Commentary: Why Are Bed Rentals So Offensive to Some in this Community?

This weekend, I got a text message from a longtime friend, and he said that he didn’t like these bed rentals.  I never got an answer as to why.

As Eileen Samitz put it recently, “Lincoln40 is a mega-dorm with predominately (71%) 4- and 5-bedroom apartment suites, with a bathroom per bedroom and door lock per bedroom in enormous apartment ‘suites’ roughly 1,500 -1,700 sq. ft.. These are designed specifically for students and are a rent by the bed format charging a flat rent per month.”

She added, “Furthermore, these mega-dorm bedrooms are not affordable for students. The average cost at Lincoln40 for the market rate bed is $1,000 per month!”

However, the Bay Area economic report commissioned by UC Davis found that the average bed in Davis rented for $875 and $900 per bed.  Lincoln40 is only slightly higher than that and, when you factor in that the apartment complex includes the cost of water, electricity, garbage, sewer, cable and internet, the students are basically paying a flat rate for everything except for food.

A tripled-up room at UC Davis costs $950 per month and that doesn’t include the meal plan.  Our analysis based on data from UC Davis and the UC system last month found that the cost of housing off
campus is roughly 60 percent lower than the cost of housing on campus.

But I want to focus here on the arguments against bed leases – of which I have not seen any.  The opposition here puzzles me.

In my contacts with students, from what I have seen most prefer the rent-by-bed solution.  Why?  For one thing, it allows each renter to be responsible for their own lease.  For another, if there is a problem, the renter can leave more easily.

ASUCD Senator Alisha Hacker made several important points in her weekend op-ed in the local paper.

She points out: “Lincoln40 intends to rent by the bed. Some have raised the issue that this is more expensive to rent by the bed, but those arguments fall short of the entire picture.”

She writes, “By-the-bed rents generally include all amenities — even amenities like WiFi and study space. There is no squabbling with roommates over who pays for water and who pays for internet. It’s all built in and one transaction at the end of each month covers all of our living expenses except for food. Additionally, units in by-the-bed leased apartment complexes are also generally furnished. When you take all of this into consideration, a lot of value is embedded into by-the-bed rent.”

If you think about rent – let’s say it’s an average of $875 a month.  But then in some places you would have to pay for electricity, for cable, for internet, and most apartments don’t have individual meters for water (note that an argument against mega-dorms is water conservation, but apartments don’t have individual water meters whether they are mega-dorms or not).  That could be another $100, maybe more, when you factor in all the added cost.

Then you have furnishing, and that’s additional one-time costs that students don’t have to worry about.

This is a key point that I think Ms. Samitz and others are missing on costs.  Rent may be slightly above the average for Davis, but you have to look at what that rent pays for.

Ms. Hacker also makes the key point on liability.  She writes: “In addition to being inclusive of amenities, by-the-bed rent lessens a tenant’s liability. If a roommate is late paying rent, or bails altogether, no one else is penalized. Additionally, roommates don’t have to fight over which one of them or whose parent takes the responsibility of being a cosigner.”

Ms. Hacker also points out that “the location of Lincoln40 is optimal for students and young professionals. We do not want the added expense of a car if we can avoid it. With less than a three-quarter-mile walk to the UC Davis campus or downtown, and close proximity to transit and Amtrak, we could not ask for a better location.”

That means that students can avoid the costs all together of operating a vehicle.  They don’t have to pay for gas.  They don’t have to pay potentially for maintenance.  They don’t have to pay insurance.  That alone could save another $100 or more a month, especially if they have to live out of town and commute.

That is a huge cost savings that the opposition is not factoring in.

We understand the argument put forward that the university must supply more in the way of housing on campus.  The city really doesn’t have the capacity to add 14,000 student beds very easily.  But frankly, the city is going to add 4000 to 5000 without breaking much of a sweat.  The university has promised 8500 beds, and that will go a long way toward solving the crisis.

Yesterday a commenter said, “David is ignoring the obvious solution for students, which is on-campus housing.”

Not at all.  This publication has addressed the issue many times.  The university is planning to build 8500 beds in the next ten years. Adding additional off-campus housing will help alleviate the housing crunch as well as reduce traffic impacts.

At the same time, I will point out that on-campus housing remains a more expensive option than off-campus housing.  We complain about Lincoln40 being $1000 per bed.  Here is a key apples to apples comparison: Lincoln40 is actually $850 for a double room versus $950 for a triple university room.  That is before we get to meal plans.

The university has estimated the costs of living off campus versus on campus.  The cost for living on campus according to their data is $16,136 a year versus $9792 for living off campus.

Remember that data is over a nine-month period.  That comes to nearly $1800 per month on campus.  We can talk about on-campus housing as being ideal all we want, but the reality is that students need capacity and housing, and Lincoln40 and the other proposals provide that at an affordable cost.

—David M. Greenwald reporting



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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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96 thoughts on “Commentary: Why Are Bed Rentals So Offensive to Some in this Community?”

  1. Tia Will

    When thinking about Lincoln40, which I do daily since it will be visible from my front patio, I thought of another student advantage.

