Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

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Reads 7915
By Ernie Salomon
 
No city, including SB can build itself into affordable housing and into prosperity.  The more housing that is built, the more people will come here and the more demand for housing, city services, welfare and more congestion too, even as our idiot planners ordain that new housing units will bring less cars. 
 
The AUD program is a fraud! The recent article in the independent shows a picture of the AUD program Mark complex at State and La Cumbre.  Here, a one bedroom apartment goes for $2,900 a month.  To afford this one bedroom, an income of about $120,000 a year is required.  How many single people or couples in Santa Barbara who even want to live in this building, which resembles an institution inside, make $120,000 a year?
 
Just for whom are these AUD units and any other "affordable" units being built?  The only way that an affordable housing program could work would be to reserve any new such housing for local residents who have lived here x number of years, but gosh oh gee whiz, they already live here!
 
In the long run, building these new "affordable" units serves only one purpose; to bring even more people into Santa Barbara, many who cannot afford to live here!
 
The actions that the mayors, boards of supervisors and councils can do to control the loss of affordable housing by local workers, they have not!  Thousands of foreign and out of state students at SBCC who have no legal right to be there and even UCSB have robbed local workers of the ability to live here by forcing their evictions.   Kaplan, EF and the other language schools who bring in thousands of foreigners take local's housing as well. So do vacation rentals!
 
The bitter fact is that if you cannot afford to live where you live or want to live, then you have to move to a second choice or even third choice city.    Most people cannot afford a $20,000,000 home and a private 747 and a 300 foot yacht.  People have to adjust to their means.  Those who commute to work here or have moved out of the coastal high rent area have adjusted to their financial realities. It is not their choicest way to live, but this is the system we have.   It has absolutely nothing to do with race or ethnic origin, it has everything to do with housing demand versus supply.  The demand is great to live here and the supply of housing cannot keep up and never will. This will continue to force rents up.
 
Too many people want to live in California's coast with its extremely high rents.   The only answer for the California Coast is the San Joaquin Valley Bullet Train.  This would begin a new land and job rush and prosperity for those who cannot afford to live on the coast to the valley.
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a-1524707573 Dec 03, 2017 06:51 PM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

"our idiot planners" I already had doubts about your credibility before I got to that, at which point I stopped reading. And Ed Hat violates the public trust when it publishes such things.

pkww Dec 01, 2017 09:13 AM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

Santa Barbara would be a perfect candidate for an Empty Homes Tax like they've done in Vancouver, BC, where they had a similar housing crisis. Any non-primary-residence home that is not rented/occupied for 6 months out of the year is taxed 1% of the value of the home. My personal opinion is that this would be the most effective way to get more property owners (think second or third homes) to actually rent to families. Imagine, families actually living up on the Riviera or in Montecito instead of a bunch of empty nests! I'd like to see our city actually filled up instead of the wishful thinking that more developments like The Marc will save us.

a-1524707573 Dec 01, 2017 07:02 AM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

If everyone who was struggling to live here moved somewhere that they could better afford, over half the town would be gone, every store would have to close and all you'd have left is the mega wealthy and trust funders who can afford high rent for nothing, and outrageous home prices for postage stamp lots

Charles Spraggins Nov 30, 2017 02:26 PM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

consensusforaction.stanford.edu Local politicians are behind the times. Sustainable development and smart growth was for the 20th-century. Now 21st-century is about impacts from over-population. Since there is no way to deal with it globally, local urban plans need to vision and move to limits on local population via cap on local housing. RHNA mandates need to be eliminated, especially considering SB32 implementation and current state scoping plans. On the current trajectory, more population equals less consumption per capita, less water, less fossil fuel, less product consumption (esp automobiles). Get used to the idea "more will mean less" for you.

a-1524707573 Nov 30, 2017 12:36 PM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

There appear to be two ways to move into an expensive community. The first way is to save enough for a down payment or first/last monthly payments (hopefully by working for it) and earn enough to support your self and family while living in the community. The second way is to figure out a way to make the community less expensive. Places like Los Angeles have done just that. High density housing, endless traffic jams, horrible air pollution, lousy schools, and an enormous crime problem. It seems to me that the residents of Santa Barbara are now at a cross roads. Do we support the first or second option?

