Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 8, 2018

Path to housing

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:08 am

Tuesday night, as suspected, the Council voted 4 to 1 to go forward with the third amendment for Site A.

If you can’t guess who the one against was, you really have not been keeping up to date with the politics of  individual Alameda City Council members.  The majority of public speakers, including everyone who is actively and historically involved in affordable housing issues in Alameda, spoke in favor of the third amendment.  Those who have not attempted to use affordable housing as a fig leaf to disguise their true motives which is typically no new development anywhere.

Anyway it’s a pretty surreal experience to watch one member of the City Council vote against the only “guaranteed” path toward building affordable housing after hearing public comment (during the non agenda public comment period) of the plight of a newly homeless Alamedan.



  1. Answer: The same mayor who opposed ridiculous and exorbitant staffing for the fire department, illegal firing of the city manager by political hacks, stupid tax schemes, “sanctuary city” resolutions which may result in denial of federal funds, and wasteful spending practices while watching her opponents be investigated by the District Attorney?

    News flash: latest reports show rising sea levels will put Alameda Point underwater in two decades.

    Comment by Nowyouknow — March 8, 2018 @ 6:30 am

    • You must not be familiar with the current mayor: Trish Spencer. Whose only defining political position is to stand in opposition to the majority of the City Council.

      If nothing is done Alameda Point will be underwater, but Alameda Point is getting modern infrastructure to address rising sea levels, that’s what happens when you allow progress to happen.

      Comment by Lauren Do — March 8, 2018 @ 6:54 am

      • Regarding opposition. Now if we could just get the rest of the Council to Trisherize we’d return to the Mayberry of old.

        Comment by Jack — March 8, 2018 @ 7:33 am

        • I know you just want to make Alameda great again, so please tell us what point in history you’d like to return us to exactly. This ought to be enlightening!

          Comment by Rod — March 8, 2018 @ 9:28 am

        • 1973

          Comment by Jack — March 8, 2018 @ 2:26 pm

        • All I’m seeing is a plane crash and Measure A passing. I can’t see you being against restrictive housing regulations or being for plane crahses, so I’m guessing you’re pining for the days of polyester and mutton-chops as far as the eye can see.

          Comment by Rod — March 8, 2018 @ 3:43 pm

        • Who cares what you think, besides yourself?

          Comment by Jack — March 8, 2018 @ 5:15 pm

        • In fact the 1970s was the best decade in Ca history, in my view.

          Comment by Jack — March 8, 2018 @ 5:59 pm

      • Good thing you put “guaranteed” in quotes. Because the fact that affordable housing wouldn’t be guaranteed after all is the reason Mayor Spencer voted against it. The fault appears to lie with the affordable housing funding not coming through in time to meet the City deadlines. So the City either has to trust that the developers will build the affordables anyway, or start all over with someone else.

        Comment by vigi — March 8, 2018 @ 9:30 am

        • If you really believe that Trish voted against it for that reason, I’ve got three bridges to sell you over the Estuary and I’ll throw in one to Bayfarmistan to sweeten the deal! It’s just like when Dave Howard puts his entire “media empire” up against school parcel taxes saying it’s unfair that the corporations aren’t paying their share, when the fact of the matter is that he just doesn’t want to pay taxes. You and Trish and Dave and the entire Citizens Task Force are so disingenuous with this shit, I’m going to use the word disingenuous again!

          Comment by Rod — March 8, 2018 @ 9:45 am

  2. Without the amendment to the DDA Tuesday night, the entire Site A project would have gone away, and with it any immediate hopes for replacing the failing infrastructuire at Alameda Point.

    Or adding affordable housing at AP.

    Or adding to Alameda’s tax base or transfer tax revenues.

    Or adding market-rate housing at AP.

    Don’t confuse the mayor’s fool’s errand with courage or a sincere defense of affordable housing.

    Thank God it is an election year.