    “Time is money”. We have all heard this very trite, but also very true expression. As an aspiring, and later successful professional student I valued money because I lacked it, but valued study time even more. Every task that cost me study time was undesirable. Every savings of time to study was of value. So what are the time savings for renters at Lincoln40: 1. Travel time due to proximity to campus 2. Proximity to downtown. 3. No time needed for car registration, gas purchases, maintenance, insurance arrangements 4. No time needed for furniture selection and transport. 4. No time needed to sign up for and ensure utility payment. 5. No time needed to undue all above if I decided to move.

    All in all, although I dislike the aesthetics of these buildings, this is a place that I would have strongly considered as a preprofessional and professional student. I might have even considered such an arrangement during my internship year, when time remained a much higher priority than money.

  2. Ken A

    Most (but not all) people in Davis that “don’t like these bed rentals” are homeowners and/or rental property owners that don’t want anymore people in Davis and want to keep home values and rents high (more than 90% of the homeowners in Davis don’t care how apartments are rented).

    Most of the people that “don’t like these bed rentals” are smart people and know that saying that they find “college students” and “poor renters” offensive will not work as well as saying that they “don’t like bed rentals” and “want to protect children from toxic air” as they work to stop all new construction in town.

  3. Tia Will

    Ken

    I would really like to see your evidence, not just opinion, to back what I see as an unnecessarily negative and divisive characterization of people who do not share your perspective on this issue.

    David recently cast a very broad negative net by using the word “xenophobic” as the only way he could explain a given perspective on foreign students. When asked for further clarification, he stated that he realized that there were other possible explanations for that viewpoint.

    I simply do not believe that it serves our community well to “trash talk” those who have differing opinions. I find it particularly disturbing when we have a number of projects coming before the council and an election.

    1. Ken A

      First of all I don’t care if they ever build another home or apartment in Davis and I would not care if we had new Vancouver, BC style high rise apartments in downtown Davis, so my “perspective” is not caring (and calling BS on BOTH developers who pretending to “help seniors” and homeowners who are pretending to “protect kids from a toxic soup”).

      The reason Tia is asking me to “provide evidence” for something I’m certain she knows is true is that she knows that she can’t “provide evidence” that is is not true.  If “Most (but not all) people in Davis” speaking against new housing in town were not homeowners it would be easy for Tia to list their names and the name of the landlords they rent from.

      P.S. Most (but not all) Americans will look you in the eye and tell you that they want to keep their home values high and they would like less traffic and I’m wondering if anyone other than Tia thinks that pointing out this fact is “trash talking”…

      P.P.S. If the people fighting to stop Nishi really cared about kids living near freeways it would also be easy for Tia to list their names and the other freeway apartment projects they have been fighting to stop to protect kids from the “toxic air”…

       

      1. David Greenwald

        “If the people fighting to stop Nishi really cared about kids living near freeways it would also be easy for Tia to list their names and the other freeway apartment projects they have been fighting to stop to protect kids from the “toxic air”…”

        This statement is questionable at best.  I also as I wrote below am skeptical of the property value motivation.

      2. Tia Will

        Ken

        she knows that she can’t “provide evidence” that is is not true.” – Oh for heaven’s sake. When someone makes an assertion, the proof is on the positive. A negative can never be “proven”. As a previous poster used to confront me with unicorns, I of course cannot prove they do not exist, cannot even give “evidence” of their lack of existence beyond the truth that I have never seen one.

        So the bottom line is you don’t care to respond. That’s fine, but you sure used a lot of words to get there.

        1. Ken A

          Tia:

          I don’t want to post the names and home address of all the people speaking against new housing since it is already creepy enough that just putting someone’s name in a free site available to anyone will pop up not just homes they own in Davis but property on 24th and 25th streets in another city.

          While you say “I of course cannot prove they do not exist”  can you also say that you “know that none of the people speaking against new housing in Davis are homeowners”.  I’ve been to meetings with you and I know that you are aware that these people are homeowners (I’m also a homeowner so I’m not “trash talking” when I say this).

           

        2. Alan Miller

          it is already creepy enough that just putting someone’s name in a free site available to anyone will pop up not just homes they own in Davis but property on 24th and 25th streets in another city.

          What’s most creepy isn’t the existence of the site, but that you looked up this person’s property holdings on that site.

      3. mkaney

        Ken is absolutely right.  We have the exact same behavior down here in San Luis Obispo.  The NIMBY people are primarily interested in their property values, and they will jump to whatever argument they have to in order to prevent construction.  However their objections are always veiled in some greater concern for the community, for example one of their favorite arguments is traffic impact, another is water.  Often you will find the same people objecting to every single project, whether or not it will even effect them directly (aside from home value due to limited stock), and they will use a different grab-bag argument every time.  No matter how well the issue is addressed, they will reach back into the grab-bag and find another one.  This tactic works because it frustrates the approval process significantly.

        It’s pretty hard to provide direct evidence that people are lying.  But having seen this over and over again, despite being someone who believes in objectivity and the need for evidence, sometimes it’s just worth calling people out for their dishonesty because spending the time to gather evidence of their lying can backfire very quickly.

         

    2. Jeff M

      “I simply do not believe that it serves our community well to “trash talk” those who have differing opinions.”

      I view this much differently.   I view it as simply calling people out on their poor behavior and wrong-headed views.  If I think someone spouts nonsense and falsehoods I believe that they should be called out on it and not be propped up as a respectable voice… especially considering what is at stake.

      For example, you just called Ken a “trash talker” because he has an opinion that you believe to be either nonsense or falsehoods and you want him called out on it.

