Make affordable housing open to all

Agoura Hills, CA — What’s the definition of affordable housing, anyway?

A joint plan by the city and the school district to build affordable homes near the Agoura High School baseball field seems to be getting more jeers than cheers.

Clearly, the Agoura Hills Redevelopment Agency—which is partnering in the affordable housing deal with the Las Virgenes Unified School District—has a legal mandate to build the homes.

The city can use the vacant site between the high school and Old Agoura to satisfy its affordable housing requirement—while also giving $1 million in rent to the school district, with most of the money paid up front. It appears to be a win-win situation that will help both city and schools. But so far, residents from several homeowner associations, including Old Agoura, are opposing the 16-unit townhome project at the northeast corner of the high school. Although the project’s tight fit and a lack of overall parking at the school are legitimate concerns, they are problems that can be mitigated. The Acorn is more concerned about too many taxpayer dollars benefitting public employees.

“This plan was very sugar-coated in the way it was presented,” said one blogger on the Town and Country Homeowners Association website.

The Acorn likes the project from one standpoint: The city and the school district will benefit financially and jobs will be created. But we oppose the perpetuation of the myth that public-sector workers need the homes more than other working-class people, such as lower-rung retail employees and service providers, who make far less income and have little or no health and retirement benefits.

Read remainder of the story at The Acorn

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About Bob Voelker

Head of the Munsch Hardt (Dallas law firm) Hospitality & Mixed Use Development Group, and former developer of affordable housing. I'm i
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