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Guest opinion: We must work together to solve county's housing crisis

Original post made on Dec 12, 2016

Most residents of San Mateo County who are not policymakers see only a part of the impact of the housing crisis. As a county supervisor, I hear about all of the challenges.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, December 12, 2016, 7:12 PM

Comments (7)

2 people like this
Posted by C W
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Dec 12, 2016 at 11:29 pm

So how do we become involved? How do we, for example, advocate for means-tested permits so that the 'poorer' members of the community (those earning less than $108,888 per annum) do not have to pay to have their properties (rental or owned) brought up to code? How do we ensure that a tragedy like the Oakland Ghostship Fire does not happen again? People should not be forced to live in sub-standard accommodation because that is all they can afford. The cost of permits should not be prohibitive to anyone's ability to afford repairs and safe housing. If someone wants to build affordable housing, can't permit fees be waived so that their generosity is not 'taxed'? Where do we start?

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Posted by Sprawl Redux
a resident of another community
on Dec 13, 2016 at 6:11 am

Exploitation of a crisis to justify supporting marginal to bad projects is what you are reading. The Grand Boulevard concept for El Camino Real is way behind but that's not what he and Slocum will be pushing. More prawl is coming your way.

6 people like this
Posted by Utter Nonsense
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Dec 13, 2016 at 12:50 pm

This is absurd. Start to finish. "Welcoming jobs" means cities approved office buildings for investors who make huge returns. Office buildings attract businesses who hire office workers who live outside the county and drive through our neighborhoods to reach their jobs.
There is no "participation or working together" that residents who live in San Mateo County can take part in that will solve the housing shortage or the skyrocketing prices of rent and houses to buy.
People like this supervisor are selling apple pie laced with rat poison. Every city in San Mateo County has t stop approval of office developments and look for housing developers, especially partnerships with affordable housing non-profits. City governments and that includes the pro development Menlo Park Council have created the mess we are now in. Our Council has put office developers before the residents in favor of businesses like Facebook and the other office developers that come before the Council.
No one should buy Horsley's happy talk. The only responsible people who can solve this problem are the Council members we elected. Start with the most recently elected, Ray Mueller and Cat Carlton. They are as guilty as the other three.

4 people like this
Posted by Jack Hickey
a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Dec 13, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Jack Hickey is a registered user.

Horsley said: "There is no single action that will solve this problem, but one thing we have to do is build more housing – at all levels of affordability, in all communities in the county."

"We" don't HAVE to build anything. Government needs to get out of the way and let the private sector fill in the gaps. Government regulations have created gaps in the levels of affordable living space. That space should include a continuum, from hobos camping out to mega-mansions. See: Web Link

He also said: "You might have a child in a school that is struggling to hire and retain qualified teachers." Many of us are "qualified" to teach. The government schooling monopoly has established an onerous, and unneccessary "credentialing" process which discourages many would-be teachers from entering the field. Fortunately, that credentialing is not required for alternative education venues.
Government should be enabling real choice in education, and eliminate the compulsory attendance laws which are repugnant to a free society. Then we might see a healthy continuum of education alternatives.

Government needs to reign-in the exorbitant public employee pension plans (CalPERS & CalSTRS) which are bankrupting our country.

"That government is best which governs least" - Thoreau

3 people like this
Posted by Stop the Trolls
a resident of another community
on Dec 13, 2016 at 4:57 pm

Yet more of the same from Jack Hickey.

Someone should remind [him] that the system he so desperately wants was summarized by none other than Thomas Hobbes in "The Leviathan," to wit that the state of man in nature (i.e., without government) leads to a situation where one's life is solitary, nasty, brutish, poor, and short.

Quite frankly, not many of us would want that kind of life.

2 people like this
Posted by Joan
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 16, 2016 at 3:02 pm

If we want more affordable housing we need to encourage second units. The permit costs are so high that people cannot afford to build them legally. There are five illegal units within spitting distance in my neighborhood. When the owners looked into upgrading their units, the costs were so high that not one owner stepped forward. Most of these owners are elderly and do not have the financial resources required.

2 people like this
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 16, 2016 at 3:13 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The only way to increase low income housing is to build more
and the only way to build affordable low income housing is to increase density
and the only way to increase density is to allow much taller buildings.

We cannot have things stay the way that they are and also achieve important social objectives.

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