Blogging Bayport Alameda

May 26, 2015

House of worth

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Point, City Council, Development, Public Resources — Lauren Do @ 6:09 am

During last week’s City Council meeting during a presentation of the financials of Site A at Alameda Point, if it wasn’t clear to anyone in the audience that Trish Spencer had no intention of voting for the project, it should be clear now.

Today she has glommed on the idea that Site A is not providing enough “workforce housing” and just providing housing for those at the highest end of the income spectrum and those at the lowest.   Let’s put aside the complicated argument that any housing provided at any end of the income spectrum would provide relief to the existing housing stock (rental and sale) by pushing more supply into the market and just talk about the term “workforce housing.”

Regardless of who is using the term, it’s offensive.  Why is it offensive?  It’s offensive because it implies that whoever is not in that “workforce” category doesn’t work.  Which is complete bullshit.  As it is Trish Spencer did not define what she considered “workforce” housing, it’s it 60% of area median income?  (considered “Low Income” by HUD definitions)  Is it 80% of area median income? (also considered “Low Income” by HUD definitions) Is it 100% of area median income? (considered “Moderate” by HUD definitions)  Is it 115% of area median income? (also considered “Moderate” by HUD definitions)   All of these: very low, low, and moderate are considered “affordable housing” which is what Trish Spencer believes — in addition to market rate housing — that Alameda is providing too much of and not enough “workforce” housing.  Whatever workforce is defined as.  Technically, all the housing provided is “workforce” housing as long as one of the residents occupying the unit has a job.

So let’s talk about incomes for a minute. According to HUD — and this was a question asked by Trish Spencer in reference to this slide that was offered by Jennifer Ott in response to her other question meetings ago asking what the rents were going to be — here are the income limits for the three categories, but first the slide in question:

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 6.24.55 AM

So the three above the “estimated market rents” are all somewhat subsidized by the developer, in this case Alameda Point Partners.  Additionally, in order to build the units a complex set of tax credits and grants have to be secured to build the units which helps lower the overall cost of the rents to the end user.  Even folks that make right at area median income technically qualify for some sort of subsidy for housing.  For example all of the below market rate houses that were offered for lottery at Alameda Landing (and at Bayport before that) were for folks earning no more that 120% of area median income.

Anyway, according to HUD, here are the income numbers from HUD, you can see where you fall in the spectrum if you make less than Area Median Income

Screen Shot 2015-05-25 at 6.48.48 AM

The first column is 1 person, second column is 2 person and so on and so forth.   According to this list for the Oakland – Fremont area, family median income is $92,900.  A family is considered a household of four.

While I don’t disagree that we should be providing housing for all income levels, it’s not clear who Trish Spencer believes is being left out of the Site A housing equation. Is she worried about those making above 120% area median income since those are not listed on the proposed rental chart above?  So let’s examine a few four person households above the 120% area median income threshold.

The assumption is that a family shouldn’t spend more than 30% of their household income on housing.  The numbers for the very low, low, and moderate reflect that.   So let’s look at a family of four making percentages above 120% of area median income.

130% of area median income is $120,770 per household. 30% of that income is $36,231 which would equal about $3020 per month on rent, which would mean that households making 130% of area median would have to stretch a little for a two bedroom market rate rental unit at Alameda Point if they were to only stick to spending 30% of their income on housing.

135% of area median income is $125,415 per household. 30% of that income is $37,625 which would equal about $3135 per month on rent, which would mean that households making 130% of area median would have to stretch a tiny bit for a two bedroom market rate rental unit at Alameda Point if they were to only stick to spending 30% of their income on housing.

140% of area median income is $130,060 per household. 30% of that income is $39,018 which would equal about $3252 per month on rent, which would mean that households making 140% of area median would have to have to stretch a lot for a three bedroom market rate rental unit at Alameda Point, but afford a two bedroom unit if they were to only stick to spending 30% of their income on housing.

150% of area median income is $139,350 per household. 30% of that income is $41,805 which would equal about $3484 per month on rent, which would mean that households making 150% of area median would have to stretch a little for a three bedroom market rate rental unit at Alameda Point, but easily afford a two bedroom unit if they were to only stick to spending 30% of their income on housing.

160% of area median income is $148,640 per household. 30% of that income is $44,592 which would equal about $3716 per month on rent, which would mean that households making 160% of area median would have to stretch a little for a three bedroom market rate rental unit at Alameda Point, but easily afford a two bedroom unit if they were to only stick to spending 30% of their income on housing.

