Word To The Wise: Fraud Alert – It’s Open Enrollment Time Again

By E.A. Roberts
____________

A fraud alert has just been sent out by the Yolo County District Attorney Elder Protection Unit. The open enrollment period for Medicare recipients to re-evaluate and change their health care coverage is upon us again, from November 15th to December 31 of 2007. As most people know, Medicare is government run health insurance coverage for senior citizens. Medicare Part D is the federal government’s new prescription drug plan for the elderly.
Unfortunately the Medicare Part D plan is extremely complex and difficult to assess when it comes to finding the best fit for a particular consumer’s specific situation or medical condition. Scam artists and questionable insurance agents begin crawling out of the woodwork during open enrollment season like cockroaches. These predators prey on the most vulnerable among us, the frail elderly, without mercy or compunction.

An older gentleman with severe Parkinson’s Disease was cold-called by an insurance agent one morning. The gist of the conversation between the two was a misleading “Have we got a deal for you!” on the one hand, and a naïve “Sign me up!” on the other. An agent was immediately dispatched to the consumer’s home, an apartment nestled within a seniors-only apartment complex. The insurance agent who spoke to the consumer had a heavy Russian accent. The Hispanic consumer spoke broken English – hardly a good combination for fair play.

The Russian speaking salesman insisted if the consumer signed up for a private pay health insurance policy immediately, and disenrolled himself from Medicare, he would have no premiums or co-pays (share of costs). Since the consumer was a dual eligible on both Medicare, and Medicaid (health insurance for the poor), the desperate man signed on the dotted line. No insurance premiums and no co-pays sounded disarmingly appealing.

Documents were delivered on the spot, all of this transaction taking place in a single day. The consumer did not bother to read the contract before signing. He hadn’t understood all the details, his shaking hands not allowing him to hold the papers long enough to read the fine print. The one thing the consumer had latched onto were the $0 placed in the blanks describing how much the consumer would have to shell out. Sounded like a great deal.

However, after perusing the contract twenty-four hours later, in the morning when his body was not as enveloped with shaking from Parkinson’s, something clicked. Somewhere in all that minute verbiage, the consumer discovered statements that were at odds with the $0 penned in by the insurance agent. It was at that point that the consumer called me, a pro bono attorney (volunteer lawyer who charges no fee) who assists with cases involving financial elder abuse.

It was subsequent to that the nightmare truly began. Over a period of months I was on the telephone, emailed and wrote letters to Medicare, MediCal (CA Medicaid program), the consumer’s original health insurance company, his new insurance company, the insurance agent that sold him the product, the consumer’s pharmacy, Health Care Hotline housed in Sacramento, California Health Advocates and the California Department of Insurance. To make a long story short, the consumer was disenrolled from Medicare for one month, but re-enrolled in Medicare retroactively at different dates depending on which computer was involved.

When medical bills came due at varying intervals, one agency or company would deny coverage depending on what their particular computer showed. Repeatedly I would be referred to someone else to address the issue. Even within Medicare itself, I would have personnel input a correction, only to have it not reach another department, which ultimately disallowed the consumer from insurance coverage. Medicare is horribly labyrinthine and unnecessarily complicated, with layer upon layer of bureaucracy. A patient can get completely lost in the system.

My client went without medication for a day or two, until I insisted he borrow the money if necessary to ensure continuation of his drugs. At one point I telephoned the insurance agent myself, and in no uncertain terms lambasted him. I made it clear he was responsible for my client’s drug coverage. I warned this manager if anything happened to the consumer because of a failure to provide medicine, a wrongful death suit would be forthcoming. It was no surprise the insurance company eventually paid for the consumer’s pharmaceuticals through reimbursement, but the lab fees and costs of doctor’s visits have yet to be taken care of.

Ironically, this same insurance agent insisted the consumer not only sign a statement he wanted to withdraw from the private pay insurance plan. My client was expected to draft the letter himself, then have it signed by two witnesses as well. When I pointed out that such niceties had not been required for my client to initially sign onto the policy, the head of the insurance agency claimed it was a Medicare requirement. I checked this alleged claim out with the proper authorities, only to find out Medicare required no such thing.

Another unsettling matter came up. If the consumer purchased drugs under the new private pay plan, the pharmacy would charge the insurance company for insulin at twice the price the drug sold on the open market. It sounded to me as if there was illegal gouging going on, but by whom I was not sure. Suffice it to say, the lowly consumer would be the one to ultimately pay in the end for such questionable goings on.

In closing, I would like to reflect on a few final thoughts. Any consumer considering a change in their Medicare coverage, or any health insurance coverage for that matter, should tread carefully. Be clear about your current terms, and those of any you are contemplating a transfer to. When in doubt and it involves Medicare coverage, seek assistance at any one of Yolo County’s focal point senior centers or check out appropriate government websites (see below). If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

In my client’s case, the insurance agent lied about $0 premiums and co-pays. Not only were there insurance premiums to pay, medications were much more expensive on the new plan. The insurance company where the coverage emanated from admitted getting vast numbers of complaints about insurance agents selling their product. However, personnel there did not give any indication they were making attempts to correct the problem. The insurance agency that sold the policy is now under investigation by the California Department of Insurance.

Lesson to be learned: Think long and hard before changing a Medicare policy, because it may be very difficult to retroactively re-enroll if you become dissatisfied. Should any consumer be sold something door-to-door in the home, generally he or she has three days to rescind (cancel) the contract. However, any rescission (cancellation) must be in writing – generally a phone call is not legally sufficient.

For further information, contact a Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program of Northern CA (HICAP) representative at:

  • Davis Senior Center (530) 757-5696
  • West Sacramento (530) 376-8915
  • Woodland Senior Center (530) 661-5890

Check out the following websites:

  • www.medicare.gov
  • www.opa.ca.gov or telephone 1-866-466-8900

Consumer Alert: A small article surrounded by a black border has appeared lately in The Davis Enterprise, entitled “Senior Citizens, Federal Government Assistance is Now Available”. When I first discovered this notice on October 24, it gave the misimpression it was a news item about a seminar put on by HUD (Housing and Urban Development, a federal agency). I checked out the telephone number given, and received a recorded message. All I heard was communication from a company trying to market reverse mortgages (an important topic I will discuss in an upcoming column). The next time I spied the “news item” in The Davis Enterprise, it was marked at the top in fine print as a “Paid Advertisement”. It ran for four or five times in total over a one month period, then seemed to disappear. Be alert that this is nothing but a commercial ad.