SBCountyLocal Nov 30, 2017 11:20 AM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

The AIA's plans for AUD 2.0 will be discussed this coming Tuesday at City Council. Residents should write the City Council and attend the meeting to speak out about the AIA's ideas for the Downtown or the Downtown will be forever changed for the worse. During the City Council meeting the AIA will unveil the "results" of the Design Charrette for the Downtown area. Part of this will included using our public parking structures to park vehicles owned by AUD residents at night (where do they park on the weekends and during the day if they work downtown?). This will be for Developers don't have the land to park vehicles and to increase the residential density Downtown to upwards of 63 units an acre to make residential housing Downtown viable. There is also great interest in using our public surface street parking lots for AUD housing. Because the land is City owned it would be the cheapest place to place affordable housing for those making 80-120% AMI. (For a family of 4 that would be $61,920 to $92,880.) Construction would be paid for through impact fees collected from current AUD projects unless the City makes a "deal" and a Developer walks away with a substantial number of market rate units for doing the City a "favor" and building affordable housing. That said, there is NO plan right now for these lots to have any set % of affordable units and we need residents to fight for this or things will just get worse, not better. This is a scary proposition on many fronts. First, the AIA helped sell the AUD 1.0 which has been proven to be completely unaffordable and a disaster on many levels, including parking and neighborhood compatibility. Second, Developers have all been against any feasibility studies to collect impact fees which leaves the City right now without a penny for affordable units. Taxpayers pay for about 75% of the development fees and all we have gotten is high end luxury units... Now the City's parking lots and livability are at risk. Third, the "sale" of the AUD to the City Council came with a representation of who would benefit. Middle Income Earners end up being skewed by Staff and Developers to include Upper Middle Income Earners who earned 200%AMI ($154,800 for a family of 4) because income was not defined in the AUD Ordinance and a nexus and feasibility studies were not required. Further, if you run the numbers and all 956 AUD units in the AUD pipeline in the Priority, High and Medium Overlay (excluding actual low income units) are developed the City is worse off because of the number of market rate AUD units produced. We might build 956 AUD market rate units, but we loose 207 affordable units to build AUD market rate units, and we create an induced demand for low wage jobs, which require low income units. (We now know this because a nexus and feasibility study is just now complete.) The end result is that we need 453 units for those making 80-120%AMI and we won't get a penny right now to produce them. What will happen to the downtown with the AIA's next plan? Will it be dependent on flying cars and how could a few hundred homes downtown help revitalize the downtown? It can't. You will need a thousand units or more and the storefronts still won't come back... No one is predicting the death of eCommerce. They are predicting the continued demise of retail.... If you are worried about the amount of building, parking downtown, the lack of affordability or you want to see how the AIA plans to help screw the City with AUD 2.0 come to next weeks City Council meeting.

SBPaul Nov 30, 2017 11:00 AM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

Ernie I completely agree that the only thing that will change our current market supply and demand gridlock is a major project that would create new demand in different locations that are not already completely at capacity. Water will always be an issue for us but if we could make living in the central valley an economic and logistic option things would certainly stabilize here too. I consult with a couple of startups in the fresno area. They are smart to have created a software business in a place they can pay people to live like kings. Silicone valley is going to be a victim of its own success by basically creating virtually no reason anyone has to be in a specific location all day to work for a company. They can work from home and decide where they live. Of course there are places that people will gather naturally because of weather or local attractions and community but the idea that cities need to manipulate the local market is reminiscent of the coal mine company store mentality. WE don't need people designing our city to accommodate people who they think should be able to afford to live here. We need people to realize that like Mark Twain said "buy land they are not making that any more" and plan their lives accordingly. If you are reading this and you are upset you can't afford to live in SB then stop blaming me and everyone else who owns a home here and do something about it like buy a home or invest in something so that someday you can afford to live here. No one gave me anything (statistically I should be in jail) and I have managed just fine in life. Sure its sucks when you can't afford something. If you have a hard time with envy you probably should move to a place there is not so much wealth disparity... I bet it bothers you to see all the corporate jets and yacht in the harbor too.