      1. David Greenwald

        I agree with Tia that generally speaking we can attack arguments rather than people or their motivations which generally are multi-faceted and perhaps hidden.

        1. Mark West

          “we can attack arguments rather than people or their motivations…”

          Intuiting a speaker’s or writer’s (oftentimes) hidden motivation is a normal part of a conversation and something everyone does all the time in order to help determine the validity of the arguments. It is just as reasonable to comment on one’s impressions of the underlying motivation as it is the arguments themselves as both are simply the opinion of the commenter and as such, are open to rebuttal. It is then up to the reader to determine if the comment or the rebuttal sounds more authentic.

          Commenting on someone’s argument, or your impressions of their motivations is not a personal attack.
           

        2. Richard McCann

          David, I disagree. We should know a person’s perspectives and biases when they express their opinions. Their views do not exist in a vacuum. After being involved in public policy issues for three decades I know that motivation is much of the story–I’ve rarely seen anyone speak against their known interests in a public or semi-public setting. If we saw that individuals were always open to opposing arguments and changed their perspectives with new information, I would agree that we can just focus on the arguments, but the reason for intransigence is almost rooted in these interests and biases.

          How those interests are characterized and respected is a different issue. Calling someone a “greedy developer” or a “commie pinko” is going too far.

        3. Robert Canning

          To Mark re. “intuiting” someone’s “hidden motivation.” Sounds like mind reading to me.  I am perplexed that commenters on the Vanguard make so many assumptions about the hidden meanings and (as Rich says) “biases” that people have without really asking for clarification and making what (appears to me) to be an reasonable effort to understand people’s points of view.

          I think you are correct that sharing one’s “impressions” about what others are thinking or what their motivations are is a good idea. But too often commenters on the Vanguard (Ken A. is a good example today) simply dive in with assertions about people’s motivations (and then often express doubts about the veracity of the person despite protestations by the aggrieved person). It would be good and probably better for the tone of the debate (my opinion) if people didn’t make so many assumptions about people’s motivations for the comments they make. For instance, calling homeowners “greedy” is quite a judgment (remember the Seven Deadly Sins?) and verges on rudeness. I think (actually I believe) that it is fine to have strong opinions about issues. I don’t believe it is helpful or reinforcing of civil discourse to denigrate someone’s motivations without reasonably understanding them.

        4. Robert Canning

          To Rich – I agree that it is important to know the biases and perspectives of those involved in public policy debates. I also think it is a good trait to be curious about the roots of these biases and perspectives and to make an effort to see things from those perspectives. I totally agree with you about “greedy” developers (but I don’t know any “commie pinko’s” so I can’t comment on that.) I think these kinds of blatant value judgments hinder civil discourse and put up roadblocks to collaborative decision making about public policy.

      2. Tia Will

        Jeff

        I did not “call Ken a trash talker” nor did I pretend that I know his motivation or what is in his heart. I referred to the behavior of “trashing talking”. The difference is that Ken believes he knows the motivation of others. Fine, if he does, let him show his evidence. If he is only speculating about what they motivation is, then that would be the appropriate statement.

        1. Ken A

          P.S. To Tia saying someone is “trash talking” is the same as calling someone a “trash talker”…

          P.P.S. Most people in Davis that don’t want growth come out and “say” that they don’t want more homes, apartments or out of state students in Davis so to “know the motivation of others” I just need to listen to them or read what they post on the Vanguard…

        2. John Hobbs

          Off topic question, Tia, because I can’t figure out another place to ask  it.The constant bickering between David and Ron is disruptive, repetitive and off topic. Why does the moderator, who never fails to chide Howard P and me about such bickering allow this to continue unabated? Unless Ron really is just a figment of David’s imagination created to give the moribund comment section a boost, as I often suspect, where is the heavy hand of moderation so often felt by others? Just askin’.

  4. David Greenwald

    I’m really not convinced that property values is the main driver for most people in Davis.  Part of the problem with the property value hypothesis, is that property values only matter if you sell and plan to cash in your property (as a pure investment) or move to a different location.  If I just buy a house and then move to another place in town, the differential in properties values matters very little.

    What I think is the primary driver is the desire to live in a small community.

    However, there is a problem with that in practice, if the choice is housing in town versus housing on campus, I’m not sure what the gain is.  We can pave over land around West Village or we can pave over land at nishi, I’m not sure the huge difference.

    1. Mark West

      “We can pave over land around West Village or we can pave over land at nishi, I’m not sure the huge difference.”

      The difference is that Nishi is moderate quality ag land and West Village is located on high quality and extremely high-value ag research land.

      Whether or not the people live inside the City limits or on the outskirts, they are adding to the population of the community. It is a fallacy to claim that Davis remains a small community just because of the artificial scarcity maintained inside the city limits.

      1. David Greenwald

        “The difference is that Nishi is moderate quality ag land and West Village is located on high quality and extremely high-value ag research land.”

        All the more reason.  And the impact of West Village is much higher for the average citizen.

    2. Ken A

      David if you talk to any bankers “property values” are also a big deal for people who want to refinance their homes or get a home equity line to pay for their kids college.  I read something a while back that unlike in the postwar years when “most” people didn’t refinaice, “most” people refinance their homes today (rather than pay for 30 years and burn the deed).