Comment to the comments: There was an interesting discussion in the readers’ section after my last monthly article on transportation for the elderly. I want to thank everyone who contributed for their kind words in appreciation of my having spoken out when our Davis Senior Citizens Commission was under fire. The commission was slated for elimination as we knew it around the first of the year 2007 by the Subcommittee on Commissions (Asmundson and Souza). I think the disingenuous words used at the time were “merger”; “subcommittee of three members”; “evolving process”, among others.

It is my opinion our Davis Senior Citizens Commission survived because the elderly, a pretty sizeable and feisty group, spoke out and refused to be marginalized. It seems as if the politicians and campaign supporters have recognized this fact. The latest ploy by developers is to suggest the need for more senior housing – as a way of establishing a toehold to begin projects previously resisted. As a commissioner, I have been bombarded with requests to join focus groups or contacted via letter by other developers about their latest proposal for senior housing.

My concern here is that government process is being usurped. End runs are being made around the General Planning Commission, City Staff, or the City Council – in the name of “a desperate need for more senior housing”. While I am not necessarily opposed to the idea of more lodging for the elderly, it needs to be carefully planned and appropriate for our area. Several of my readers suggested the same thing (including our Mayor of Davis).

Eleanor Roosevelt Circle (ERC) is a perfect example of questionable planning for senior accommodations. While ERC should eventually be an excellent facility in time, the concept of mixed income housing within the same complex was a flawed conception from the start. And it was not what was originally intended. As I understand it, the initial proposal was for affordable middle income housing for older adults. The analysis, forecasting how many seniors would flock to the eventual mixed income facility, was seriously flawed.

The result was a high vacancy rate, which had to be addressed by the city, which decided to make ERC open to outsiders with low incomes. Otherwise the city would have spent a good deal of its housing funds for naught. This brought in indigents from all over – placing further burdens on our cash-strapped city. The egregiousness of this situation is particularly poignant because Eleanor Roosevelt represents an innovative model for disabled seniors in particular. This is because it has an on-site social worker, who is especially useful for seniors with mental/physical handicaps that require some supervision below the level of an assisted living facility.

Elaine Roberts Musser is an attorney who concentrates her efforts on elder law and aging issues, especially in regard to consumer affairs. If you have a comment or particular question or topic you would like to see addressed in this column, express your concern at the end of this column in the comment section.

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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36 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Interesting article.

    I’m glad that the seniors in Davis have people keeping them informed of some potentially shady situations and/or individuals. It’s disturbing that people prey on the elderly.

    What concerns me, is one part of the article that reads, “The result was a high vacancy rate, which had to be addressed by the city, which decided to make ERC open to outsiders with low incomes.”

    Is the issue here that the vacancy rate was miscalculated and they had to try to bring in people from other cities? Or, is the issue that some middle-income seniors may live next door to some low-income seniors?

    Having to bring people in from other cities to fill vacancies due to poor planning, is unfortunate,but taking issue with individuals due to their low-income status gives people the impression that
    “Davis is in it’s own world and not in touch with reality.” Essentially, it gives Davis the reputation of being an “elitist” community.

    I don’t see a problem with mixed income housing. If people take care of their property then they should not be treated any differently.

    Maybe I read that part of the article incorrectly, and if I did I apologize; however, that is how I read read it.

    I would be interested in hearing what the author’s comments are on this.

    Thank you for the information.

  2. Anonymous

    Interesting article.

    I’m glad that the seniors in Davis have people keeping them informed of some potentially shady situations and/or individuals. It’s disturbing that people prey on the elderly.

    What concerns me, is one part of the article that reads, “The result was a high vacancy rate, which had to be addressed by the city, which decided to make ERC open to outsiders with low incomes.”

    Is the issue here that the vacancy rate was miscalculated and they had to try to bring in people from other cities? Or, is the issue that some middle-income seniors may live next door to some low-income seniors?

    Having to bring people in from other cities to fill vacancies due to poor planning, is unfortunate,but taking issue with individuals due to their low-income status gives people the impression that
    “Davis is in it’s own world and not in touch with reality.” Essentially, it gives Davis the reputation of being an “elitist” community.

    I don’t see a problem with mixed income housing. If people take care of their property then they should not be treated any differently.

    Maybe I read that part of the article incorrectly, and if I did I apologize; however, that is how I read read it.

    I would be interested in hearing what the author’s comments are on this.

    Thank you for the information.

  3. Anonymous

    Interesting article.

    I’m glad that the seniors in Davis have people keeping them informed of some potentially shady situations and/or individuals. It’s disturbing that people prey on the elderly.

    What concerns me, is one part of the article that reads, “The result was a high vacancy rate, which had to be addressed by the city, which decided to make ERC open to outsiders with low incomes.”

    Is the issue here that the vacancy rate was miscalculated and they had to try to bring in people from other cities? Or, is the issue that some middle-income seniors may live next door to some low-income seniors?

    Having to bring people in from other cities to fill vacancies due to poor planning, is unfortunate,but taking issue with individuals due to their low-income status gives people the impression that
    “Davis is in it’s own world and not in touch with reality.” Essentially, it gives Davis the reputation of being an “elitist” community.

    I don’t see a problem with mixed income housing. If people take care of their property then they should not be treated any differently.

    Maybe I read that part of the article incorrectly, and if I did I apologize; however, that is how I read read it.

    I would be interested in hearing what the author’s comments are on this.

    Thank you for the information.

  4. Anonymous

    Interesting article.

    I’m glad that the seniors in Davis have people keeping them informed of some potentially shady situations and/or individuals. It’s disturbing that people prey on the elderly.

    What concerns me, is one part of the article that reads, “The result was a high vacancy rate, which had to be addressed by the city, which decided to make ERC open to outsiders with low incomes.”

    Is the issue here that the vacancy rate was miscalculated and they had to try to bring in people from other cities? Or, is the issue that some middle-income seniors may live next door to some low-income seniors?

    Having to bring people in from other cities to fill vacancies due to poor planning, is unfortunate,but taking issue with individuals due to their low-income status gives people the impression that
    “Davis is in it’s own world and not in touch with reality.” Essentially, it gives Davis the reputation of being an “elitist” community.

    I don’t see a problem with mixed income housing. If people take care of their property then they should not be treated any differently.

    Maybe I read that part of the article incorrectly, and if I did I apologize; however, that is how I read read it.

    I would be interested in hearing what the author’s comments are on this.