170% of area median income is $157,930 per household. 30% of that income is $47,379 which would equal about $3949 per month on rent, which would mean that households making 170% of area median would easily afford any of the units if they were to only stick to spending 30% of their income on housing.

And so on an so forth.

Basically what I’m saying is that all levels of income are pretty much covered by both the units that will need to be built as affordable aka below market rate — very low (below 50% AMI), low (below 80% AMI), and moderate (below 120% AMI) — and the market rate (handling family incomes of above 140% of AMI pretty well) the one stretching gap is for 130% of AMI, but I can’t imagine it’s that one threshold of income that Trish Spencer was referring to when she discussed not providing sufficient “workforce” housing.

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38 Comments

  1. https://www.google.com/#q=workforce+housing+california. Is it the hate or innate talent that makes you stupid?

    Comment by people can be unreasonable ------- — May 26, 2015 @ 7:16 am

  2. The most despicable use of this hateful term is in the existing California Code and the various legislative bills associated with creating and modifying our laws. How dare they!

    Comment by people can be unreasonable ------- — May 26, 2015 @ 7:23 am

  3. “Workforce Housing” is an insulting term.

    Workforce Housing Reward Program:

    Grant amounts are based on the numbers of bedrooms in units restricted for very low and low-income households for housing units with building permits issued during the 12-month reporting period. Qualifying rental units must be rent-restricted for at least 55 years. Ownership units must be initially sold to qualifying households at affordable cost. Any public funds used to achieve affordability in ownership units must be recovered on resale and reused for affordable housing for at least 20 years. Grants for very low income units are greater than grants for low-income units.

    Very low income means not over 50 percent of area median income, adjusted for family size. Low-income means not over 80 percent of area median income, adjusted for family size. [Emphasis added

    From my post above:

    All of these: very low, low, and moderate are considered “affordable housing” which is what Trish Spencer believes — in addition to market rate housing — that Alameda is providing too much of and not enough “workforce” housing. Whatever workforce is defined as.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 26, 2015 @ 8:03 am

  4. That’s right. Dig in. I don’t argue she might not be using it correctly. I am arguing that you are mean and vindictive making you stupid. Also, your predictions about her vote are suspect. Let go of the hate.

    Comment by people can be unreasonable ------- — May 26, 2015 @ 8:12 am

  5. Also, use the google and educate yourself then if you want to stick to the attack, you can do it from a point of not looking like an idiot. There is a specific definition of “workforce housing” in both law and planning. It is not a term of hate; it is a term of art. It didn’t take me long to figure that out either.

    Comment by people can be unreasonable ------- — May 26, 2015 @ 8:16 am

  6. How much more effective it would have been to show how she was using the term offensively even though the term itself is NOT offensive. Or you could have revealed that she looked stupid (something you love to do) instead of revealing your own ignorance. But not only are you blinded by your hate, you are so unself aware that you won’t even acknowledge it.

    Comment by people can be unreasonable ------- — May 26, 2015 @ 8:20 am

  7. She’s not just using it incorrectly, she’s arguing that Site A does not provide “workforce housing” options and only “affordable/below market rate housing” and “market-rate housing.” It’s not clear what gap she is attempting to fill based on what is being proposed other than to declare that there is a gap in order to be opposed to the project.

    Comment by Lauren Do — May 26, 2015 @ 8:31 am

  8. You go ahead and dig in. You’re an idiot. http://204.200.159.124/documents/PAFinalGrandOp051013_000.pdf

    Comment by people can be unreasonable ------- — May 26, 2015 @ 8:32 am

  9. ahhhhh, good morning. Unreasonable Person, no matter how correct you might be about Lauren you have absolutely no high ground from which to make accusations and point fingers because as usual you epitomize everything you rail against. You are a freak.

    I was reading letters in the Express and one was responding to protests in Oakland over city owned property being sold to developer for market rate apartment tower. The writer made the point that even market rate projects help affordability just by maintaining supply, because unless there is adequate supply, rental units which have been affordable will be gobbled up by people with adequate funds and all rents will rise faster. The definitions of “affordability” matter when you try to apply a system of subsidies, which in an ideal world we simply would not need. It all gives me a head ache, but let’s not be disingenuous when it comes to Spencer. Trish could give a shit about any of it and she is simply doing a dance around how to justify her objection to any new housing. She is a phony opportunist. I don’t like her, but saying this is not about hate because it doesn’t need to be. It’s calling a spade a spade. And a shovel by any other name still serves the same purpose and that is throwing dirt and slinging shit.

