A recent Daily Press article revealed that City Hall put no money toward affordable housing in the last fiscal year. That fact calls into question City Hall’s ability to keep up with its mandated responsibilities. The loss of redevelopment money has been blamed for the shortage of available funds.
So, this week’s Q-Line question asked:
How should city officials approach the affordable housing issue and why?
Here are your responses:
“In the first place drop the euphemistic phrase ‘affordable housing’ and call it what it is — low-income tenements in the making. And stop weeping over the long-awaited cutbacks on federal and state funds for this escalating horror. If we wanted to move to the barrio, ghetto or skid row, we would have moved there. Now we don’t have to bother to upset our homes of many years, it has all been dumped on our doorstep. Cutback on funds should at least stop this horror. I love the term redevelopment money, what it has been: The end for this once clean, quiet, safe city by the sea. The last nail in the coffin will be the light rail.”
“Since when did the City Council give any thought to their responsibilities, mandated or not to Santa Monica? We have exactly one ethical council member, Kevin McKeown. The unbridled greed of the others as well as that of the tourist trappers and the overdevelopers has turned a significant portion of the city into a slum of tenements. Some of these buildings are not up to code, and many have no parking for tenants, because all the outstretched palms got crossed within the silver. Apartments have been torn down and residents evicted when a big enough bribe was forthcoming. Give us the money and do what you want is the City Council’s M.O. We sincerely hope that no money will ever be available to destroy more of this once pleasant community.”
“The city has no commitment whatever to truly affordable housing. If they did, they would not let developers remove rent-controlled, low-rent homes and replace them with 325 square foot boxes in high rises starting at $1,500 a month, or two bedrooms also in high rises starting at $2,700. This is their rich-only-wanted scheme for Santa Monica. Redevelopment funds were not supposed to be spent for $55 million parks in front of City Hall to make up for approving the Village at SM with not enough green space. Those are the types of projects [Councilmembers Pam] O’Connor, [Bob] Holbrook, [Terry] O’Day, and [Gleam] Davis are really committed to.”
“Why should rent be subsidized? If people want to live in a ‘desirable’ area, they should pay more. If they can’t afford it, too bad. The taxpayers don’t owe it to you.”
“The city does not exist to provide affordable housing. It does exist to provide a clean, safe environment for those who make sacrifices in order to live here and pay our fair share. Stop wasting taxpayer money and try making it less expensive for those who already live here instead of a cheap place to live for people who don’t.”
“The city obtained HUD money to build a senior citizen housing project on Fourth Street in 2002. The housing manager was angry too many Russians (code-word for Jews who fled anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union) won the lottery for the units and he announced no more senior citizen housing would be developed on his watch. Since 2002 the city spent over $200 million developing low-income rental housing and only about 4 percent of those funds were for senior citizen housing. The Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights-controlled council has developed hundreds of low-income multi-family rental units in the Pico Neighborhood, at least one project on every block! This over-concentration violates the civil rights of minorities, denying them the opportunity to live between Wilshire and San Vicente boulevards. All new multi-family low-income housing must be concentrated between Wilshire and San Vicente boulevards. In addition we need more senior citizen housing preferably along the light rail line. If these criteria are not met, then we don’t build anything.”
“It’s a no brainer — if the city can’t afford it, then they should not subsidize housing. Cuts have to be made and this is a good place to start.”
“City Hall’s responsibility is to provide clean streets, trash pick-up, police and fire protection and possibly after-school programs for kids or other fun things for seniors. The city is not responsible for building affordable housing and should discontinue any discussion of such. I’m all for helping someone out in a bind, but providing housing to able-bodied people is a waste of money. These folks need to get out and work for what they have instead of getting a hand out. Affordable housing should be reserved for seniors and those with disabilities. Anything else is just socialism at its worst.”