Housing & Homelessness (News)

For New Life, Blacks in City Head to South

Submitted by News Desk on Thu, 08/04/2011 - 2:44pm
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In Deborah Brown’s family lore, the American South was a place of whites-only water fountains and lynchings under cover of darkness. It was a place black people like her mother had fled.

But for Ms. Brown, 59, a retired civil servant from Queens, the South now promises salvation.

Three generations of her family — 10 people in all — are moving to Atlanta from New York, seeking to start fresh economically and, in some sense, to reconnect with a bittersweet past. They include Ms. Brown, her 82-year-old mother and her 26-year-old son, who has already landed a job and settled there.

City Finally Approves Affordable Housing Blueprint

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 07/29/2011 - 11:28am

After a year of meetings, meetings and more meetings, city officials have finally come up with an affordable housing blueprint that, fingers crossed, will satisfy state rules about providing homes for low-income families.

The City Council unanimously approved a plan Tuesday night that will yield 2,000 affordable units throughout Pleasanton, hopefully putting an end to a legal battle and scoldings from the state.

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$2.5 million loan to affordable housing developer places low-income renters into debt

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 03/30/2011 - 3:33pm
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Oakland -- During the past 14 months, low-income residents at an East Oakland residential building were served 2 different notices listing a number of major renovations that were scheduled to be done in their building, that never materialized.

Since the 2 notices of renovations were served to the residents in the last 14 months, the low-income renters have not received a followup notice from the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), indicating why the renovations have not taken place as scheduled.

In another development regarding the situation, according to the City of Oakland, to date the necessary required permits have not been obtained by the non profit developer for any of the work that was scheduled to be done in the 21 unit building at 829 E. 19th St.

Pleasanton seeks public's input on rezoning for affordable housing

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 03/09/2011 - 2:57pm
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PLEASANTON -- Pleasanton officials want residents to help plan for nearly 2,000 new homes in town, with 80 percent or more for either low- or very low income households.

As part of a court settlement with Urban Habitat -- an organization that won a suit challenging the city's voter-approved housing cap limiting the number of homes here to 29,000 -- the city agreed to provide a housing plan update to the state by August. The update includes plans to accommodate 1,992 new units, of which 1,661 must be income-restricted.

In Alameda and Contra Costa counties, low-income housing is designated for families with a maximum annual income of a $72,240 for a family of four; families making up to $45,150 qualify as very low income.

If the city fails to meet is Aug. 16 deadline, it could face additional sanctions from the court, including loss of its power to issue building permits and to zone property.

The city established a housing element update task force in October. Over the past four months, it has developed a citywide list of 17 potential sites, with a combined 108 acres of land that could accommodate at least 30 housing units per acre. The city estimates it would have to rezone 70 acres to meet its requirement.

Council OKs high-density housing project for Hacienda Meets court-ordered deadline to boost affordable units here

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 02/25/2011 - 4:06pm


The Pleasanton City Council Tuesday approved land use changes in Hacienda Business Park that will allow for construction of a high-density, 840-unit housing project with half the units to serve those with low-to moderate incomes.

The complex of two and three story buildings will be constructed on 32 acres of still-vacant land owned by W.P. Carey, Roche and BRE. The three sites are located along Hacienda, Gibraltar and Owens drives close to the Pleasanton BART station with nearby access to I-580.

The council's rezoning of the properties came in response to a ruling by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch last August in favor of suits brought by Urban Habitat and then state Attorney General Jerry Brown. Roesch declared the city's 29,000unit housing cap approved by voters in 1996 in violation of state mandates for affordable and market rate housing requirements imposed by the Bay area Association of Governments. In addition to scuttling the cap, he ordered Pleasanton to come up with a plan to meet its current housing numbers requirements by March 1, and to add another 1,400 units by2014.

Something For Nothing: The Selling Off Of Public Housing

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 02/23/2011 - 12:35pm
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Public               Housing Capital FundHUD has administered the planned obsolescence of public housing for well over 15 years. According to HUD, 150,000 units have been lost to demolition and disposition, although the number of lost units is probably closer to 280,000 if taken from the Millennial Housing Report and Ways and Means Committee’s Green Book. There are also an estimated $20-30 billion in maintenance backlogs. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan argues that things have gotten so bad that we must open up public housing to private capital or “lose these irreplaceable resources forever.” (Click here to read this article on the Huffington Post.)

The pivotal decisions by Congress to cut annual appropriations for the Public Housing Capital Fund and to lift one-for-one replacement for any public housing unit lost to demolition or disposition were neither necessary nor inevitable. They were politically, not economically, determined. Other choices could have been made. For instance, George Romney, HUD Secretary under President Nixon, suggested that, if necessary, money for public housing should come from reforms to Mortgage Interest Deductions, a reasonable alternative considering 75 percent of this expenditure benefits homeowners earning more than $100,000 a year.

Council Sends Old Stanley Development Proposal Back to Planning Commission

Submitted by News Desk on Thu, 12/16/2010 - 12:17pm
With dozens of residents speaking out on Dec. 7 against a project to build 14 homes on Old Stanley Boulevard, the City Council unanimously voted to kick back the proposal to the Planning Commission for further discussion and possible changes.

The project first came to the Planning Commission in May 2008 and was approved 4-1 in September.  

Many residents opposed the proposal because of concerns about parking, traffic, density and historical preservation.

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