the next catastrophe by keeping emergency service professionals (police, fire, and nurses) here in the community.

We also build resiliency, foster unity, and create a sense of community. When we not only work together, but live together in the same community, we develop strong ties with friends and neighbors. And, in the long run, it’s those bonds that will help us not only survive but thrive in the face of the next pandemic or natural disaster.

We hope our work on this city-county MOU serves as a model for other cities looking to bring more affordable housing opportunities to their communities. If we work together in partnership, there is no limit to the progress we can make.

Joe Simitian is a member of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. Lucas Ramirez is a council man and former mayor of Mountain View.

Comments

Leslie Bain
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Feb 4, 2023 at 1:20 pm
Leslie Bain, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Feb 4, 2023 at 1:20 pm

Building affordable housing does indeed require partnerships. Even more importantly, it requires FUNDING. The problem is not zoning, the problem is FUNDING.

For-profit developers have one thing in mind: PROFIT. They don’t build affordable housing because they can make better ROI on market-rate units. That doesn’t make them intrinsically evil. Silicon Valley has had a booming economy for DECADES, it has an almost magical location, which real estate investors prize. That’s part of the problem too: global investors scooping up property, again in the name of ROI.

Were zoning changes required for project in story? No. But FUNDING was!

“… the county’s financial support is essential in helping the city complete its approved affordable housing developments, including the La Avenida Apartment project and the purchase and conversion of the Crestview Hotel for housing. Measure A also presents an opportunity to help bring badly needed “pipeline” projects to fruition.”

Also consider the new teacher-housing project in Palo Alto, Web Link

"Santa Clara County donated the land and set aside $6 million from the Stanford Affordable Housing Fund, which comes from fees Stanford University pays to the county that are reserved for affordable housing within a 6-mile radius of the campus. The city of Palo Alto agreed to kick in $3 million, using the proceeds from fees that real estate developers pay the city, which are set aside for affordable housing. Meta put in $25 million. The Santa Clara County school districts are being asked to pay $50,000 for each unit that their employees would get priority access to."

Big Tech is a key cause of high housing costs, it needs to contribute $$$ for affordable housing, as Meta did for the teacher-housing project. SUSTAINABLE FUNDING would be possible with Prop 15, which reforms Prop 13 so that Big Tech would finally pay it's fair share.


LongResident
Registered user
another community
on Feb 4, 2023 at 10:35 pm
LongResident, another community
Registered user
on Feb 4, 2023 at 10:35 pm

I would question the bit about the HUNDREDS of vacant lots and sites seemingly meant to provide affordable housing....... what's that about? Is this meant to include county wide lots or just Mountain View? It seems to me that the supply of vacant lots of a decent size (more than just 10,000 sf preferably) is very very different in Mountain View and the rest of Simitian constituency than it is in less developed areas as are found in San Jose or Morgan Hill or Gilroy. This matters quite a bit because in real estate location is everything. The taxes that fund 2016 Measure A are based on assessed valuations so a lot of it is generated by Simitian's territory. I wonder if Measure A is accountable for spreading the usage evenly or proportionately around the county. Some comparison of partnerships across all the areas where Measure A funds are being spent would be a good thing to have available.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Feb 4, 2023 at 11:39 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Feb 4, 2023 at 11:39 pm

[Post removed due to being off-topic]


Salim
Registered user
Rengstorff Park
on Feb 5, 2023 at 12:25 am
Salim, Rengstorff Park
Registered user
on Feb 5, 2023 at 12:25 am

I appreciate this op-ed's emphasis on speed and efficiency in building affordable housing, but it rings hollow when Supervisor Simitian's office prevented a non-profit from applying for a streamlined application to build affordable housing in Los Altos.


Leslie Bain
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Feb 6, 2023 at 11:48 am
Leslie Bain, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Feb 6, 2023 at 11:48 am

The more I read this op-ed, the angrier I get. So many pretty words, so little meat. Authors seem to want to convince people that there is a housing crisis, people at the bottom of the ladder need help. What a strange goal. Doesn’t everyone already agree about that?

“With big, complex issues, sometimes even when we’ve identified the problem, worked through the challenges, and devised the solutions, it can take a while to see the fruits of our labor.”

Worked through the challenges, and devised the solutions? “The problem” embraced by the State (thanks to YIMBY advocacy) is that we have not been building enough housing (because of anti-housing zealots). And therefore “the fix” is to force extreme density increases onto unwilling residents, regardless of negative impacts.