        1. Ken A

          As an add on to the “three most important things in real estate” location, location and location homes “located” near apartments are worth less than similar homes “located” farther away from the apartments.  Homes located streets or in neighborhoods or cities with apartments (or more apartments) are usually worth less than similar homes on streets without apartments or in neighborhoods or cities without (or with less) apartments.

  5. John Hobbs

    “to back what I see as an unnecessarily negative and divisive characterization of people who do not share your perspective”

    “For example, you just called Ken a “trash talker” because he has an opinion that you believe to be either nonsense or falsehoods and you want him called out on it.”

    You have missed the fact that some opinions have more authority than others on the Vanguard.

    ” If I think someone spouts nonsense and falsehoods I believe that they should be called out on it and not be propped up as a respectable voice…”

    No, they should get a participation medal. You’re in Davisville, bro.

    A friend remarked last night that eight years of living in Davis disabused him of any desire for epistocracy.

  6. Ron

    I’m hoping to avoid engaging much on the Vanguard, today.  However, I will try to address David’s statement regarding “rent-by-the-bed” from my perspective.

    The city is being forced to take on UCD’s growth (with no say in the matter), including all of the fiscal and other impacts that entails.  The megadorms that are being proposed merely reflect that fact. Much of UCD’s growth is entirely voluntary, and is focused on non-resident students who pay them $42,000/year in tuition.

      1. Ron

        Don:  I’ve addressed this previously, but don’t mind doing so again.

        An argument might be made that the city has some “responsibility” to house California residents who choose to attend UCD.  That argument does not extend to the situation in which UCD pursues full-tuition students, as if it were a for-profit institution.

        Also, one might argue that collecting $42,000 from each non-resident student provides even less “justification” for UCD to force costs and impacts resulting from that pursuit onto the city.

        On a related note, I recall that you found a document which states that the cost of rental housing on UCD’s campus includes costs that are unrelated to housing.  Is that correct?  If so, would you mind posting that again?

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          But again, what does that have to do with rent by beds? I have had people specifically state they oppose rent by bed leases – I don’t understand what you’re argument which would seem to a general one against student housing in town, has to do with rent by bed?

        2. Don Shor

          An argument might be made that the city has some “responsibility” to house California residents who choose to attend UCD.

          Are you making that argument, or just saying that it “might be made”?

          one might argue that collecting $42,000 from each non-resident student provides even less “justification” for UCD to force costs and impacts resulting from that pursuit onto the city.

          What does that have to do with where they live? Are you saying UCD should house 100% of the students? If not, then of what relevance is their origin?

          I recall that you found a document which states that the cost of rental housing on UCD’s campus includes costs that are unrelated to housing. Is that correct? If so, would you mind posting that again?

          Yes, I think I have that somewhere. Until I find it: it was a UC Office of the President policy guideline that basically said they also factor in the other costs of providing housing; support services etc. The guiding principle is that housing has to pay its own way and not just directly.

        3. David Greenwald Post author

          “An argument might be made that the city has some “responsibility” to house California residents who choose to attend UCD. ”

          I don’t get why it matters from the city’s perspective who the students are or where they are from. WHy does the city have more of an obligation to a student from California than a student from Reno or Taipei?

        4. Ron

          From article, below.  I’ve posted this several times over the past few months:

          “The University of California has disadvantaged resident students with its recent emphasis on recruiting applicants from out of state and overseas, leading to a drop in the number of Californians enrolled at UC.”
          “That was the highly critical conclusion of a state audit released Tuesday – and a direct rebuke of the university’s long-standing assertion that it has used extra fees paid by nonresident students to make up for recession-era budget cuts and underwrite thousands of slots for Californians that the state no longer supports.”

          http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article68782827.html

           
          Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article68782827.html#storylink=cpy
           

           

          http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article68782827.html

        5. Ron

          David:  “What does any of this have to do with rent by bed?”

          Ron (see comment above):  “The megadorms that are being proposed merely reflect that fact.”

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            But I was told again by people “I don’t like rent by bed.” I get the opposition to student housing. But thus far you have yet to make a specific argument against rent by bed?

            To put it another way, if the city is going to approve student housing, what difference does it make to you if it is unit or bed lease?

    1. Richard McCann

      Ron, given that UCD is the primary economic engine of this city, and that we don’t seem to be hurting too badly, it’s hard to portray UCD as imposing “fiscal and other impacts” that aren’t also bringing a bunch of economic and cultural benefits. There’s no free lunch.

      As for out of state students, they also bring economic benefits to the state. I came to Cal from Seattle and stayed, adding to the state’s economic well being (helping to close Rancho Seco and to collect $20 billion in electricity overcharges along the way.) Davis has its role in maintaining the state’s and nation’s vitality, and we get a pretty sweet deal in return based on the quality of this community.

      1. Ron

        Richard:  “Davis has its role in maintaining the state’s and nation’s vitality, and we get a pretty sweet deal in return based on the quality of this community.”

        That “sweet deal” includes ever-increasing fiscal deficits resulting from megadorms (e.g., the analysis for Sterling), and inadequate impact fees.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            How so? People who live in Davis have a higher standard of living because of the presence of the university.

        1. Ron

          Ron (from above):

          “That “sweet deal” includes ever-increasing fiscal deficits resulting from megadorms (e.g., the analysis for Sterling), and inadequate impact fees.”