    Thank you for the information.

  5. Anonymous

    Elaine, this is a very informative and thought provoking article.

    I received my medicare packet and being a CalPers retiree with PersCare healthcare I do not have to change anything about prescription benefits. The info caution against changes re Medicare Part D. So, I would advise seniors that Medicare Part D is “the third rail” and they should use extreme caution.

    ERC housing, Anonymous says “What concerns me, is one part of the article that reads, “The result was a high vacancy rate, which had to be addressed by the city, which decided to make ERC open to outsiders with low incomes.”

    While I along with many others believe that Davis is indeed elitist, still it is understandable and reasonable that a middle-income person would not want to pay 3 times as much rent for same size apartment as the neighbor. For the price the person may be able to get a larger apartment elsewhere with more amenities.

  6. Anonymous

    Elaine, this is a very informative and thought provoking article.

    I received my medicare packet and being a CalPers retiree with PersCare healthcare I do not have to change anything about prescription benefits. The info caution against changes re Medicare Part D. So, I would advise seniors that Medicare Part D is “the third rail” and they should use extreme caution.

    ERC housing, Anonymous says “What concerns me, is one part of the article that reads, “The result was a high vacancy rate, which had to be addressed by the city, which decided to make ERC open to outsiders with low incomes.”

    While I along with many others believe that Davis is indeed elitist, still it is understandable and reasonable that a middle-income person would not want to pay 3 times as much rent for same size apartment as the neighbor. For the price the person may be able to get a larger apartment elsewhere with more amenities.

  7. Anonymous

    Elaine, this is a very informative and thought provoking article.

    I received my medicare packet and being a CalPers retiree with PersCare healthcare I do not have to change anything about prescription benefits. The info caution against changes re Medicare Part D. So, I would advise seniors that Medicare Part D is “the third rail” and they should use extreme caution.

    ERC housing, Anonymous says “What concerns me, is one part of the article that reads, “The result was a high vacancy rate, which had to be addressed by the city, which decided to make ERC open to outsiders with low incomes.”

    While I along with many others believe that Davis is indeed elitist, still it is understandable and reasonable that a middle-income person would not want to pay 3 times as much rent for same size apartment as the neighbor. For the price the person may be able to get a larger apartment elsewhere with more amenities.

  8. Anonymous

    Elaine, this is a very informative and thought provoking article.

    I received my medicare packet and being a CalPers retiree with PersCare healthcare I do not have to change anything about prescription benefits. The info caution against changes re Medicare Part D. So, I would advise seniors that Medicare Part D is “the third rail” and they should use extreme caution.

    ERC housing, Anonymous says “What concerns me, is one part of the article that reads, “The result was a high vacancy rate, which had to be addressed by the city, which decided to make ERC open to outsiders with low incomes.”

    While I along with many others believe that Davis is indeed elitist, still it is understandable and reasonable that a middle-income person would not want to pay 3 times as much rent for same size apartment as the neighbor. For the price the person may be able to get a larger apartment elsewhere with more amenities.

  9. Rich Rifkin

    “As I understand it, the initial proposal was for affordable middle income housing for older adults. The analysis, forecasting how many seniors would flock to the eventual mixed income facility, was seriously flawed. The result was a high vacancy rate, which had to be addressed by the city, which decided to make ERC open to outsiders with low incomes.”

    All of this could have been avoided if we had a sensible market-based model for helping seniors with their housing needs. As our subsidized housing system now works, we (the taxpayers) hand over millions of dollars to developers, so that developers will build housing specially designed for specific beneficiaries.

    It’s a top-down system which gives no control to the ultimate consumers of the housing. All the decisions are made above them, and they end up with little or no choice.

    If the project, such as with ERC, misread the demand and later found that too few people wanted to live there under the conditions offered, the taxpayers end up getting screwed.

    What would make a whole lot more sense? Housing vouchers. We shouldn’t be giving money to developers at all. Give the money directly to the poor and somewhat poor seniors who need help. They will then be able to find market rate apartments which suit their needs, in locations which work for them.

    Our essential problem is not one of too little senior housing. The problem is one of affordability. And housing vouchers solve that, and cut out the middle men.

    The equivalent model, which works very well, is with food stamps (vouchers). We don’t give money to developers to build and stock special grocery stores where only poor people can buy food. We give poor people food vouchers and let them shop in the same stores everyone else does. With the exception of tobacco and booze, they are free to buy whatever they want with their food stamps. (A separate problem with the food stamp program, alas, is that our government doesn’t give enough for some people to afford to eat well. Why? Because we are broke from giving welfare to millionaire farmers, contractors and low-income housing developers.)

  10. Rich Rifkin

    “As I understand it, the initial proposal was for affordable middle income housing for older adults. The analysis, forecasting how many seniors would flock to the eventual mixed income facility, was seriously flawed. The result was a high vacancy rate, which had to be addressed by the city, which decided to make ERC open to outsiders with low incomes.”

    All of this could have been avoided if we had a sensible market-based model for helping seniors with their housing needs. As our subsidized housing system now works, we (the taxpayers) hand over millions of dollars to developers, so that developers will build housing specially designed for specific beneficiaries.

    It’s a top-down system which gives no control to the ultimate consumers of the housing. All the decisions are made above them, and they end up with little or no choice.

    If the project, such as with ERC, misread the demand and later found that too few people wanted to live there under the conditions offered, the taxpayers end up getting screwed.

    What would make a whole lot more sense? Housing vouchers. We shouldn’t be giving money to developers at all. Give the money directly to the poor and somewhat poor seniors who need help. They will then be able to find market rate apartments which suit their needs, in locations which work for them.

    Our essential problem is not one of too little senior housing. The problem is one of affordability. And housing vouchers solve that, and cut out the middle men.

    The equivalent model, which works very well, is with food stamps (vouchers). We don’t give money to developers to build and stock special grocery stores where only poor people can buy food. We give poor people food vouchers and let them shop in the same stores everyone else does. With the exception of tobacco and booze, they are free to buy whatever they want with their food stamps. (A separate problem with the food stamp program, alas, is that our government doesn’t give enough for some people to afford to eat well. Why? Because we are broke from giving welfare to millionaire farmers, contractors and low-income housing developers.)

  11. Rich Rifkin

    “As I understand it, the initial proposal was for affordable middle income housing for older adults. The analysis, forecasting how many seniors would flock to the eventual mixed income facility, was seriously flawed. The result was a high vacancy rate, which had to be addressed by the city, which decided to make ERC open to outsiders with low incomes.”