Were forced density mandates responsible for this particular success story? No.

Did anti-housing zealots need to be slayed for this particular success story? No.

THIS project came about using “quantum leap forward” thinking, as the authors put it. Most important aspect was the realization that massive FUNDING would be required to make it happen. $16.7 million in Homekey funding, to be precise.

“We hope our work on this city-county MOU serves as a model for other cities looking to bring more affordable housing opportunities to their communities."

It won’t serve as a model if our political leaders paint the wrong conclusions.

Building affordable housing for lower income and average workers does indeed require partnerships. Even more importantly, it requires FUNDING. The problem is not zoning, the problem is FUNDING.

The root cause of high housing costs is CAPITALISM, not anti-housing zealots.

“The extreme income disparity between the highest- and lowest-wage earners drives up housing costs because increased demand by high-income households creates competition which drives home prices higher.” - Web Link


LongResident
Registered user
another community
on Feb 6, 2023 at 2:41 pm
LongResident, another community
Registered user
on Feb 6, 2023 at 2:41 pm

It's a strained term to call the county supporting the city in receiving money from the state that's largely been funded by the Federal government as being a 'partnership'. But I don't see anything nefarious in the intent. A better example of a public private partnership would be how the county operates one welfare office in Mountain View and then the Community Services Agency of Mountain View Los Altos and Los Altos Hills operates a private welfare office here too. That's a public private partnership that isn't extorting anyone.


Jon B
Registered user
Blossom Valley
on Feb 6, 2023 at 4:21 pm
Jon B, Blossom Valley
Registered user
on Feb 6, 2023 at 4:21 pm

Google has caused much of the problem in Mountain View and I’d like some of their tax revenue set aside as loan money for homeowners to add ADUs, maybe combined with the use of pre-approved builders (similar to PGE’s model for HVAC/energy saving appliances) and the waiver of building fees. I have room for one ADU, but the effort to research a quality builder and obtain financing is a barrier I haven’t had the energy to climb.


beelia
Registered user
North Bayshore
on Feb 6, 2023 at 4:46 pm
beelia, North Bayshore
Registered user
on Feb 6, 2023 at 4:46 pm

Regarding the comments above, I've never seen a more appropriate example of that old adage, "no good deed goes unpunished". It's a message that probably everyone in local government who tries to help hears frequently. How sad.

That's why I feel I need to add a positive comment. Thank you, Joe and Lucas, for working hard on solving our affordable housing problem. Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I, for one, really appreciate what you are doing.


Leslie Bain
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Feb 6, 2023 at 10:08 pm
Leslie Bain, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Feb 6, 2023 at 10:08 pm

Here’s a story that illustrates the reality of what is transpiring in MV: Ten people are invited to a conference. The 4 highest wage earners sit on the right side of a room. The 6 lowest-wage earners sit on the left. Eventually a pizza is ordered to feed them, it is cut into 10 slices. The 4 highest wage earners are given 9 slices. The 6 lowest wage earners are given one single slice to share among themselves. Can you imagine? Would that distribution be considered “a good deed,” do you think?

The TRUTH is that over the last 8-year RHNA cycle, about 90% of housing units created in MV were expensive, market-rate units that are unaffordable to OVER HALF of existing residents, BECAUSE of how affordable units are funded. For every 9 market-rate units created for techies/YIMBYs, only 1 affordable unit is created for lower and average income workers. The FACT is, TOO LITTLE affordable housing is being created to make any kind of dent in the housing crisis for those farther down the ladder. THE PUBLIC NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND THIS, instead of being led to believe that everything is going just swell.

Without additional funding, history will repeat itself: the RHNA targets for highly paid workers will be wildly exceeded, and the targets for every other income category will fail. Would that matter? Does solving the housing crisis matter?

Question: do voters want serious solutions that will actually bring relief to those in pain? Or do they want to pat themselves on the back for giving 1 slice of pizza for 6 people to share?

What is so horrific about my attempt to shine a light on the fact that the REASON that this project materialized was because of millions of dollars in outside funding?

Why is it that YIMBYs don't advocate for more outside funding? Is it possible that they actually LIKE the status quo, because they themselves BENEFIT from it?: For every 9 market-rate units created for techies/YIMBYs, only 1 affordable unit is created for lower and average income workers.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Feb 6, 2023 at 10:59 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Feb 6, 2023 at 10:59 pm

Just an Observation,

I cannot argue with Leslie on that one.

