B-17 will put affordable housing at risk

August 2, 2017

Mayor Heidi Harmon

OPINION by HEIDI HARMON

Please vote NO on this misleading ballot measure. It is unnecessary, ill advised, harmful to every affordable housing program in our city, and could trap the community in costly lawsuits.

The first section of this ordinance attempts to repeal the Rental Housing Inspection Program. It has already been repealed by the council on a 5-0 vote. The city’s residents were very clear in communicating their overwhelming lack of support for this program, and it is not coming back.

The second section sounds harmless. The label of “non-discrimination” is compelling, and sounds easy to support. But it is a trap, because it includes legally unrecognized and legally unclear categories like “income,” “owner or renter,” and “ability to own a home.” These create legal loopholes.

There are lawyers who would take advantage of these loopholes and sue the city over its housing programs. Countless taxpayer dollars would be lost on litigation defending our affordable housing regulations.

These laws help provide housing for workers, seniors, students, low-income residents, veterans, and those struggling to afford housing in San Luis Obispo. For example, under this ordinance even laws that stabilize rent for mobile home parks could be argued as “discrimination” in favor of renters.

This ordinance would dismantle any hope of affordable housing programs in SLO. This may not have been the intent, but it will most certainly be the result.

The writers of this ordinance will argue that it “locks’ into place the end of the Rental Housing Inspection Program. But the program is already dead and gone, we already have anti-discrimination protections, and this ordinance could instead kill off all the city’s housing programs.

If you think San Luis Obispo is expensive now, wait until these programs are taken away. Don’t risk letting this happen.

Please vote NO on Measure B-17.


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Jon Tatro

The Mayor is lying and she knows it. How sad that you ran as an outsider but here you are just another political hypocrite lying to the people for your own personal gain. You Heidi are why the people have no faith in their elected representatives.


Pete

Right on Jon. As a former supporter of our “new boss same as the old boss” I am very disappointed in her stance on almost everything. Bernie would be horrified.


I wonder if we will ever get a council that represents the citizens here, this one is no better than the last one, bunch of bums.


mtasseff

Heidi has learned that there is the fantasy land that you live in before your elected and the real world once you won the job. No matter where this leads her she will have a greater understanding and respect for those who dare to follow her into a thankless job.


mtasseff

If you are going to call someone a liar I think you need to provide proof otherwise you have no creditability.


George Bailey

I DO NOT trust San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon even a little bit, and one only needs to read her persuasive rant to understand she had to have failed basic logic in college. OF COURSE, voters should vote YES on Measure B-17, and Mayor Harmon and City Attorney Katie Lichtig have already lost whatever credibility they previously had over this issue.


I say let’s reject the failed leadership of the SLO Progressives, reject Big Government attempts to barge into our lives, and say NO to more government confiscation of our rights and tax dollars.


This group needs to be taught a lesson, and I hope voters send them the correct message.


Vote YES on Measure B-17


George Bailey


mtasseff

“voters should vote YES on Measure B-17, and Mayor Harmon and City Attorney Katie Lichtig,” George you failed Katie is the city manager!


obispan

Short piece absent any explanation of how these “legal issues” would occur. Fact: The City repealed the inspection problem unwillingly and under pressure. Fact: The City wants a new inspection program at all costs, for the same reasons, with the staff remaining in place since the repeal. Again, note the exemption of 3 or more unit complexes “because they are inspected by the state”. They aren’t, there are no state inspectors for this purpose. Bigger landlords are trying to squeeze the competition and eliminating the chance that tenants might find a deal for an older house near downtown. ALL tenants have very robust rights under state law and state regulations adopted by the City. If a tenant makes you aware of a substandard condition and you don’t address it good luck in court!


mtasseff

There are state inspectors they do all the Section 8 housing/affordable housing inspections.


The council has no intention of creating a new rental inspection program and all three of the rental inspection staff have been moved into other vacant positions.