    All of this could have been avoided if we had a sensible market-based model for helping seniors with their housing needs. As our subsidized housing system now works, we (the taxpayers) hand over millions of dollars to developers, so that developers will build housing specially designed for specific beneficiaries.

    It’s a top-down system which gives no control to the ultimate consumers of the housing. All the decisions are made above them, and they end up with little or no choice.

    If the project, such as with ERC, misread the demand and later found that too few people wanted to live there under the conditions offered, the taxpayers end up getting screwed.

    What would make a whole lot more sense? Housing vouchers. We shouldn’t be giving money to developers at all. Give the money directly to the poor and somewhat poor seniors who need help. They will then be able to find market rate apartments which suit their needs, in locations which work for them.

    Our essential problem is not one of too little senior housing. The problem is one of affordability. And housing vouchers solve that, and cut out the middle men.

    The equivalent model, which works very well, is with food stamps (vouchers). We don’t give money to developers to build and stock special grocery stores where only poor people can buy food. We give poor people food vouchers and let them shop in the same stores everyone else does. With the exception of tobacco and booze, they are free to buy whatever they want with their food stamps. (A separate problem with the food stamp program, alas, is that our government doesn’t give enough for some people to afford to eat well. Why? Because we are broke from giving welfare to millionaire farmers, contractors and low-income housing developers.)

  12. Rich Rifkin

    “As I understand it, the initial proposal was for affordable middle income housing for older adults. The analysis, forecasting how many seniors would flock to the eventual mixed income facility, was seriously flawed. The result was a high vacancy rate, which had to be addressed by the city, which decided to make ERC open to outsiders with low incomes.”

    All of this could have been avoided if we had a sensible market-based model for helping seniors with their housing needs. As our subsidized housing system now works, we (the taxpayers) hand over millions of dollars to developers, so that developers will build housing specially designed for specific beneficiaries.

    It’s a top-down system which gives no control to the ultimate consumers of the housing. All the decisions are made above them, and they end up with little or no choice.

    If the project, such as with ERC, misread the demand and later found that too few people wanted to live there under the conditions offered, the taxpayers end up getting screwed.

    What would make a whole lot more sense? Housing vouchers. We shouldn’t be giving money to developers at all. Give the money directly to the poor and somewhat poor seniors who need help. They will then be able to find market rate apartments which suit their needs, in locations which work for them.

    Our essential problem is not one of too little senior housing. The problem is one of affordability. And housing vouchers solve that, and cut out the middle men.

    The equivalent model, which works very well, is with food stamps (vouchers). We don’t give money to developers to build and stock special grocery stores where only poor people can buy food. We give poor people food vouchers and let them shop in the same stores everyone else does. With the exception of tobacco and booze, they are free to buy whatever they want with their food stamps. (A separate problem with the food stamp program, alas, is that our government doesn’t give enough for some people to afford to eat well. Why? Because we are broke from giving welfare to millionaire farmers, contractors and low-income housing developers.)

  13. Richard

    The result was a high vacancy rate, which had to be addressed by the city, which decided to make ERC open to outsiders with low incomes. Otherwise the city would have spent a good deal of its housing funds for naught. This brought in indigents from all over – placing further burdens on our cash-strapped city.

    How very, very Davis of you.

    We all know that Davis residents and seniors are a socially superior kind of person compared to indigents, especially those from outside of the city.

    So, we just have to make sure to keep their numbers down, maybe, the Council could work with the police department and property owners to develop a program for this purpose.

    –Richard Estes

  14. Richard

    The result was a high vacancy rate, which had to be addressed by the city, which decided to make ERC open to outsiders with low incomes. Otherwise the city would have spent a good deal of its housing funds for naught. This brought in indigents from all over – placing further burdens on our cash-strapped city.

    How very, very Davis of you.

    We all know that Davis residents and seniors are a socially superior kind of person compared to indigents, especially those from outside of the city.

    So, we just have to make sure to keep their numbers down, maybe, the Council could work with the police department and property owners to develop a program for this purpose.

    –Richard Estes

  15. Richard

    The result was a high vacancy rate, which had to be addressed by the city, which decided to make ERC open to outsiders with low incomes. Otherwise the city would have spent a good deal of its housing funds for naught. This brought in indigents from all over – placing further burdens on our cash-strapped city.

    How very, very Davis of you.

    We all know that Davis residents and seniors are a socially superior kind of person compared to indigents, especially those from outside of the city.

    So, we just have to make sure to keep their numbers down, maybe, the Council could work with the police department and property owners to develop a program for this purpose.

    –Richard Estes

  16. Richard

    The result was a high vacancy rate, which had to be addressed by the city, which decided to make ERC open to outsiders with low incomes. Otherwise the city would have spent a good deal of its housing funds for naught. This brought in indigents from all over – placing further burdens on our cash-strapped city.

    How very, very Davis of you.

    We all know that Davis residents and seniors are a socially superior kind of person compared to indigents, especially those from outside of the city.

    So, we just have to make sure to keep their numbers down, maybe, the Council could work with the police department and property owners to develop a program for this purpose.

    –Richard Estes

  17. Elaine Roberts Musser

    IN ANSWER TO ANONYMOUS: “Having to bring people in from other cities to fill vacancies due to poor planning, is unfortunate,but taking issue with individuals due to their low-income status gives people the impression that
    “Davis is in it’s own world and not in touch with reality.” Essentially, it gives Davis the reputation of being an “elitist” community.

    I don’t see a problem with mixed income housing. If people take care of their property then they should not be treated any differently.

    Maybe I read that part of the article incorrectly, and if I did I apologize; however, that is how I read read it.

    I would be interested in hearing what the author’s comments are on this.”

    AUTHOR’S ANSWER: As I see it, whether mixed income housing is seen as a solution to ending an “elitist Davis” is beside the point. Rich Rifkin and Tansey Thomas point to the bigger issue – is mixed income housing for the elderly what Davis seniors wanted? Was there enough of a market for that sort of housing? The answer is a clear “NO”, as evidenced by the initially high vacancy rates at Eleanor Roosevelt Circle.

    The problem was that the City of Davis put up a good deal of money for a concept that had few consumers interested in it. The market analysis done was clearly flawed. With a high vacancy rate, the city had to rethink things, then open the facility to low-income outsiders, or lose its proverbial shirt.