          Oh – and the need for bicycle/pedestrian overpasses which are not fully funded, to accommodate proposed megadorms.

        2. Ron

          So far, the city has managed to get by without the two bicycle/pedestrian overpasses to Olive.  Lincoln40 will be the “tipping point”, regarding the need.

          Can you remind us how much Lincoln40 is contributing toward these two overpasses, and how much “shortfall” exists? (Actually, I’m not sure that you ever provided this critical information.)

          Also – same questions regarding the needed improvements for the Olive/Richards intersection?

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            “It’s not fully funded by Lincoln40 – do you think it should be?” – no response

            (A) I don’t have the figures on the contribution to the overcrossing. I believe there is only one.
            (B) Evidence that Lincoln40 is a tipping point
            (C) What needed improvements for the Olive/ Richards intersection?

        3. Ron

          There are two bicycle/pedestrian overpasses needed for Olive. There are also improvements needed for the intersection of Olive/Richards.

          All of this has been discussed multiple times, on the Vanguard.  It’s unfortunate that the cost (including developer contribution, and unfunded portions) has apparently not been published on the Vanguard. Especially for anyone who hopes that these improvements occur anytime soon, or is concerned about the cost to the city. (Witness the Cannery overpass.)

        4. Ron

          Nor did you.  And, my questions are far more important for anyone concerned about the costs to the city, or the likelihood of constructing the two bicycle/pedestrian overpasses (and improvements to Olive/Richards) anytime soon.

  7. Tia Will

    What I think is the primary driver is the desire to live in a small community.”

    I agree with David on this point. Many people I know have this as their primary motivator.

    Over New Year’s I had a very congenial conversation about the Trackside project with an out of town developer I had newly met. I explained the local situation, and he immediately said that was great for the owners of the adjacent one story homes. His response was “That’s great, their property values will increase”. When I explained to him that none of them wanted to sell, and that one of them was an elderly man whose desire was to live out his remaining years there, he looked shocked. He then said “Well, I hadn’t thought of it that way. We developers tend to think in terms of monetary value”.

    Most ( not all) of the developers/investors and businessmen that I know here in town, some of whom I have worked with on projects, tend to only think in terms of monetary value. But not all of us see value in monetary terms. I just wrote a post about how at various times in my life, time has had much more value than money to me. At other times, such as now as a senior, with my kids already launched on their way to complete independence, lifestyle is much more important to me than is money. I just sold a home for well under value because other concerns ( the purchasers and the remaining community) were more important to me than the money. This is not me being self righteous or altruistic. It is me acting according to my own set of values and principles just as we all do. It is me living life on my own terms, not those dictated to me by a society that often seems to value money above all else.

     

    1. Ken A

      Just like men who have the “desire to live with a younger wife” have the option to get a younger wife any time they want no one is stopping anyone with “the “desire to live in a small community” from moving to a smaller community (or a community without any apartments that “rent by the bed”)…

      1. Tia Will

        Ken

        no one is stopping anyone with “the “desire to live in a small community” from moving to a smaller community (or a community without any apartments that “rent by the bed”)…”

        Ah, a variation on the theme of “America, love it or leave it” with Davis as the substitute location.

         

  8. Tia Will

    A friend remarked last night that eight years of living in Davis disabused him of any desire for epistocracy.”

    John, thanks for the smile. I believe that we are all unique combinations of hobbits, hooligans, and Vulcans. We just like to believe that we belong exclusively to one group.

  9. Todd Edelman

    First of all, what about this analysis from Yolo County Progressives? While I don’t think that all renters are “free” to double up, and I don’t think it is particularly progressive to support doubling-up at all (in the dominant cultural context in this country), it’s clear that ad hoc or small “d” doubling-up is way cheaper than large “D” Doubling.

    Anyway, David… the title of this piece made me think that it was just gonna be about bed leases, but then it goes on to support how proximity can decrease costs… to somehow support the bed leasing idea in general?

    I’m housed now, but when I’ve recently looked for shared apartments in Davis I rarely saw a private room that was over $1000.

    Per Craig’s List right now, within 5 miles of 95618 – using this supposed $875 as a sort of baseline, there are 36 shares – shared rooms or private rooms in shared apartments – between $675 (David’s estimate of cost savings, yes?) and $875; 36 between $475 and $674; 20 between $876 and $1000; 6 between $275 and $474; 2 between $1001 and 1200. This average seems to be well less than $875, and this includes private rooms. Between $775 and $975 there are 27 listings: As far as I can tell ALL of these are private rooms and even a very cautious and specific private room in the Cannery is $800, and a listing leads to the U apartments website, where it seems that shared rooms go for $695 to 735 and private ones from $895 to 1000. No, Craig’s List is not your un-specifically-referenced “economic report” – the same one used by the Yolo County Progressives? – what is the source of the raw data used in that report?

    But actually the cost of using a car is WAY higher than $100 per month, perhaps three to four times as much for an already fully-owned car, where the only costs are insurance, fuel and upkeep (and leaving out depreciation…). BUT does that justify the apparent gouging for shared rooms? No way. No f*cking way. What seems to be the gross operating structure is that banks are happy to make money from housing OR financing cars. If people are driving older cars or not driving so much, they’d rather make money off of them for housing.