The legal issues were explained clearly by the city attorney and staff during the presentation to the city council. This information can be located on the city’s website under the past agendas. This measure could subject the city to lawsuits if someone who did not meet the income requirements of many of the city’s affordable housing programs felt they were being discriminated against because they made too much money.


Rambunctious

Bill or no bill…ballot measure or no ballot measure Rental Housing Inspection Program or no Rental Housing Inspection Program. There will never be an affordable home or APT in San Luis Obispo CA…..ever. Can we get real now?


obispan

You are correct, no affordable housing except that which is subsidized. But the mantra works well for the City and the developers who do not want to pay for traffic and other impacts, “this isn’t helping affordable housing”. Meanwhile, you could waive all fees, as the bought and paid for city council would love to do for Gary Grossman, give him the land for free (partial stolen from Ernie Dalidio by way of the City anyway), pay for all construction costs, and the houses would sell for the same market price down to the penny. Grossman has structured the deal so that he will pay nothing towars the Prado interchange or provide affordable housing until the high profit phase is completed with the option to opt out of the phases that trigger these requirements. Probably drafted by Christine Dietrich on City time. The City of SLO exists only to serve itself and those financially and socially connected to it’s paid for officials and staff.


mtasseff

“Grossman has structured the deal so that he will pay nothing towards the Prado interchange” This is absolutely not true. If you are unhappy with how the city is run then why not stop being a cowardly blogger and do something about it!


taxpayer

Question: Does the Mayor of San Luis Obispo own or rent the place where she lives?


Murse

I’m told she lives with her boyfriend. It’s his house.


taxpayer

That must be what she means by “affordable housing”.


mtasseff

She has a job and pays taxes just like you.


mtasseff

Why is this relevant? FYI they live in their house.


mtasseff

She lives in with her husband in their house.


kayaknut

How can you tell when a politician is lying and trying to steal taxpayers money? They are talking and telling you something isn’t needed. Beware, point proven here.


mtasseff

She is not stealing anyone’s money Stew Jenkins and Kevin Rice are costing the taxpayers money.


c.d.cox

B.S.


rockhound1965

Face it, NOT everyone gets to live next to the coast. That land is at a premium.


So, when this city cannot find qualified employees to live or work here, well…one of 2 things are going to happen: 1) there will be a gap, and people will have to start paying their employees more. Like Hawaii does. Or 2) more people are going to squat, like in vehicles, or shove more individuals into current housing illegally.


So….people in SLO Co. can clearly live without cashiers, mechanics, daycare workers, assistants, secretaries….you know, all those jobs that require little to no education.


Right.


obispan

Yes, the City can find qualified employees just like the private sector does in exchange for “sunbucks”. Many years ago a contractor friend went back to school for a lucrative degree in MIS (Management Information Systems), a nascent field at the time with big bucks salaries. He lived in Goleta and his wife was an engineer with Hughes so relocation was not on the table. He interviewed and was offered jobs by local companies at one-half the pay of unsolicited job offers in Salt Lake City and other reasonably desirable areas with housing costs one quarter of that in the SB area. He pointed this out. The answer was “we know what we need to pay to get the people we want”. He took the job, 35K/yr instead of 70. This was in the 80’s, their house is now paid off. The same couple could not do this today. Nobody is entitled to live in an affordable San Luis Obispo any more than I can just show up in Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, or Pismo Beach and demand “affordable workforce housing”. But the developers are successfully peddling this crap with full support and assistance of SLO City staff to evade fees for water and impacts that are shifted to existing residents to maximize profit. It is time to declare San Luis Obispo as “built-out”, done. Even Shandon is $250,000 for a modest house. You can buy a duplex fixer-upper in Bakersfield or a really nice house in rural Midwestern town for <$100K.


Rich in MB

The SLO City affordable housing scam NEEDS to be challenged, sued and lose in Court.

It’s time for the Charade of Affordable Housing to be exposed once and for all as nothing but an income redistribution scheme where Big Failed Government gets to steal from Peter to give to Paul.


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