    The original idea was to provide those of middle income some affordable housing – a group of elderly that thus far had gone begging in the housing market, and still are underserved. They don’t qualify for low income housing, and can’t afford places like University Retirement Commons or Atria Covell Gardens (Atria Covell just had a 16% rate hike in the last two years). Where do middle income seniors go, especially those with serious disabilities? This problem in Davis still has not been resolved.

    As for vouchers as a solution, unfortunately the federal gov’t is getting out of the housing voucher system, and going towards site based low-income housing. Whether one likes the idea of going away from a voucher system or not, it is the reality of the current climate and thinking on Capitol Hill.

    The two most important issues for most seniors are 1) housing; and 2) transportation. The City of Davis needs to plan much more carefully, rather than allow itself to be cozened into something by developers looking for profit “at any cost”. Pick more responsible developers who will look to the community, and make the effort to track the market in coordination with the city more accurately. Perhaps Davis should think about giving developers who get it right bonuses or repeat business. But as long as campaign funding taints the process, we will get more of the same most likely.

  18. Elaine Roberts Musser

    IN ANSWER TO ANONYMOUS: “Having to bring people in from other cities to fill vacancies due to poor planning, is unfortunate,but taking issue with individuals due to their low-income status gives people the impression that
    “Davis is in it’s own world and not in touch with reality.” Essentially, it gives Davis the reputation of being an “elitist” community.

    I don’t see a problem with mixed income housing. If people take care of their property then they should not be treated any differently.

    Maybe I read that part of the article incorrectly, and if I did I apologize; however, that is how I read read it.

    I would be interested in hearing what the author’s comments are on this.”

    AUTHOR’S ANSWER: As I see it, whether mixed income housing is seen as a solution to ending an “elitist Davis” is beside the point. Rich Rifkin and Tansey Thomas point to the bigger issue – is mixed income housing for the elderly what Davis seniors wanted? Was there enough of a market for that sort of housing? The answer is a clear “NO”, as evidenced by the initially high vacancy rates at Eleanor Roosevelt Circle.

    The problem was that the City of Davis put up a good deal of money for a concept that had few consumers interested in it. The market analysis done was clearly flawed. With a high vacancy rate, the city had to rethink things, then open the facility to low-income outsiders, or lose its proverbial shirt.

    The original idea was to provide those of middle income some affordable housing – a group of elderly that thus far had gone begging in the housing market, and still are underserved. They don’t qualify for low income housing, and can’t afford places like University Retirement Commons or Atria Covell Gardens (Atria Covell just had a 16% rate hike in the last two years). Where do middle income seniors go, especially those with serious disabilities? This problem in Davis still has not been resolved.

    As for vouchers as a solution, unfortunately the federal gov’t is getting out of the housing voucher system, and going towards site based low-income housing. Whether one likes the idea of going away from a voucher system or not, it is the reality of the current climate and thinking on Capitol Hill.

    The two most important issues for most seniors are 1) housing; and 2) transportation. The City of Davis needs to plan much more carefully, rather than allow itself to be cozened into something by developers looking for profit “at any cost”. Pick more responsible developers who will look to the community, and make the effort to track the market in coordination with the city more accurately. Perhaps Davis should think about giving developers who get it right bonuses or repeat business. But as long as campaign funding taints the process, we will get more of the same most likely.

  19. Elaine Roberts Musser

    IN ANSWER TO ANONYMOUS: “Having to bring people in from other cities to fill vacancies due to poor planning, is unfortunate,but taking issue with individuals due to their low-income status gives people the impression that
    “Davis is in it’s own world and not in touch with reality.” Essentially, it gives Davis the reputation of being an “elitist” community.

    I don’t see a problem with mixed income housing. If people take care of their property then they should not be treated any differently.

    Maybe I read that part of the article incorrectly, and if I did I apologize; however, that is how I read read it.

    I would be interested in hearing what the author’s comments are on this.”

    AUTHOR’S ANSWER: As I see it, whether mixed income housing is seen as a solution to ending an “elitist Davis” is beside the point. Rich Rifkin and Tansey Thomas point to the bigger issue – is mixed income housing for the elderly what Davis seniors wanted? Was there enough of a market for that sort of housing? The answer is a clear “NO”, as evidenced by the initially high vacancy rates at Eleanor Roosevelt Circle.

    The problem was that the City of Davis put up a good deal of money for a concept that had few consumers interested in it. The market analysis done was clearly flawed. With a high vacancy rate, the city had to rethink things, then open the facility to low-income outsiders, or lose its proverbial shirt.

    The original idea was to provide those of middle income some affordable housing – a group of elderly that thus far had gone begging in the housing market, and still are underserved. They don’t qualify for low income housing, and can’t afford places like University Retirement Commons or Atria Covell Gardens (Atria Covell just had a 16% rate hike in the last two years). Where do middle income seniors go, especially those with serious disabilities? This problem in Davis still has not been resolved.

    As for vouchers as a solution, unfortunately the federal gov’t is getting out of the housing voucher system, and going towards site based low-income housing. Whether one likes the idea of going away from a voucher system or not, it is the reality of the current climate and thinking on Capitol Hill.

    The two most important issues for most seniors are 1) housing; and 2) transportation. The City of Davis needs to plan much more carefully, rather than allow itself to be cozened into something by developers looking for profit “at any cost”. Pick more responsible developers who will look to the community, and make the effort to track the market in coordination with the city more accurately. Perhaps Davis should think about giving developers who get it right bonuses or repeat business. But as long as campaign funding taints the process, we will get more of the same most likely.

  20. Elaine Roberts Musser

    IN ANSWER TO ANONYMOUS: “Having to bring people in from other cities to fill vacancies due to poor planning, is unfortunate,but taking issue with individuals due to their low-income status gives people the impression that
    “Davis is in it’s own world and not in touch with reality.” Essentially, it gives Davis the reputation of being an “elitist” community.

    I don’t see a problem with mixed income housing. If people take care of their property then they should not be treated any differently.

    Maybe I read that part of the article incorrectly, and if I did I apologize; however, that is how I read read it.

    I would be interested in hearing what the author’s comments are on this.”

    AUTHOR’S ANSWER: As I see it, whether mixed income housing is seen as a solution to ending an “elitist Davis” is beside the point. Rich Rifkin and Tansey Thomas point to the bigger issue – is mixed income housing for the elderly what Davis seniors wanted? Was there enough of a market for that sort of housing? The answer is a clear “NO”, as evidenced by the initially high vacancy rates at Eleanor Roosevelt Circle.