SBPaul Nov 30, 2017 10:32 AM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

General tree. The only effect the Whitehouse has on our local housing market is your irrational accusation that people are hateful because they paid into a real estate market that some people (you) have now decided needs to be rigged in their favor. You are obviously not a home owner because if you were you would be pulling your hair out knowing that the WHITEHOUSE is about to sign a tax bill that is going to put a cap of 500k on interest your can write off from your mortgage. Oh But thats just coming form a guy who is in his mid 30s and just purchased a home for under 800k in SB... So yeah lets blame the Whitehouse for why housing is not affordable. The idiotic thing is this tax bill in theory will soften up the market so someone (not like you) may be able to squeeze into a home in santa barbara for less than what they would have if this bill was not passed. You need to see a counselor if you are still aching from an election that happened over a year ago and you think your are being edgy by blaming a guy that is about to make California's, NY and NJ's housing market soften up some cities more than others. And for me his choices are actually effecting me as I will be paying more taxes and potentially watching my investment soften up. Keep complaining.

SBPaul Nov 30, 2017 01:36 PM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

Even better, people that use "family lawyers" to solve million dollar disputes. Good deal, hope they serve you well. My neighbor did the same thing once. He lost his home.

SBPaul Nov 30, 2017 12:48 PM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

Hope your kids are happy to see their inheritance will be spent on Lawyers fees. LOL. My favorite, people who quickly you get attorneys. You employ a group of crooks to facilitate your emotional whims with no legal standing. Very smart. Oh wait you don't have kids I am sorry I made another assumption.

GeneralTree Nov 30, 2017 11:38 AM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

SBPaul sounds a little butt hurt. Guess I touched a nerve in your cranium. I'm worried about your literacy - please provide quotes of where I attributed anything correlating between the White House and the I own 3 properties here, I don't have a mortgage, they were payed off years ago - so try again. I receive an egregious amount of royalties each month and could really care what little trinkets you shop-owners peddle to the tourists. I guess if you're ok with racism and sexism then you are ok with Trump. Good for you sonny, now move along.

unyklife Nov 30, 2017 09:23 AM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

The sad fact of the matter is that Mr. Solomon is correct. "General Tree" should take an economics class to understand the laws of supply and demand. We cannot all afford to live where we would like and that is simply an unfortunate fact of life. Do you really want Santa Barbara to become like Los Angeles or do you want to protect the beauty we came here to enjoy?

GeneralTree Nov 30, 2017 11:39 AM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

"Do you really want Santa Barbara to become like Los Angeles or do you want to protect the beauty we came here to enjoy?" What an elitist and cosmopolitan thing to say.

195930 Nov 30, 2017 09:12 AM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

Kind of have to agree w Ernie. By the way, my local 19 year old was ousted from his summer job because the business was already over staffed w out of state SBCC students (last one hired first one fired in his case, those that kept their jobs were SBCC students from New Jersey, Alabama, and North Carolina) Those local little summer jobs or part time student employment positions are getting sucked up by out of area students. I don't fault UCSB growth as much as it is planned over long range and provides student housing. The SBCC explosion w no housing has impacted all areas from IV to Goleta. And there is no cap. No acceptance criteria. There needs to be some kind of limit at least in one area be it out of state or foreign. We are landlords that rent to three working families (husband self employed contractor who worked his but off when he was younger to buy a few properties w major foundation issues he could fix. We are both self employed w no pension, these rents are our pension. My husband today is a very old 58 year old w a broken body) We prefer consistent long term renters over high turnover, money making, group situations. Unfortunately not the norm and probably disappearing all together.

gordon4u Nov 30, 2017 08:30 AM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

this issue over greed with landlords isn't always the case. I have a rental property and subsidize hundreds of dollars a month as the rent can't cover the mortgage and taxes on the property. It's not greed it's supply and demand economics.

a-1524707573 Dec 03, 2017 07:05 PM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

"It's not greed it's supply and demand economics." The so-called "law" of supply and demand is an observation about human behavior. i.e., your terms are two different ways of saying the same thing.

a-1524707573 Nov 30, 2017 03:48 PM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

If you can't afford your mortgage and taxes then sell. Why do you expect renters to pay off your property for you?

mp805 Nov 29, 2017 04:06 PM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

The traffic is only going to increase on upper state and its unbearable now. Are they still planning to knock down the galleria on the corner of state and LaCumbre next to the Marc to add the mixed-use project with 85 units of rental housing and 11,000 square feet of commercial space?

