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 It has already been repealed by the council on a 5-0 vote.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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Pelican1

Spin it any which way, and “affordable housing” in SLO is an oxymoron. A NO vote on B-17 will merely bolster your vision of a sanctuary city and speed up the process of becoming a Santa Maria north.


mtasseff

Wow! Now that’s discriminatory!


smile4thecamera

What’s wrong with Santa Maria?


mtasseff

Nothing is wrong with Santa Maria. People are hardworking, rarely discriminatory (probably because they know what it’s like to be treated badly), they don’t kick their friends and family out on the street like trash and # 1 they are not cowards. If they have something to say they will say it to your face.


Jorge Estrada

The private business sector already can’t afford the expense of a City employee then why not include housing in the same discussion? If affordability is important for the long term, then so is the cost of Cityhood. Yes, affordability is endangered unless there is tremendous growth. SLO Angeles will be here for us to see, it won’t take generations.


sweethome

Simple for me, Jimmy. I trust Stew Jenkins.


jimmy_me

How can you trust someone that uses the phrase “unite for democracy” in their piece? Totally meaningless. Give me facts, not hype and drivel.


Kevin Rice

Good grief, Jimmy1 Stew wrote 1,000+ words of “facts, not hype” and you only get as far as the third word in the article title?


Read Stew’s entire article, sir.


mtasseff

Sorry, Kevin, I have no respect for a man who has already stabbed his own community in the back in the past.


SLOBIRD

I have only one comment: When a Progressive Liberal reaches out to CCN to post an article for her cause, desperation is at an all time high! I too, reread Mr. Jenkin’s article and I believe Mr. Jenkin’s facts before I would believe the Gay Flag burning Mayor and her administration.


The Rental Inspection Resolution was Jan Marx’s failing and Barbara Harmon’s win for her Mayoral seat. Under the leadership of Katie Lichtig and Christine Dietrick, the Mayor has made it worst and for what, more money for the coffers!


MEASURE B-17 VOTE YES


taxpayer

One more time: The Mayor of SLO’s name is Heidi Harmon and not Barbara Harmon.


SLOBIRD

So sorry to have offended you, will do my best to not make this error again! Jeez, people do no mistakes and I am sorry also that I am not a professional writer but just a concerned citizen making a statement. I do appreciate your concern for Heidi’s name as we would not want anyone to take credit for her and Katie’s governance!


mtasseff

FYI


1) The mayor is Heidi Harmon

2) The city manager is Katie Lichtig

3) The city attorney is Christine Dietrick


copperhead

A big government politician arguing that government programs make things more affordable. Good god what a joke.


r0y

So let me get this straight: do not vote for this, as the anti-discrimination language in the measure opens the city up to lawsuits (potentially) *YET* the city already HAS anti-discrimination laws…


So basically, “our words are better than your words” at describing (enacting) the same thing? If B17’s anti-discrimination is so potentially damaging, how is the city’s already existing anti-discrimination laws not? What are the key differences?


Kevin Rice

SIMPLE: Measure B-17 adds anti-discrimination based on “status as a renter”.


That simply means the City cannot impose a new program (Rental Inspection 2.0) which targets victims based on their housing status.


YES on Measure B-17 means the City cannot target you because you rent. B-17 means renters are no longer second-class citizens.


mtasseff

Renters already have protections. It’s called the California Tenants: A Guide to Residential Tenants’ and Landlords ‘ Rights and Responsibilities. It’s’ put out by the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs. It is no longer in print (due to cost) but it is posted on the city’s website. In fact, tenants have more rights than landlords. I know I do this for a living.


mtasseff

The city follows federal anti-discrimination laws Mr. Jenkins does not need to create his own.


jimmy_me

I’ve read both this article and the one by Stew Jenkins. I must be stupid; I can’t figure out what the truth is. When money is involved, liars come out of the wood work.


mtasseff

The only money involved is the money being removed by the supporters of this measure from the city budget.


sweethome

And by the way, WHAT affordable housing in this city?


mtasseff

There are several affordable housing units in the city of SLO. Many of them built by HASLO and People’s Self Help Housing.


sweethome

Speaking of government policy (your policy about not directly enforcing illegal aliens status), are the police going to continue to harass citizens and violating their rights as to whether they are homeless or not? I would love to hear your response Heidi Harmon.

So do illegal alien have more rights than a law abiding citizen who simply cannot afford housing? I’m on disability (permanently disabled). I’m really curious about your priorities. And are you going to do anything about the corruption in the San Luis Obispo Police Department? And oh yes, I voted for you.

James Sutton