    The problem was that the City of Davis put up a good deal of money for a concept that had few consumers interested in it. The market analysis done was clearly flawed. With a high vacancy rate, the city had to rethink things, then open the facility to low-income outsiders, or lose its proverbial shirt.

    The original idea was to provide those of middle income some affordable housing – a group of elderly that thus far had gone begging in the housing market, and still are underserved. They don’t qualify for low income housing, and can’t afford places like University Retirement Commons or Atria Covell Gardens (Atria Covell just had a 16% rate hike in the last two years). Where do middle income seniors go, especially those with serious disabilities? This problem in Davis still has not been resolved.

    As for vouchers as a solution, unfortunately the federal gov’t is getting out of the housing voucher system, and going towards site based low-income housing. Whether one likes the idea of going away from a voucher system or not, it is the reality of the current climate and thinking on Capitol Hill.

    The two most important issues for most seniors are 1) housing; and 2) transportation. The City of Davis needs to plan much more carefully, rather than allow itself to be cozened into something by developers looking for profit “at any cost”. Pick more responsible developers who will look to the community, and make the effort to track the market in coordination with the city more accurately. Perhaps Davis should think about giving developers who get it right bonuses or repeat business. But as long as campaign funding taints the process, we will get more of the same most likely.

  21. Richard

    The problem was that the City of Davis put up a good deal of money for a concept that had few consumers interested in it. The market analysis done was clearly flawed. With a high vacancy rate, the city had to rethink things, then open the facility to low-income outsiders, or lose its proverbial shirt.

    I shouldn’t sound so harsh, but, clearly, you don’t get it.

    I do appreciate, however, your candor in openly displaying an attitude that I frequently encountered while living in Davis: a bias against lower middle income and lower income people.

    I most commonly experienced it in regard to the schools: middle and upper middle income children were not a burden on the school district, but lower middle income and lower income children are

    of course, the irony is that if the city had focused upon more affordable housing projects in the 1990s and the early part of this century, the school district wouldn’t be facing the challenge of declining future enrollment

    nayway, you seem to have the same attitude in regard to the provision of housing, seniors are OK, but low income people, especially, heaven forbid, outsiders, are not

    you might rethink this perspective, as, in my case, it creates an impediment that I must overcome, as, while I am inclined to support the need for senior housing, I find such blatant bias in its promotion distateful

    along these lines, note that projects, such as ERC, are supported by tax credits provided by the state and federal government, and, hence, there should be no issue at all as to whether a senior or poor person comes from within the city or without

    in other words, the state and the federal government are subsidizing the project, so there should be no issue about a poor person from, say, Stockton or Richmond, living in the project

    but, that’s not really the issue, is it? rather, it’s about Davis being a sanctuary from the real and perceived perils of American urban life, and preserving it by discouraging the people that Davis residents consider responsible for them (poor people, and, sadly, people of color) from moving to the city

    Give the money directly to the poor and somewhat poor seniors who need help. They will then be able to find market rate apartments which suit their needs, in locations which work for them.

    Implicit assumption: Davis suits the needs of seniors but not the poor? Unfortunately, the ruthless application of market rates will sweep out seniors in the same tide that washes the poor out of the city

    –Richard Estes

  22. Richard

    The problem was that the City of Davis put up a good deal of money for a concept that had few consumers interested in it. The market analysis done was clearly flawed. With a high vacancy rate, the city had to rethink things, then open the facility to low-income outsiders, or lose its proverbial shirt.

    I shouldn’t sound so harsh, but, clearly, you don’t get it.

    I do appreciate, however, your candor in openly displaying an attitude that I frequently encountered while living in Davis: a bias against lower middle income and lower income people.

    I most commonly experienced it in regard to the schools: middle and upper middle income children were not a burden on the school district, but lower middle income and lower income children are

    of course, the irony is that if the city had focused upon more affordable housing projects in the 1990s and the early part of this century, the school district wouldn’t be facing the challenge of declining future enrollment

    nayway, you seem to have the same attitude in regard to the provision of housing, seniors are OK, but low income people, especially, heaven forbid, outsiders, are not

    you might rethink this perspective, as, in my case, it creates an impediment that I must overcome, as, while I am inclined to support the need for senior housing, I find such blatant bias in its promotion distateful

    along these lines, note that projects, such as ERC, are supported by tax credits provided by the state and federal government, and, hence, there should be no issue at all as to whether a senior or poor person comes from within the city or without

    in other words, the state and the federal government are subsidizing the project, so there should be no issue about a poor person from, say, Stockton or Richmond, living in the project

    but, that’s not really the issue, is it? rather, it’s about Davis being a sanctuary from the real and perceived perils of American urban life, and preserving it by discouraging the people that Davis residents consider responsible for them (poor people, and, sadly, people of color) from moving to the city

    Give the money directly to the poor and somewhat poor seniors who need help. They will then be able to find market rate apartments which suit their needs, in locations which work for them.

    Implicit assumption: Davis suits the needs of seniors but not the poor? Unfortunately, the ruthless application of market rates will sweep out seniors in the same tide that washes the poor out of the city

    –Richard Estes

  23. Richard

    The problem was that the City of Davis put up a good deal of money for a concept that had few consumers interested in it. The market analysis done was clearly flawed. With a high vacancy rate, the city had to rethink things, then open the facility to low-income outsiders, or lose its proverbial shirt.

    I shouldn’t sound so harsh, but, clearly, you don’t get it.

    I do appreciate, however, your candor in openly displaying an attitude that I frequently encountered while living in Davis: a bias against lower middle income and lower income people.

    I most commonly experienced it in regard to the schools: middle and upper middle income children were not a burden on the school district, but lower middle income and lower income children are

    of course, the irony is that if the city had focused upon more affordable housing projects in the 1990s and the early part of this century, the school district wouldn’t be facing the challenge of declining future enrollment

    nayway, you seem to have the same attitude in regard to the provision of housing, seniors are OK, but low income people, especially, heaven forbid, outsiders, are not

    you might rethink this perspective, as, in my case, it creates an impediment that I must overcome, as, while I am inclined to support the need for senior housing, I find such blatant bias in its promotion distateful

    along these lines, note that projects, such as ERC, are supported by tax credits provided by the state and federal government, and, hence, there should be no issue at all as to whether a senior or poor person comes from within the city or without

    in other words, the state and the federal government are subsidizing the project, so there should be no issue about a poor person from, say, Stockton or Richmond, living in the project

    but, that’s not really the issue, is it? rather, it’s about Davis being a sanctuary from the real and perceived perils of American urban life, and preserving it by discouraging the people that Davis residents consider responsible for them (poor people, and, sadly, people of color) from moving to the city

    Give the money directly to the poor and somewhat poor seniors who need help. They will then be able to find market rate apartments which suit their needs, in locations which work for them.