Resident Nov 29, 2017 03:27 PM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

Ernie, You are correct about supply vs. demand - the south coast will always have more demand than can ever be met due to our geographic constraints and our self-imposed height-of-buildings constraint. And that tension will always drive up the cost of the item in short supply. But consider two points. 1. The mayors, supervisors and councils can not legally prohibit foreign and out of state students at SBCC, UCSB, Kaplan, EF and the other language schools as you suggest. SBCC and UCSB could but have no interest in doing so as those students pay a lot more to attend. 2. Is it possible that long-time residents on the south coast will move up to new places like the Mark freeing up their current rentals for other renters to move up and so on down the chain of rental properties. At least this AUD program has finally gotten new rentals in the pipeline after decades with no new rentals and many existing rentals being turned into condominiums.

CivilEngineer Nov 30, 2017 10:57 AM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

Seems like the City could put pressure on Sacramento to address the quality of life issues associated with SBCC. The stat that interested me most is if you build 100 units of housing, they require an additional 25 units of affordable housing for the service people to support the people living in the new units. That is an unsustainable system.

a-1524707573 Nov 30, 2017 09:28 AM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

You are correct! Local elected officials have no legal right to ban foreign and out of state students from SBCC or UCSB. But..I have said this before: They are mostly Democrats and the State is a one-party state at present. I have suggested that they go to Sacramento and talk to top Democrats, including Brown and tell them to curtail the influx of outside students, especially to SBCC. The SBCC Board of Trustees CAN BAN outsiders, but they want the money that they bring! It is doable!

420722 Nov 29, 2017 08:41 PM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

It’s not likely that long time residents will move to the Marc..every long time local I know (which is most of them) can’t stand the Marc and it’s 3,000 dollar a month 1 bedroom. It’s not even nice, looks like a fancy jail. What about the La Estancia..is that projected to be the same amount for a little box? Nice article Ernie, sadly no amount of complaining will do us any good it’s already here we are an LA annex.

GeneralTree Nov 29, 2017 02:30 PM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

This same cynical and deplorable hatred of others is trickling down straight from the garbage in the White House. Bourgeois: A person whose political, economic, and social opinions are believed to be determined mainly by concern for property values and conventional respectability.dominated or characterized by materialistic pursuits or concerns. "Thousands of foreign and out of state students at SBCC who have no legal right to be there and even UCSB have robbed local workers of the ability to live here by forcing their evictions. " I have lived here for 30 years. Employment has always been at the ready. I have never competed with a student or a foreign worker. Sounds like fear mongering spread by 45. "It has absolutely nothing to do with race or ethnic origin" So please tell me the percentage of blacks in positions paying over $60,000 per year on the central coast. "The demand is great to live here and the supply of housing cannot keep up and never will. This will continue to force rents up." Bologna - it's actually the greed of the property owner.

GeneralTree Nov 30, 2017 11:49 AM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

And guess what Einstein - local students do the same to the housing market and always have. How do the foreign students affect the greedy State Street property owners who would rather keep shops empty than lower the price so a business could actually succeed there. You're living under the booted foot of the lifeguard state.

mattyboy Nov 29, 2017 05:02 PM
Santa Barbara's Affordable Housing Scam

Great job turning this into something about Trump. Really, A+, bang up job. Unfortunately, the OP's comments are not as xenophobic as you think. Foreign and out of state students do indeed drive evictions and high rent, because, surprise, they are willing/able to pay outrageous prices per room/bed to be here temporarily, rates that locals cannot sustain, especially families with children who cannot afford to pay $800-1200/person for a rental. e.g. 4 college students can easily pay $500-800/mo each for a 2 bedroom ($2000-3200) total and the landlords gobble it up. How do you suppose a traditional family can afford $2000-3200/mo rent? I'll tell you: they can't. Don't tell me paying half your gross income in rent is "affordable".

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