And that's all I can write.


LongResident
Registered user
another community
on Feb 7, 2023 at 3:59 am
LongResident, another community
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 3:59 am

With the economy the way it is, there is less funding for building the speculative market rate luxury apartments renting for $4500 or more depending on how many bedrooms. There are many ways to fund all-affordable housing. They may work nearly the same in a sluggish economy as they have to date in the boom economy which has propped up the likes of Google. The RHNA targets do have more affordable housing than market rate housing units. Perhaps we will see a changeup in how all the development has tended to be heavy majority market rate. Things could get better that way.

As the older units have seen their prices increase, even in the shape they are, more of the people in non regulated buy naturally affordable units may utilize new regulated BMR units. That might help stem the increase in the prices being charged by the non-premium pre-existing apartments. At least any vacancies in older units won't interfere with housing authority and ALTA Housing and friends developing more all-BMR projects. We would be seeing more of the BMR units in all-BMR projects.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Feb 7, 2023 at 1:35 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Feb 7, 2023 at 1:35 pm

Just an Observation,

Given the current macroeconomics occurring, you are going to see a LOT of tech workers having to change jobs, and get paid less because of NO INNOVATION. A lot of coding is going to become more automated, and less custom based application means less IT workers.

A LOT of middle management workers are going to have to change careers too. The long term issue is that unless there is something of REAL VALUE brewing, the jobs are going to return to paying less and less, which means you are going to have more unaffordability.

THAT is causing a LONG TERM property value correction, unless the PRIVATE housing industry EXTORTS public funds to prevent it.

As a conservative here, I say the market is on fire, and let it burn. We need it to go into complete correction and to reset the market so it doesn't happen again. Not like 2007


Polomom
Registered user
Waverly Park
on Feb 9, 2023 at 2:59 pm
Polomom, Waverly Park
Registered user
on Feb 9, 2023 at 2:59 pm
Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Feb 9, 2023 at 6:06 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Feb 9, 2023 at 6:06 pm

Just an Observation,

What that news demonstrates is that the CITY gentrified the apartments by only providing 10% affordable unit on the product of housing in the city.

This in fact SKEWS the so called average rents in Mountain View extremely. Given that at this time there is a 2 to 1 margin of luxury versus practical units in this city too.

So we have been doing PUBLIC/PRIVATE partnerships since 1995, right? Well this proves that theory is not going to achieve anything. It is vaporware, like the Mattel Intellivison Computer Module. We cannot base our actions on hopes. FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT is a dangerous practice, and we all know that at least 80% of the time, it fails.


Frank Richards
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Feb 9, 2023 at 8:43 pm
Frank Richards, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Feb 9, 2023 at 8:43 pm

I understand the importance of addressing the housing crisis and finding solutions that will benefit all members of our community. It's clear that there is a great need for more affordable housing and I support efforts to increase the supply of housing, including affordable housing units.

However, I also recognize that simply building more homes is not enough. We must ensure that the housing that is being built is accessible and affordable to a range of income levels, and that it is developed in a way that takes into account the needs and concerns of the surrounding community. This means advocating for policies and funding mechanisms that prioritize the creation of affordable housing, and working to remove barriers that prevent the development of diverse and inclusive housing options.

Ultimately, I believe in a comprehensive approach to addressing the housing crisis that balances the need for more housing with the need for housing that is truly affordable and accessible to all.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Feb 12, 2023 at 1:32 am
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Feb 12, 2023 at 1:32 am

Just an Observation,

Stop using buzz or keyword phrases regarding housing. We waited long enough to give the PRIVATE sector time to perform. They FAILED.

Until we see performance, the PRIVATE sector has to do the FIRST wave on its own. They made so much in profits right? We gave them enough freedom to do more damage to the community and now there is reports showing homelessness is a danger to peoples lives in general. So making people homeless does real damage.

This was reported in the New England Journal of Medicine (Web Link "Premature Death Among Older Homeless People in California"

Specifically "Five-year mortality was 3.5 times higher than that in the general population."

These people are KILLING people by their actions, and are not being held accountable.

No more political spin, no more promises, get acting and show us proof of good will, and we will adjust. But we cannot afford to put up money first and hope to see results. THat was what happened in the 2007 bailout of the real estate disaster. And we got nothing but a worse bubble now.