    As I commented yesterday – and I used that as my main communication about the issue to City Council – there does not seem to be a chance that there will not be a 5 to 0 vote for the project. So – in addition to limiting the negatives of any cars able to be “stored” at Lincoln 40 – we should consider forming consensus that it’s a better-than-nothing that’s not really fair or ethical. Market shmarket! The main and over-riding goal here is supporting education for all. We’re not doing that.

    1. Ken A

      Todd is correct that other than the “top 1%” it does not cost $1K to rent a “room” in Davis.

      He is also correct that getting rid of a car is one of the best ways to save money (with Uber and Lyft you really don’t need one).

      I’m wondering why Todd wants to “leave out depreciation” since it is a real cost.

      Most people that paid $25K for a car five years ago will be lucky to get $10K today so that $3K a year/$250/month depreciation cost is real.

      With the exception of super handy people with a lot of tools and those people that almost never drive few people get their monthly car cost under $500.

      P.S. Banks are ALWAYS looking to make more money by either creating more “debt serfs” or just scamming people (like Wells Fargo) …

      1. Todd Edelman

        I suppose I left out depreciation because it’s not something the user or owner of a car always thinks about, certainly not a student using an extra car from their parents etc. There are objective and subjective decisions here: A student can have their own room for $600 out of Davis and pay $300 per month to drive, or pay $900 for a shared room, and have more time in general, less time alone, a better social life but less privacy, but no car and its attendant benefits in an area with insufficient regional transport outside of weekday work commutes and not-spontaneous weekend train rides.

        .

  10. Tia Will

    Ken

    I’ve been to meetings with you and I know that you are aware that these people are homeowners (I’m also a homeowner so I’m not “trash talking” when I say this).”

    I am completely open about what I do and do not own. From the locations that you listed, it is also clear that you do not know what you think you know. What I think is “creepy”, is you choosing to do this “investigative” process and then post about it on the Vanguard. However, that is not my biggest objection to your post. There are many people who speak at public meetings who I may know by name but have no idea whether or not they own the homes they live in. I also find it especially “creepy” that you believe that you are clairvoyant and have special knowledge about my degree of knowledge or lack thereof.

    I am going to request that you keep your comments about me limited to the ideas I am addressing, please.

  11. Tia Will

    Jeff

    Commenting on someone’s argument, or your impressions of their motivations is not a personal attack.

    This is true sometimes, but not others. I remember being told during public comment at City Hall that I was trying to poison children. That individual then came to me later and confided that they knew that wasn’t the case but wanted to make a strong statement publicly. I took it as a personal attack and have not forgotten it.

  12. Sharla C.

    For those who are fixated on a previous plan from years ago to admit more international students in response to budget cuts, here is the current focus:  https://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/uc-president-napolitano-lays-out-vision-expanding-college-access

    Napolitano noted that the university has gone to great lengths to increase enrollment of California students over the past several years, without sufficient enrollment funding from the state. UC committed to adding 10,000 more Californians by 2018-19, a goal it has already reached, and is now serving more California students than at any time in its history.

     

    1. Ron

      Sharla:  You’re referring to a “UC-wide” initiative, which I believe was made only after the state agreed to pay UC more money, specifically to increase enrollment for California residents.  Prior to that point, enrollments for California residents had actually been dropping, as noted in the article I posted above. (That same article notes that more lenient standards were used for non-resident students, such as those who pay $42,000 per year to attend UC Davis.)

      At UC Davis, I recall that the “2020” Initiative (which is entirely voluntary) includes 5,000 non-resident students.  I believe that an additional 1,000 (of the 10,000 that you’re referring to above) are resident students.

      1. David Greenwald Post author

        “Our goal in this 2020 Initiative is to increase financial stability by reducing our reliance on the state for funding. UC Davis is doing this by adding 5,000 new undergraduates — Californian, national and international students — between 2011 and 2020. ”

        “Deliver the benefits of a UC education to an additional 5,000 deserving undergraduates – both California resident and non-resident students alike.”

      2. Sharla C.

        It is a point of criticism that has no bearing on housing and I wonder why it keeps on being brought up – a student needing housing is just a person in need of housing, regardless of their citizenship.

        The 20/20 initiative was just that – an idea at the time to respond to a reduction in State funding. Enrollment of international students is 14% at UCD. 86% of students at UCD are domestic students, but you talk about international students as problematic.

      3. Ron

        David:

        “It is proposed under this plan that the three-quarter average enrollment of undergraduates at UC Davis be increased to approximately 28,850 students, which represents a growth of 5000 students above the number enrolled in 2011- 2012. Between 2011 and 2020, the total percentage of national and international undergraduate students on campus is envisioned to rise from just over 4% (it is estimated at 7% for Fall 2013) to approximately 19%, with the absolute numbers of students rising by about 500 California students and 4500 national and international students.”

         https://www.ucdavis.edu/sites/default/files/upload/files/2020-initiative-implementation.

        So, about 4,500 of the 5,000 students are non-resident students. I suspect that you already knew this.

        Would you like me to post a link to the audit report article above (again), which further addresses this issue?

        1. Ron

          I have no idea what you’re referring to.  Sharla posted a “plan” that is supposedly already in effect, UC-wide. How is that any more “current”? As I recall, that plan was made only after the state agreed to pay the UC system more money ($25 million, I think). UC Davis was apparently on target to receive about 1,000 of those students.