    On “workforce housing”, the first time I heard it was when it was invoked by affordable housing advocates like Renewed HOPE. We all knew it meant people who had what were supposed to be decent paying jobs but still couldn’t afford housing, particularly to purchase. Others in need of subsidy were simply “poor” whether had minimum wages jobs or received food stamps, or both. Just like terms to refer to ethnic background, where African American evolved from Negro and Black, and spawned the suffix “American” to follow any ethnicity or country of origin, some people think “workforce” needs a tune up. Fine. To me to insist that the use of workforce is “offensive” is a little hyperbolic, though I get that Trish will adopt any position or use any terms without guile, just to throw a wrench in the works, which offends my intelligence.

    Comment by MI — May 26, 2015 @ 9:19 am

  10. And I suppose our sick little fantasy of my skull being crushed by a beam was just dislike and not hate.

    Comment by people can be unreasonable ------- — May 26, 2015 @ 9:30 am

  11. To paraphrase the Music Man: “Just a minute, Professor Lauren Do. We need your credentials!” Your analysis is based on what? Your MIT Economics degree?

    Your first link is to some obscure East Coast publication which equates the income of Police Officers with that of teachers and nurses, as “middle-income service workers”. Since in Alameda, police officers are THE highest paid employees on the city payroll, I’m sure teachers and nurses will stop reading at this point and toss the article into the trash.

    Go to Lauren Do’s link to California’s Workforce Housing Program… second line is “PROGRAM NOT CURRENTLY MAKING AWARDS”. Scanning the page reveals that all the resources date back to 2006. This appears to be a dead link. The state just hasn’t gotten around to burying it yet. No need to read any further.

    If this is the best you can do to support your argument regarding how YOU think Trish Spencer thinks, Trish has nothing to worry about.

    Comment by vigi — May 26, 2015 @ 9:39 am

  12. Disagreement and civil discourse is great. But throwing a raving fit (unreasonable person) is just that. Please come back when you are done and can engage like a grown up.

    Comment by Dya — May 26, 2015 @ 9:43 am

  13. Trish is playing to her base. Her base thinks what she’s doing is good for Alameda. There’s nothing written by the hostess of this blog that’s going to matter to the ninety-nine plus percent of Alamedians who don’t know this blog exists so there’s no sense in getting a tit stuck in the wringer over something that means nothing.

    Comment by jack — May 26, 2015 @ 9:50 am

  14. Has unreasonable (or, given the use of “hate” perhaps ironic is more apt) been indulging at breakfast now? Before intemperate posts were limited to happy hour and after. It’s getting out of control.

    As for the topic at hand, Spencer wants no development there and will throw any argument, good or bad (but usually bad) to try and stop it. She knows no economics, but even if she did, it wouldn’t matter.

    Comment by BC — May 26, 2015 @ 9:54 am

  15. For 2014:
    https://www.fanniemae.com/s/components/amilookup/61d695d4-b7a7-4fe1-90c2-7dff2fd1ccd4?state

    “These AMIs will be valid until the new AMIs are issued. Please note that Fannie Mae must use the AMIs provided to us by FHFA to determine Fannie Mae’s performance on its regulatory housing goals. For determining Fannie Mae loan eligibility, lenders should refer to these AMIs and may not rely on other published versions (such as AMIs posted on huduser.org ).”

    Interesting that Fannie Mae disses the AMIs published by HUD. I always find it fascinating when one agency of the US Government goes to war against another. Kinda throws the whole basis of building housing based on government approved statistics into the crapper.

    based on the Median earnings for full-time, year-round employed Alameda city residents $61,378…this is a rather poverty-stricken burg. http://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/2013/alameda/summary/

    Comment by vigi — May 26, 2015 @ 10:21 am

  16. I wonder how many of all those new employees with new jobs created at Target, Safeway, Chipolte, In and Out, Michaels, Sleep Train, ECT ECT are able to qualify for anything but Low Income Housing. Most of those 1000 new employees are part time and their employers are being subsidized to pay their wages thru tax incentives to open up shop.

    Trying to Frame and put Spencer into a Box and label and define her you will starve yourself. Putting her in a box of cold words , that box will be your coffin. Because she is constantly getting new information and things change rapidly and she uses that information to make decisions. She is human and that’s how our brains work.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 26, 2015 @ 11:05 am

  17. Virgi if you took the information off the IRS data it would paint a more realistic view of all Tax Returns filed in 94501 and 94502.