    Implicit assumption: Davis suits the needs of seniors but not the poor? Unfortunately, the ruthless application of market rates will sweep out seniors in the same tide that washes the poor out of the city

    –Richard Estes

  24. Richard

    The problem was that the City of Davis put up a good deal of money for a concept that had few consumers interested in it. The market analysis done was clearly flawed. With a high vacancy rate, the city had to rethink things, then open the facility to low-income outsiders, or lose its proverbial shirt.

    I shouldn’t sound so harsh, but, clearly, you don’t get it.

    I do appreciate, however, your candor in openly displaying an attitude that I frequently encountered while living in Davis: a bias against lower middle income and lower income people.

    I most commonly experienced it in regard to the schools: middle and upper middle income children were not a burden on the school district, but lower middle income and lower income children are

    of course, the irony is that if the city had focused upon more affordable housing projects in the 1990s and the early part of this century, the school district wouldn’t be facing the challenge of declining future enrollment

    nayway, you seem to have the same attitude in regard to the provision of housing, seniors are OK, but low income people, especially, heaven forbid, outsiders, are not

    you might rethink this perspective, as, in my case, it creates an impediment that I must overcome, as, while I am inclined to support the need for senior housing, I find such blatant bias in its promotion distateful

    along these lines, note that projects, such as ERC, are supported by tax credits provided by the state and federal government, and, hence, there should be no issue at all as to whether a senior or poor person comes from within the city or without

    in other words, the state and the federal government are subsidizing the project, so there should be no issue about a poor person from, say, Stockton or Richmond, living in the project

    but, that’s not really the issue, is it? rather, it’s about Davis being a sanctuary from the real and perceived perils of American urban life, and preserving it by discouraging the people that Davis residents consider responsible for them (poor people, and, sadly, people of color) from moving to the city

    Give the money directly to the poor and somewhat poor seniors who need help. They will then be able to find market rate apartments which suit their needs, in locations which work for them.

    Implicit assumption: Davis suits the needs of seniors but not the poor? Unfortunately, the ruthless application of market rates will sweep out seniors in the same tide that washes the poor out of the city

    –Richard Estes

  25. Elaine Roberts Musser

    TO RICHARD: I am afraid you don’t see the bigger picture. I have no axe to grind with mixed income housing or low income housing per se. What I do have a problem with is poor planning that does not serve the community. If you understand the funding process, it becomes clear the city of Davis only receives a limited pot of money for affordable housing from the federal and state gov’t. It is very important that money be used in the wisest way possible.

    Right now, the city of Davis has a suplus of low income housing for seniors – as evidenced by the vacancy rate that still exists at Eleanor Roosevelt (as of one or two months ago – but the vacancy rate is probably for the upper income end of things) and that has existed at times at Shasta Point. The supply of low income senior housing tends to fluctuate, so at times waxes and wanes.

    Not only that, when ERC was first opened, low income residents were coaxed to leave Shasta Point by a hard sell campaign, which caused a vacancy rate at Shasta Point. So both facilities ended up with a vacancy problem. So the city of Davis ended up with two problems, rather than just one.

    We have a new mixed income facility coming on line soon for the disabled, which can include seniors – Caesar Chavez on Olive Drive. If I don’t miss my guess, that is another facility that is going to run into the same difficulties that ERC did because of poor planning. (I actually hope my prediction turns out not to be correct. It is possible the city and developer learned from the mistakes of ERC and have some contingency plans in mind. I hope so!)

    Yet the city of Davis still does not have a whole lot of housing for middle income seniors. What are those folks supposed to do, now that developers who built ERC changed the project from what it was initially designed for? The project was developer driven, rather than consumer driven or “needs of Davis” driven. The city was actually forced to take public funds earmarked for affordable housing for its citizens, and use it for those outside Davis. I call that shortchanging Davisites and a collosal waste of city funding that could have been better spent.

    Rich Rifkin had it right – housing in Davis is developer-driven rather than consumer-oriented – which means John Q. Taxpayer gets screwed (pardon the “harsh tone”, which is the excuse often give by those who can’t come back with a logical answer to plain speaking).

    Tansey Thomas is also correct. Why should any senior pay three times the rent of a neighbor, if they can get an apartment elsewhere that is better, and costs less? Who would think to do that? Not anyone I know of…it doesn’t compute!

    This is not an issue of discriminating against those of low income – my best friend lives in gov’t subsidized housing. It is a question of the best uses of our tax dollars, and the insidious influence some developers have on giving citizens something they don’t want. Why should developers get to decide land use planning issues instead of citizens? Developers (not all by the way – this is not an attempt to bash every developer) are usurping the process – and the local city and county gov’t are complicit in allowing it. In the case of ERC, statements were made the City Staff did the market analysis; the developer did the market analysis. I have no idea which statement is true. But if the developer did the market analysis, that should bother any taxpayer. If City Staff did the market analysis, how could they have been so off – or were their conclusions heavily influenced by the developer? It is important for citizens to ask the hard questions, no matter how harsh it may sound to the sensitive ears of politicians.

  26. Elaine Roberts Musser

    TO RICHARD: I am afraid you don’t see the bigger picture. I have no axe to grind with mixed income housing or low income housing per se. What I do have a problem with is poor planning that does not serve the community. If you understand the funding process, it becomes clear the city of Davis only receives a limited pot of money for affordable housing from the federal and state gov’t. It is very important that money be used in the wisest way possible.

    Right now, the city of Davis has a suplus of low income housing for seniors – as evidenced by the vacancy rate that still exists at Eleanor Roosevelt (as of one or two months ago – but the vacancy rate is probably for the upper income end of things) and that has existed at times at Shasta Point. The supply of low income senior housing tends to fluctuate, so at times waxes and wanes.

    Not only that, when ERC was first opened, low income residents were coaxed to leave Shasta Point by a hard sell campaign, which caused a vacancy rate at Shasta Point. So both facilities ended up with a vacancy problem. So the city of Davis ended up with two problems, rather than just one.