          Regarding Sharla’s question, I would ask if it’s the city’s responsibility to assume the costs and impacts of UCD’s voluntary decision to pursue non-resident students who pay them $42,000/year.

          In anticipation of the next repetitive argument, I’ll just repost this text from the link to the audit report article, above:

          “That was the highly critical conclusion of a state audit released Tuesday – and a direct rebuke of the university’s long-standing assertion that it has used extra fees paid by nonresident students to make up for recession-era budget cuts and underwrite thousands of slots for Californians that the state no longer supports.”

           

           

        2. David Greenwald Post author

          I agree you have no idea what I’m talking about.  But I don’t understand why.  You posted a 2013 document.  I posted the recent 2020 plan as revised.

          Now I’m posting actual admission data from UCOP and you can see that virtually equal numbers of admissions increase for California and International students over the last two years.

        3. Sharla C.

          Regarding Sharla’s question, I would ask if it’s the city’s responsibility to assume the costs and impacts of UCD’s voluntary decision to pursue non-resident students who pay them $42,000/year.

          That’s what it costs for every student to go to UCD. California taxpayers give UCD money to subsidize the California students.  Your obsession with the citizenship of students and how much they pay for tuition is really just that – an obsession that has no bearing on housing need.   I was hoping to abate your concerns by showing you that the focus is on increasing transfer students from California community colleges, who will attend Davis for 2 years (or maybe a quarter or two more).

        4. Ron

          David:  Not sure that “admissions” are the same as “enrollments”.  (Perhaps that could be clarified.)

          In any case, UCD has admitted 3,631 non-resident students (between 2015-2017), vs. 2,644 California residents.  And you have “no clue” what this has to do with housing?

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            That’s not the 90 percent figure you were citing a few posts ago (4500 of 5000) now is it?

            “And you have “no clue” what this has to do with housing?”

            None. As far as I can tell, you have to house resident and non-resident students alike.

        5. Ron

          David:  “None. As far as I can tell, you have to house resident and non-resident students alike.”

          Well, some organization/entity certainly has to.  Perhaps the one collecting $42,000 per year (plus rent), instead of foisting costs and impacts onto a city which has no say in the matter.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            I think it’s important to understand what Sharla is saying because it’s why your comment fails here. It costs $42000 to educate every student. An out of state student pays the full $42,000. The in state student pays $14,000 or so and the state subsidizes the rest.

          2. Don Shor

            Perhaps the one collecting $42,000 per year (plus rent), instead of foisting costs and impacts onto a city which has no say in the matter.

            So you want 100% of students housed on campus.

        6. Ron

          That’s not the 90 percent figure you were citing a few posts ago (4500 of 5000) now is it?

          Not yet.  3,631 does not equal 4,500.

          I understand that UCD has “invited” more non-resident students than any other UC.  Note that the 4,500 non-resident students may not even include any additional amount of non-resident students that UCD might have already planned to enroll (separate from the 2020 plan).

          Perhaps other universities are competing with UCD, for those same high-paying students.  Perhaps the market is not as “deep” as UCD hoped for?

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            You understand nothing about mathematics. The university added roughly 6000 new students from 2015 to 2017, 3600 from out of state. 3600 of 6000 can never be 4500 of 5000.

        7. Ron

          David:  I understand mathematics just fine, thank you.  There’s no need for insulting comments like that.

          Nothing you’ve stated disputes what I’ve noted. Seems like UCD may not be “done”, regarding its pursuit of non-resident students.

        8. David Greenwald

          Oh really?  Then why are you claiming a projection of 90% out of state is on track with current policies?

          Point being instead of quoting from five year old projections, use current data because the projections are clearly out of date.

  13. Ron

    David:  “An out of state student pays the full $42,000. The in state student pays $14,000 or so and the state subsidizes the rest.”

    Well, then UCD is essentially acting as a private entity, regarding full-tuition students.  And yet, pays no taxes to help offset its impacts, and is apparently not accountable to the community in any way, regarding its plans.

    1. Ron

      Not to mention “accountability” to its own students, regarding the impacts of their plans.

      Yeah, it’s the “city’s fault”, for not just playing along. (Actually, they pretty much are – despite the concerns noted by some. But who cares, they’re all just a bunch of selfish NIMBYs, according to some.) Full speed ahead! (We’ll figure out the funding for overpasses, intersection improvements, displacement of non-student renters, loss of commercial space, and fiscal impacts, later.)

    2. David Greenwald

      What difference does this make?  Do you think if UC Davis were a private university, we wouldn’t have a need for student housing in town?

      1. Ron

        Yeah, David.  That’s “exactly” my point.  (Sarcasm, intended.)

        I’m done with this nonsense, for now. Note how I (once again) allowed myself to be drawn in, despite my initial intention/statement to make a simple comment, above. Really, a warning for others to avoid engaging on the Vanguard. I witnessed the same thing yesterday, between Don and “darrelldd”.

        Every day, it’s “off-to-the-races”, going over the same points. Ultimately ending in smear and occasional insults.

        1. David Greenwald

          For those following along at home, Ron wrote: “Yeah, it’s the city’s fault for not playing along…”. The implication of that statement is that the city should provide housing for some students and not for others.  The people who suffer when we don’t provide enough housing are the students.  That is the clear implication of his statement whether he wants to acknowledge it or not.

