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Council fails in quest for affordable housing

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POSTED April 15, 2009 4:45 a.m.
Editor, Manteca Bulletin,

It is right to say the council is not making much of an effort to make homes affordable. Apartments for seniors are welcome, but affordable homes are still out of reach for many families in Manteca. I am a senior and I welcome affordable housing for seniors. It’s the lack of affordability of homes for all the people, that bothers most people. Hundreds of new homes are in the planning stage, but will have additional costs attached to each one.

This council talks about affordable housing, while constant assessments are levied on new homes by the council. Bonus bucks the developers give the city are assessed to new homes. An annuity fund is assessed new home buyers to pay the salaries of two police officers. This should be rescinded, for the 1/2 cent sales tax was passed for the police after this annuity was established. Why should this be continued to drive the cost of homes up? The city has levied assessments on new homes in excess of $20,000. Now they want to add to the cost of new homes by transferring park maintenance costs to new home buyers. The developers get discount land from the city to develop so-called blighted areas. Then they charge home buyers the market price for the land. This drives the cost up for homes.

The city has a requirement  in place for a park in every development. The cost of maintaining these parks is expensive. To cut costs, they want to unload the parks on future home buyers. It is ironic that the council insists on these parks to be installed by developers, for residents to pay for. The city needs to rescind this law and halt the requirement. The fact is, if they do this to new home owners, they will try to do the same to existing developments. It is my belief that home buyers would rather have cheaper homes than to pay out money for parks imposed on them by the city. Affordable homes cannot be achieved by conveying park costs to home buyers. I think this is an issue that should be put to the voters to decide.

This council is on a tax mission to hurt fixed-and low-income people. With all the fees assessed on the public, you have to wonder how people will pay for food and personal needs, when they run out of money. People should start protesting now, before they are taxed out of their livable incomes. When you run out of money, you go on the welfare rolls and subsidized housing.

Fleener Richards,
Manteca Ca.
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