Polomom
Registered user
Waverly Park
on Feb 12, 2023 at 9:06 am
Polomom, Waverly Park
Registered user
on Feb 12, 2023 at 9:06 am

@Steven Goldstein Our own leaders allowed the exact outcome in our community. We allowed less affordable units in all projects that came to the CC over the last 8 years. Initially projects made it through gate keeper requests with a lot more affordable units. At final approval the developer brought a sob story of declining revenue and council members fell for it every time. We never had a balanced approach to our housing development. Developers always won.


Frank Richards
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Feb 12, 2023 at 1:21 pm
Frank Richards, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Feb 12, 2023 at 1:21 pm

I understand the urgency of the need to build more homes, especially affordable ones. The lack of affordable housing is affecting millions of people across the country, and we need to find solutions that not only address the issue, but also ensure that homes actually get built.

One solution could be to streamline the development process, reduce red tape and bureaucracy, and cut the time and costs associated with obtaining permits and approvals. This can be done by improving coordination between different levels of government, and by creating clear and consistent regulations that are fair and predictable for developers.

Another solution is to provide incentives for developers to build affordable homes. This can include tax credits, low-interest loans, and other forms of financial support that help to reduce the costs of building affordable homes and make them more financially viable.

Additionally, local leaders and community members can also play a role by being more proactive in advocating for the need for affordable housing and by resisting pressure from developers to reduce the number of affordable units in their projects. This requires a strong and unified voice from the community, as well as increased transparency and accountability from local leaders and developers.

In conclusion, the lack of affordable housing is a complex issue that requires a multi-faceted solution. By streamlining the development process, providing incentives for developers, and engaging local leaders and community members, we can ensure that more homes are built and that everyone has access to safe, decent, and affordable housing.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Feb 12, 2023 at 1:28 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Feb 12, 2023 at 1:28 pm

Just an Observation,

I cannot argue with your observation.

However, sooner or later an abused partner either get really hurt, or something else has to intervene.

That is why I support the STATE taking control over the City. It is a broken victim of serial abuse by the PRIVATE housing and IT Tech manipulators. Our City Council doesn't have the ability to break the abuse cycle.

The City seems to enjoy being hurt over and over again.

NO MORE EXCUSES, EITHER BUILD OR QUIT. YOU HAVE TO MAKE THE FIRST MOVE!!!


LongResident
Registered user
another community
on Feb 12, 2023 at 9:42 pm
LongResident, another community
Registered user
on Feb 12, 2023 at 9:42 pm

One wonders what effect will come from the current round of job cuts. It could ease up demand for housing units, at least for market rate luxury units such as nearly all of those built recently not labeled as BMR, i.e. for about 85% of recently constructed units. There are already more vacancies in such units than is generally appreciated.

One interesting thing is that not far away in Sunnyvale there are some recently constructed one bedroom units being offered for just over $3000 per month. What motivates people to pay over $4000 for similar units in Mountain View? You can see why the developers don't rent such units for $2000 per month when they can instead get $3000 or $4000 depending on the city out of 2 that are adjacent and not really all that big..... and it's quite a big number of such recently built units between the 2 small cities....


Frank Richards
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Feb 12, 2023 at 9:54 pm
Frank Richards, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Feb 12, 2023 at 9:54 pm

It's true that supply and demand play a significant role in determining housing prices, and that prices can vary depending on a number of factors, including location, the quality of the housing, and the level of demand. In this case, it's likely that the higher prices in Mountain View compared to Sunnyvale are due to the relative popularity of the two cities, as well as factors such as local demand, zoning regulations, and the availability of funding for affordable housing.

That being said, the current job cuts could have an impact on the housing market, as you mentioned. If demand for housing decreases, it's possible that we may see a decrease in housing prices, especially in the luxury market. This could be a good opportunity for renters to find more affordable housing options, but it's important to remember that the housing crisis is a complex issue that cannot be solved by simply reducing demand.

Ultimately, addressing the housing crisis will require a multifaceted approach that takes into account the needs and concerns of both renters and homeowners, as well as the local economy, zoning regulations, and the availability of funding for affordable housing. By working together to find solutions that benefit all members of the community, we can help ensure that everyone has access to safe, affordable, and inclusive housing options.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Feb 13, 2023 at 1:29 am
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Feb 13, 2023 at 1:29 am

Just an Observation,

The fact that the PRIVATE sector keeps trying to convince the customers that they are needed is a demonstration of how weak the PRIVATE market is.