    Not Something From a Survey

    These are People who made wages and salaries only

    70% of Total Tax Returns in 94501 and 94502 make less than 50,000 in wages and Salary in a city that averages 2.2 residents per household.

    Probably why people are renting out rooms in their houses.

    70% of Single and Joint tax returns in 94501 and 94502 made less than 50,000
    IRS Data of Salaries and Wages in 94501 by those filing jointly and single…..28,822 Total Returns

    4104 made between 0-10,000 With the average making 3,952 in Salary and Wages

    5158 made between 10,000 -25,000 with the average making 12,483 in Salary and Wages

    7229 made between 25,000-50,000 with average making 30,040 in Salary and Wages

    4830 made between 50,000 -75,000 with average making 48,730 in Salary and Wages

    2688 made between 75,000-100,000 with the average making 67,253 in Salary and Wages

    3757 made between 100,000-200,000 with average making 103,913 in Salary and Wages

    1056 made more than 200,000 with the Average making 198,888 in Salary and Wages

    IRS Data of Salaries and Wages in 94502 by those filing jointly and single…..6623 Total Returns

    999 made between 0-10,000 With the average making 3658 in Salary and Wages

    653 made between 10,000 -25,000 with the average making 9,775 in Salary and Wages

    922 made between 25,000-50,000 with average making 23,977 in Salary and Wages

    927 made between 50,000 -75,000 with average making 41,356 in Salary and Wages

    742 made between 75,000-100,000 with the average making 58,996 in Salary and Wages

    1642 made between 100,000-200,000 with average making 106,493 in Salary and Wages

    716 made more than 200,000 with the Average making 232,395 in Salary and Wages

    Total Tax Returns in 94501 and 94502

    24,822 make less than 50,000 out of the 35,445 in Salary and Wages or 70%

    http://www.incometaxlist.com/alameda-income-alameda-ca-94502.htm
    http://www.incometaxlist.com/alameda-income-alameda-ca-94501.htm
    http://www.incometaxlist.com/alameda-tax-alameda-ca-94501.htm

    http://www.irs.gov/uac/SOI-Tax-Stats-Individual-Income-Tax-Statistics-2012-ZIP-Code-Data-(SOI)

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 26, 2015 @ 3:44 pm

  18. Hot damn John, you’re a wealth of wealth info.

    Comment by jack — May 26, 2015 @ 7:25 pm

  19. Jack people who are in business don’t buy into survey numbers and results as much as real actual numbers. Actual Real Sales Tax numbers and IRS Data for Income. They also look at Real Inflation which is no where near what we are told and they use up to date Metrics. So if your looking for certain demographics you don’t want to look at a 1985 model used by Government. Unless of course you Love History and The Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. Who Doesn’t like Columbus.

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 26, 2015 @ 8:47 pm

  20. I think that Trish Spencer’s supporters and opponents expect her to vote “No” on virtually everything that comes before her. That was essentially her pattern on the school board. That was the basis upon which she was elected.

    Any time that she ends up voting “Yes” on something will be the actual noteworthy item.

    Her excuse or explanation of her “No” vote really is of little importance. She will come up with some excuse that will have nothing to do with why she is actually voting “No.” It will only be presented as a dishonest fig leaf to cover her “No” vote. She is lying. Everyone listening to her knows that she is lying. I find it amusing that people don’t just call a spade a spade.

    She would actually become an interesting politician if she truthfully articulated why she was voting “No” on this or that. She doesn’t of course do this, because she knows that she would expose just how far out of step with the average Alameda voter she is.

    Comment by JohnB — May 26, 2015 @ 8:58 pm

  21. johnb

    Heres a list of Personal Attributes You Can Hate about Spencer

    She is

    Ambitious

    honest

    hard-working

    respectful

    friendly

    Sense of Humor

    energetic

    honest

    enthusiastic

    Optimistic

    selfless

    Asks tough questions

    Tries to see whole picture

    does what is necessary, right

    Kind

    Motivated

    open-minded

    generous

    sympathetic

    Hopeful

    high goals

    Considerate

    grateful

    Comment by Cobalt Black Keys Johnson — May 26, 2015 @ 9:06 pm

  22. 21. That is a long list of very positive attributes. I think that the first adjective does apply to Trish Spnecer. The rest of the list not so much.

    Comment by JohnB — May 26, 2015 @ 9:45 pm

  23. I wonder who JohnB “thinks” the “average Alameda voter” is. I guess it was the Above-average Alameda voters who elected Mayor Trish Spencer. The below-average Alameda voters hate and slander her. Too bad.