        2. Ron

          That’s b.s.  Go review all statements, before making additional smearing comments. There are ways to make valid points without resorting to this.

          You really ought to be ashamed of how you engage, quite often. Especially since you run this blog. As such, you set the tone for others, as well.

          I am quite serious, regarding this point.

           

        3. David Greenwald

          Yes let’s review the statements here.  You’re objection is to  UCD imposing on the city by adding out of state students and acting as a private university.  The implication of that statement is that you don’t mind housing students in the city if they are from California.  However, when the city doesn’t provide enough housing student suffer, as they are now.  When the city and university battle over these things the people caught in the middle are the students.  They are screaming out about housing insecurity and homelessness.  Yes, your policy preferences have consequences.

        4. Ron

          You prefer to deal with the symptom, instead of the cause.

          As another commenter once noted regarding something similar, that approach will lead to a “cascading series of crises” – ironically including chronic shortages of student housing.

          “Yes, your policy preferences have consequences.”

        5. Don Shor

          The origins of the students make no difference as to the housing need. The university is not going to provide 100% of housing for their students. This is a college town. If the university grows, the city grows. If the city doesn’t grow, it forces that growth onto nearby communities.
          Your overall position on housing simply doesn’t add up. You and others seem very angry at UCD and want to punish them for the consequences of their enrollment increase. You want to sue them, get money, etc. You want to withhold private housing in order to somehow force UC to build more. All of what you advocate for/against is harmful to young adults who are already very adversely affected by the desperate rental housing shortage.
          The bottom line is that you oppose any project that is primarily aimed at students, just because it is aimed at students. Rent by the bed, multiple units, whatever. You’ll oppose it because of your hostility to UCD. That does not solve the problem we face. It does not get housing built. It does not improve the rental market. Your obstructionism has significant cost to those who can least afford it.

        6. David Greenwald

          Ron:

          I don’t agree on any point.  We’re in a university town that benefits tremendously from its presence.  That seems a fundamental fact that you don’t accept.  Second, I believe it is a good thing for the university to educate as many students as possible, regardless of origin.  Third, I don’t see the building of a few additional apartment complexes as a cost, I see it as a benefit to the community, the environment, and the students themselves.  So I reject the premise that too many students is a problem.  Instead, I believe that the problem is not enough housing.  The university has agreed to add 8500 beds, the city could agree to add perhaps half that.  That seems reasonable to me.

        7. Ron

          Don:  I would appreciate it if you didn’t tell me what I think.  Thank you.

          Yes, I would prefer that the city pursue an agreement with UCD, as other cities have done.  (Dealing with more than student housing, as well.)

          David: If housing on campus is actually more expensive to rent (as you state), then it likely won’t be viable, unless some agreement is reached. Perhaps a reason that UCD has not fulfilled prior commitments.

          And, that will lead to continued chronic shortages, unresolved/unreimbursed impacts, and conflicts.

        8. Ken A

          I don’t think that anyone opposing new apartments in town has any “hostility to UCD” if their only “hostile act” is to oppose new construction to keep local home values and rents high, just like I don’t think anyone fighting for clean air really cares about clean air if the only thing they do to make the air cleaner is to oppose new construction to keep local home values and rents high, and I don’t think that people who claim to care about “local wildlife” really care of they have never done anything to help wildlife other than to oppose new construction to keep local home values and rents high.  People I know that like smaller towns have left Davis for the Sierra Foothills where others say they like smaller towns but rather than moving they oppose new construction to keep local home values and rents high…

  14. David Greenwald

    I finally have numbers on the bike/ ped overcrossing

    The grant would cover $3.335 million or half the cost (6.670 million)

    The project contribution would be $1.3 million (20%)

    City Countribution which would come from the RRoadway DIF Fund, $2 million (30%) of the cost

  15. Dave Hart

    Has anyone shared a different or better vision for development on east Olive Drive?  What better place for short term housing?  It’s not nearly the sad outcome as with Sterling. And what I wouldn’t have given for a lock on my own door and my own bathroom when I was a student on my own. Some people pee all over the floor and leave it. On the other hand, maybe some people believe that people become better human beings when they can’t lock their bedroom door and have to clean up their roommates’ bathroom mess.

  16. Tia Will

    John

    Off topic question”
    I try not to discuss moderation issues on the Vanguard with the exception of reminders which I usually prefer to pulling comments. I am happy to discuss any questions that you have at :

    tia.will52@gmail.com

    Since this is my private email, I extend the same invitation to any Vanguard reader. A friendly reminder. I will engage in any respectful conversation. I do not accept name calling or personal attacks on my character. This has happened in the past and will result in consultation with David about whether Vanguard participation should be continued.

  17. Tia Will

    Ken makes much of the motivations of property owners stating that if they want to live in small towns they could move to a smaller community.

    If we were to use this ridiculous standard of ” if you don’t like it, then leave” we could just as easily say, if you prefer a location where housing is cheaper, move to one. We live in one of the most expensive areas of the country. Think of all those less expensive homes available to someone willing to move there.

    My contention is that it is fruitless to speculate on the motivations of others so as to claim some non-existent moral high ground. What last night’s City Council comments and actions said to me is that it is entirely possible to recognize and acknowledge the needs and preferences of all, to provide for the most acute needs, while still respecting the rights of those who came before you.

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