They promised to provide adequate housing starting in the 1970s and especially after Costa Hawkins and Ellis Acts of 1995. THEY BOTH FAILED to do anything.

And now you are getting people to say, we NEED the PRIVATE market? I say, that is WRONG.

Time to stop the insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a MIRACLE. NO WAY.

Stop trying to sell the public a TOXIC product.


Leslie Bain
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Feb 13, 2023 at 2:32 pm
Leslie Bain, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Feb 13, 2023 at 2:32 pm

Re "the economy the way it is": observe! When market drys up for expensive market rate units, development of affordable units slows/stops too (despite the tremendous need). That's because the PRIMARY mechanism for funding affordable units is as a side effect of market rate unit construction. Translation: when high wage pizza eaters are stuffed, no more crumbs are tossed off of the table to those below. Conclusion: our funding model for affordable housing is deeply flawed. Unless a different model is adopted, housing crisis will continue for those at the bottom of the ladder.

"The RHNA targets do have more affordable housing than market rate housing"

Targets reflect the population of MV per the 2020 census. The majority of residents do not fall in the highest wage earner category. Hence majority of housing units (6000 out of 11000) are targeted for lower incomes. These targets will NOT BE REACHED if we continue to build only 1 affordable unit for every 9 market rate units.

@Polomom wrote "Our own leaders allowed the exact outcome in our community. We allowed less affordable units in all projects that came to the CC over the last eight years"

THIS! THIS! THIS!

And they will continue to approve projects with grotesque amounts of market rate units and ridiculous amounts of affordable housing unless we stand up to them and "hold their feet to the fire", in the words of Obama.

To be fair, they have been getting a lot of pressure from Googlers and other techies/YIMBYs who argue that "every [market rate] unit helps!" And who don't see a problem with building housing at a rate of 9 market rate units for every 1 affordable unit.

I also appreciate your link showing that MV is now more expensive than SF. The article said that rents rose by 24% recently because of biz decisions made by Google and other tech companies. Apparently longtime residents were not to blame at all. Imagine that. I sincerely wish the hate mongering campaign being conducted against us would stop.


Frank Richards
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Feb 13, 2023 at 5:07 pm
Frank Richards, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Feb 13, 2023 at 5:07 pm

It's important to recognize that addressing the housing crisis requires a multi-faceted approach, rather than focusing solely on limiting growth. While it's true that the funding mechanism for affordable housing can be linked to the construction of market rate units, it's not the only means to provide affordable housing. Innovative financing solutions, such as public-private partnerships and impact investment, have proven to be effective in delivering affordable housing while preserving growth.

In regards to the issue of long-time residents and the tech industry, it's essential to avoid assigning blame to any one group and instead look at the challenges facing the housing market as a whole. Rather than directing hate towards any particular group, let's focus on finding collaborative solutions that benefit all residents of MV, regardless of their income or background.


Steven Goldstein
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Feb 13, 2023 at 10:43 pm
Steven Goldstein, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Feb 13, 2023 at 10:43 pm

Just an Observation,

You cannot fox a problem if you do not diagnose the cause.

Again stop trying to say, "That is water under the bridge" The water has destroyed the bridge.

Time for the PRIVATE housing industry to quit trying to manipulate the cost of housing and salsify the ACTUAL values of housing, which here is significantly lower than what these people want it to be.

Bo more carrots they rotted on the string. We can't waste ANY MORE money or time. THAT is way the city council will lose its ability to manage land.

Like allowing a apartment to be operating in a r3.1 zone when it must be in a R4 zone. The facts are this city is mismanaged so badly it doesn't even check to see if any land is used in compliance with the zones BEFORE issuing any Certificates of Occupancy or worse allowing the apartments to collect rent when it is an illegal business.

And the City Council has no ability to prevent it, This CHARTER city is a disaster. Because there is NO MAYOR in this city, it is controlled by the city manager. A city manager that is NOT elected and has a position that will never be accountable to the city citizens.

184 Centre Street is a R3.1 zone but has a building on it re4quring a R4. Here is the zoning map (Web Link

Here is the zoning city code (Web Link

And here is an attorney describing how the rental agreement is illegal (Web Link "Renting An Illegal Unit
Published on: October 1, 2018 . Last Updated on: March 15, 2022 By Jacqueline Ravenscroft

And instead of actually going through the process of rezoning it, the property owner AND the city tries to cover up their mistakes.

YOU CANNOT TRUST ANYONE REGARDING ANY PROMISES!!!


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