    Comment by vigi — May 27, 2015 @ 9:08 am

  24. Unfortunately, the problem is that the mayor isn’t just sticking to the argument that she is opposed to any new housing in Alameda, which is a valid point of view. Instead she’s trying to appeal to the very people affected by this housing crisis by pitting them against the developers who are working hard to provide a range of housing for as many people as possible. When she says things like there isn’t enough workforce housing in Site A it rings hollow for the reasons Lauren mentions above.

    The housing problem is greater than Alameda. It’s time for our state as a whole to re-evaluate its housing policy so that we aren’t continually in a housing crisis. The Bay Area is not always going to be a quaint series of suburbs. We are quickly becoming more and more urbanized and until businesses stop bringing jobs here there will always be a great need for dense innovative housing. We need to see a state government effort to bring jobs to the underemployed areas of our state through tax incentives, more developments like Brooklyn Basin across the East Bay, and demand that any new business park developments are paired with housing. It is no longer responsible to have separate areas between housing and businesses. All of these low height business parks should be topped with housing so that folks can live closer to where they work.

    Comment by Angela HOckabout — May 27, 2015 @ 9:19 am

  25. #23. So, Vigi, you are saying that 50% of the voters (less 120 something, which was the winning edge for Mayor Spencer) are below average people? Sounds like the kind of comment that got Mitt Romney into trouble. They may have had differing opinions, but I really don’t think that they are less valid as people than those who voted for the new Mayor.

    Comment by Kate Quick — May 27, 2015 @ 9:25 am

  26. 20
    “… because she knows that she would expose just how far out of step with the average Alameda voter she is.”

    A great coda to a symphony of speculation, two-bit psychoanalysis, wishful thinking, poorly chosen metaphors and most of all, rank pettiness. In fact your piece is so stupid you must have voted for her.

    Comment by jack — May 27, 2015 @ 9:41 am

  27. beyond Alameda, the whole Bay Area housing market is crazy and it is being driven insane by the tech industry. There was a TV news segment last night about new housing on the peninsula being sold to people from out of state who are being recruited by tech. They are flocking to the bay area, don’t know anything other than they need a place to live and they will pay. The holy Free Market isn’t free in any shape or form for people who are middle or low income. I think there must be a thing as too much prosperity when there are enough people with high incomes who can completely buy out the housing stock of a place like the Mission District where working class families who have managed to hang around for twenty, forty, fifty years are in a very short period being completely priced out. Median prices there are $1 million. This is incomparable to anyplace in the country and apartment rents exceed even New York City. Single developers can’t correct the inequities in housing, but these affordable housing requirements are better than nothing, though it’s like the Dutch buy plugging the dike. The billionaires in this country have enough wealth to pay for single payer health care through taxes.

    If Brooklyn Basin project was within Oak Street to Broadway footprint it would stand a better chance of contributing to transit solutions, but even with widening of Embarcadero it seems too isolated. Terrible location for families. It’s not like Manhattan with subways. And all those lofts in the produce district seem like terrible places for children. There are several large buildings in Chinatown with apartments over retail and office which are much better. You never see any street life in the produce area. We went to a new restaurant in that area and it was crowded and over priced. Legions of hipsters, just what Oakland needs. Alameda landing isn’t truly mixed but it has adjacent uses and Alameda Point has the possibility of similar balance.

    My wife and I really wish we had bought one of those new units in Oakland facing Bridgeside so in ten years we could downsize and still afford to stay in the area. Owner of rental on my block died and her family is selling. The tenant is retired widow with serious medical problem including Lupus. One bedroom on small lot will go for over $600,000. It would be much more if it had enough bedroom capacity for family with kids.

    Comment by MI — May 27, 2015 @ 10:36 am

  28. 27
    “The holy Free Market isn’t free in any shape or form for people who are middle or low income…”

    Economics 101

    The free market delivers increasingly more market-sourced income to capital holders and progressively less to workers who only make their contributions through labor. “Labor” defined as production, relies less and less on fixed human labor and more and more on innovation and methods which lessen the human element and result in not only more and more income to capital holders but fewer and fewer workers.

    More income for capital holding high income people who do not recycle their income into goods and service because their wants and need have already been met instead place their income in more and more innovation which means fewer and fewer workers and more and more products made by workers who do have wants and needs but have less and less income to purchase those goods or to satisfy their needs.

