Novato CA – Real numbers needed on housing and local crime rates

[This falls into the saying ” Figures don’t lie but liers can figure” — crime is a function of number of people, not housing types — and given that multifamily is denser than single family, there will be more crime per acre (but probably less per person) – also this is just more fear-mongering – mention gangs and you get a visceral reaction — but if we don’t provide opportunities for young minority kids outside high crime, poor school, high unemployment, etc. areas, how do we ever solve the problem? one final comment – where is the “liberal” press in responding to these types of comments – not wanting to lose readership, they remain silent]

NOVATO AND San Rafael are witnessing intense debates over high-density affordable housing, increased crime and related quality of life issues. These topics are front and center in the November elections for city councils in both cities and for mayor of San Rafael.

The discussion is hobbled by the lack of reliable data to determine if the concerns are valid or imagined.

Clearly, many Novatans are concerned by increased crime. City leaders admit crime is up but suggest that compared to Sonoma County, Novato’s rise is mild. There’s no consensus where the crime is occurring, the nature of the perpetrators or its relationship to existing concentrations of low-income housing.

There is no doubt that San Rafael is seeing increased gang-related violence, much of it emanating from the Canal neighborhood. It too tends to be downplayed by senior staff.

Those critical of the Association of Bay Area Governments’ role in enforcing state mandates for additional high-density low-income housing contend that such projects are magnets for crime. ABAG’s response implies that such fears are groundless and, in any event, essentially racist.

Often unmentioned but universally understood is that what’s being discussed are Hispanic gangs.

Read more at The Marin Independent Journal

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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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