    Comment by Jon Spangler — March 8, 2018 @ 6:49 am

  3. Nothing surprises me about Trainwreck Trish anymore!

    Comment by Rod — March 8, 2018 @ 8:57 am

  4. I opposed the proposed amendment not because I’m against the development, but because APP had other options for dealing with this situation. Under the DDA, the APP could have simply paid to extend the closing date. In fact, they have moved the closing date twice before and paid for the privilege of doing that, as provided for under the DDA. The alleged “uncertainty” was some of the funding for the affordable housing component, the status of which will likely be known by May or June of this year (except for one application for financing which will become clear in December). So APP basically said we are going to bail on the whole project (after, according to APP, spending more than $10 million dollars on it) just because there is “uncertainty” over 106 units during Phase One…uncertainty that will, in large part, be clarified in two months time, perhaps less. By threatening to pull out of the project and crying the sky is falling, the developer got out of the metering provision, and they also got out of paying to move the closing date, and since people were scared about losing this project, the Council did what the developer wanted. I hope the affordable units get built, since APP’s proposal was approved based upon it, but there is now less “certainty” as to this part of the project. I was at the meeting and a long time resident voiced the same concerns, as did I, and I’ve been a homeowner and small business owner here for many years and am not “anti” development; but it’s reasonable for the City to, in exchange for giving away the people’s property, ask for something in return.

    Comment by Robert Matz — March 8, 2018 @ 12:02 pm

    • Thank you, Robert. Good clarification. I was at the meeting too.

      Comment by vigi — March 8, 2018 @ 12:20 pm

      • I should also say that $3,000 a month for a studio apartment, which is a good chunk of the “affordable housing” component of the project, is not exactly affordable for people on fixed incomes. Another issue I’d like to see addressed in future projects (in addition to affordability and transit issues) is the ever-growing but never-addressed unfunded liabilities issue. Kevin did a report early that night that said we now have more that $200 million in unfunded pension liabilities, and even more liability for “deferred maintenance.” The Kevins have been warning us for years about this issue, and it’s about time we start addressing this in a forceful way. People who run for Mayor and Council generally want new and shiny and popular projects they can get voters fired up about; campaigning on a “we need to pay for what we’ve already promised” platform is not exactly sexy, but it’s the kind of leadership and stewardship we need.

        Comment by Robert Matz — March 8, 2018 @ 1:43 pm

        • I believe the $3000 a month for a studio is not the affordable housing, but a potential rent for some of the market rate housing that is subsidizing the 25% of the projects that are mandated affordable. In order to provide the required subsidies for such a large amount of subsidized housing, developments have to focus much of the remaining 75% on higher return units.

          Comment by jkw — March 9, 2018 @ 8:18 am

  5. Mr Matz, you are exactly correct

    Comment by Tawney — March 8, 2018 @ 9:14 pm

  6. Mr Matz, you are right on. Please send your thought to the Alameda papers.

    Comment by Tawney — March 8, 2018 @ 9:19 pm

  7. Buying a home is made more difficult when all cash buyers compete with traditional purchasers who want to use a mortgage.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — March 9, 2018 @ 7:48 am

    • As the article points out, and as we know from recent experience in Alameda, “The fear of Chinese millionaires gobbling up American homes as just another piece in their global investment portfolio can veer into the cartoonish and xenophobic very quickly.”

      Comment by MP — March 9, 2018 @ 7:55 am

    • I’m sure you saw this:

      This home on Plymouth Drive in Sunnyvale, Calif. recently set the highest price per square foot ever recorded by the Multiple Listing Service. The two bedroom, two bath home – 848 square feet in size – sold in two days for $2 million. It had been listed for $1.45 million. That means it sold for $2,358 per square foot, which is the highest price per square foot in Sunnyvale recorded by MLS Listings which has data going back to Jan. 1, 2000. (Courtesy Michael Silver)

      Comment by vigi — March 9, 2018 @ 10:06 am

  8. Interesting article about affordable housing and how the corporate tax cuts are hurting it across the country.

    Comment by Jake — March 10, 2018 @ 9:09 am

  9. California is not the only place dealing with a housing crisis.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — March 12, 2018 @ 7:21 am

  10. This is not going to help in keeping costs down in building new homes starting in 2020.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — May 4, 2018 @ 8:47 pm

  11. And then there is this. No surprise but people are tired of rising housing prices and traffic in California.

    Comment by Mike McMahon — June 4, 2018 @ 8:11 am

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