    Per Adam Smith, demand begins with the consumer and consumer purchasing power, if the production side of the economy is under-nourished and hobbled the free market contracts and the economy will go through boom and bust cycles of over production and reduced demand.

    So what’s the answer Mark, stop innovation or kill the capitalists?

    Comment by jack — May 27, 2015 @ 11:54 am

  29. 25 = Well, Kate I wasn’t actually talking to you, but, since you asked, I guess you could say that people who hate and slander Mayor Spencer are below-average

    Comment by vigi — May 27, 2015 @ 12:04 pm

  30. My wife and I really wish we had bought one of those new units in Oakland facing Bridgeside so in ten years we could downsize and still afford to stay in the area. Owner of rental on my block died and her family is selling. The tenant is retired widow with serious medical problem including Lupus. One bedroom on small lot will go for over $600,000. It would be much more if it had enough bedroom capacity for family with kids.

    —————————————–

    If a 1 BR is going for over 600M, it sounds like you can swap & downsize as you describe.

    Comment by dave — May 27, 2015 @ 12:13 pm

  31. 28. but Jack, that is the “job creators” line. “Higher taxes just inhibit and punish job creators” . B.S. First the benevolent job creating class aren’t creating enough jobs across the spectrum. They profit by exporting manufacturing jobs but also hoard wealth instead of sinking it all into “innovation” when they could pay the worker bees in U.S. and elsewhere who toil to make them rich some decent wages, like $15 minimum wages for starters. The supposed “laws” of economics are treated as if they are like laws of hydrodynamics. Maybe if the playing field was level and not rigged. Petroleum is hugely subsidized at many levels for example. so why not social engineer some affordable housing as a counter balance? You can’t have it both ways.

    dave, that is a lousy deal compared to buying them when they were built as investment property or in the 2007 down turn.

    I was expecting somebody to challenge my assertion that Clinton Basin is not close enough to transit to work well but ask me how it is that Alameda Point should be better since we are an ISLAND. Alameda Point has a number of things going for it, like some tech jobs which may eliminate commutes, also great ferry capacity and I’m counting on shuttles and people modifying their habits. If there is not another BART crossing which surfaces at the Point, which will be years in the making if it happens at all, I am holding out for a station at Jack London with a people mover tunnel.

    Clinton Basin towers will never have the same potential as a balanced community as Alameda Point, but it is being built on top of a lovely artisan community which has thrived hidden by the water for 50 years.

    Comment by MI — May 27, 2015 @ 2:42 pm

  32. Comment by MI — May 27, 2015 @ 4:04 pm

  33. Mark:

    These evil techies have bid up the price of your home, so even with the appreciation on Glasscock St you can still do as you describe.

    Comment by dave — May 27, 2015 @ 4:43 pm

  34. Mark, I didn’t mention taxes in #28. Think logically, if you’re a high income earner would you rather protect your wealth and invest in what you deem good for you or would you rather have a cabal of politicians make those decisions for you and in doing so have that cabal also determine just how much income you should make. If you trust big brother to make your decisions then there are plenty of countries either in the dustbin of history or well on their way just waiting for your entrance.

    Comment by jack — May 27, 2015 @ 6:04 pm

  35. 33. whoopee. in the old days you’d downsize and have something to stow for a rainy day or to live off of. Yeah, I can afford to down size to a loft without losing my shirt, so let’s celebrate. beats renting out rooms I guess.

    Comment by MI — May 28, 2015 @ 12:16 pm

  36. Is there not a six figure difference between sale price of your larger home and purchase price of smaller loft?

    Comment by dave — May 28, 2015 @ 12:26 pm

  37. I haven’t read this whole string so I apologize if the term workforce housing has already been explained. In 1999, when Renewed Hope was fighting to preserve East Housing and rehab it for affordable housing for people being forced out of Alameda during the dot-com boom (same things as today) we coined the term “workforce housing.” It signified people with regular jobs who could not afford a house in Alameda because they didn’t earn enough. At the time, affordable housing was defined in many minds as subsidized housing for those too lazy to work. We wanted to push the idea that some sort of housing affordable to everyone in the bottom 89 percent in the Bay Area was necessary. I don’t think I want to weigh in on the argument about its offensiveness, just lend some perspective. I very much doubt any of the folks I know who are fighting this difficult and valiant battle to create affordable housing for a rapidly gentrifying East Bay would care about this terminology. There’s too much important work to do. The fact our mayor is using the term in a less-than-forthright, john-come-lately manner is unfortunate, to say the least.

    Comment by Laura Thomas — June 1, 2015 @ 4:58 pm


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