    We have a new mixed income facility coming on line soon for the disabled, which can include seniors – Caesar Chavez on Olive Drive. If I don’t miss my guess, that is another facility that is going to run into the same difficulties that ERC did because of poor planning. (I actually hope my prediction turns out not to be correct. It is possible the city and developer learned from the mistakes of ERC and have some contingency plans in mind. I hope so!)

    Yet the city of Davis still does not have a whole lot of housing for middle income seniors. What are those folks supposed to do, now that developers who built ERC changed the project from what it was initially designed for? The project was developer driven, rather than consumer driven or “needs of Davis” driven. The city was actually forced to take public funds earmarked for affordable housing for its citizens, and use it for those outside Davis. I call that shortchanging Davisites and a collosal waste of city funding that could have been better spent.

    Rich Rifkin had it right – housing in Davis is developer-driven rather than consumer-oriented – which means John Q. Taxpayer gets screwed (pardon the “harsh tone”, which is the excuse often give by those who can’t come back with a logical answer to plain speaking).

    Tansey Thomas is also correct. Why should any senior pay three times the rent of a neighbor, if they can get an apartment elsewhere that is better, and costs less? Who would think to do that? Not anyone I know of…it doesn’t compute!

    This is not an issue of discriminating against those of low income – my best friend lives in gov’t subsidized housing. It is a question of the best uses of our tax dollars, and the insidious influence some developers have on giving citizens something they don’t want. Why should developers get to decide land use planning issues instead of citizens? Developers (not all by the way – this is not an attempt to bash every developer) are usurping the process – and the local city and county gov’t are complicit in allowing it. In the case of ERC, statements were made the City Staff did the market analysis; the developer did the market analysis. I have no idea which statement is true. But if the developer did the market analysis, that should bother any taxpayer. If City Staff did the market analysis, how could they have been so off – or were their conclusions heavily influenced by the developer? It is important for citizens to ask the hard questions, no matter how harsh it may sound to the sensitive ears of politicians.

  27. Elaine Roberts Musser

    TO RICHARD: I am afraid you don’t see the bigger picture. I have no axe to grind with mixed income housing or low income housing per se. What I do have a problem with is poor planning that does not serve the community. If you understand the funding process, it becomes clear the city of Davis only receives a limited pot of money for affordable housing from the federal and state gov’t. It is very important that money be used in the wisest way possible.

    Right now, the city of Davis has a suplus of low income housing for seniors – as evidenced by the vacancy rate that still exists at Eleanor Roosevelt (as of one or two months ago – but the vacancy rate is probably for the upper income end of things) and that has existed at times at Shasta Point. The supply of low income senior housing tends to fluctuate, so at times waxes and wanes.

    Not only that, when ERC was first opened, low income residents were coaxed to leave Shasta Point by a hard sell campaign, which caused a vacancy rate at Shasta Point. So both facilities ended up with a vacancy problem. So the city of Davis ended up with two problems, rather than just one.

    We have a new mixed income facility coming on line soon for the disabled, which can include seniors – Caesar Chavez on Olive Drive. If I don’t miss my guess, that is another facility that is going to run into the same difficulties that ERC did because of poor planning. (I actually hope my prediction turns out not to be correct. It is possible the city and developer learned from the mistakes of ERC and have some contingency plans in mind. I hope so!)

    Yet the city of Davis still does not have a whole lot of housing for middle income seniors. What are those folks supposed to do, now that developers who built ERC changed the project from what it was initially designed for? The project was developer driven, rather than consumer driven or “needs of Davis” driven. The city was actually forced to take public funds earmarked for affordable housing for its citizens, and use it for those outside Davis. I call that shortchanging Davisites and a collosal waste of city funding that could have been better spent.

    Rich Rifkin had it right – housing in Davis is developer-driven rather than consumer-oriented – which means John Q. Taxpayer gets screwed (pardon the “harsh tone”, which is the excuse often give by those who can’t come back with a logical answer to plain speaking).

    Tansey Thomas is also correct. Why should any senior pay three times the rent of a neighbor, if they can get an apartment elsewhere that is better, and costs less? Who would think to do that? Not anyone I know of…it doesn’t compute!

    This is not an issue of discriminating against those of low income – my best friend lives in gov’t subsidized housing. It is a question of the best uses of our tax dollars, and the insidious influence some developers have on giving citizens something they don’t want. Why should developers get to decide land use planning issues instead of citizens? Developers (not all by the way – this is not an attempt to bash every developer) are usurping the process – and the local city and county gov’t are complicit in allowing it. In the case of ERC, statements were made the City Staff did the market analysis; the developer did the market analysis. I have no idea which statement is true. But if the developer did the market analysis, that should bother any taxpayer. If City Staff did the market analysis, how could they have been so off – or were their conclusions heavily influenced by the developer? It is important for citizens to ask the hard questions, no matter how harsh it may sound to the sensitive ears of politicians.

  28. Elaine Roberts Musser

    TO RICHARD: I am afraid you don’t see the bigger picture. I have no axe to grind with mixed income housing or low income housing per se. What I do have a problem with is poor planning that does not serve the community. If you understand the funding process, it becomes clear the city of Davis only receives a limited pot of money for affordable housing from the federal and state gov’t. It is very important that money be used in the wisest way possible.

    Right now, the city of Davis has a suplus of low income housing for seniors – as evidenced by the vacancy rate that still exists at Eleanor Roosevelt (as of one or two months ago – but the vacancy rate is probably for the upper income end of things) and that has existed at times at Shasta Point. The supply of low income senior housing tends to fluctuate, so at times waxes and wanes.

    Not only that, when ERC was first opened, low income residents were coaxed to leave Shasta Point by a hard sell campaign, which caused a vacancy rate at Shasta Point. So both facilities ended up with a vacancy problem. So the city of Davis ended up with two problems, rather than just one.

    We have a new mixed income facility coming on line soon for the disabled, which can include seniors – Caesar Chavez on Olive Drive. If I don’t miss my guess, that is another facility that is going to run into the same difficulties that ERC did because of poor planning. (I actually hope my prediction turns out not to be correct. It is possible the city and developer learned from the mistakes of ERC and have some contingency plans in mind. I hope so!)

    Yet the city of Davis still does not have a whole lot of housing for middle income seniors. What are those folks supposed to do, now that developers who built ERC changed the project from what it was initially designed for? The project was developer driven, rather than consumer driven or “needs of Davis” driven. The city was actually forced to take public funds earmarked for affordable housing for its citizens, and use it for those outside Davis. I call that shortchanging Davisites and a collosal waste of city funding that could have been better spent.

    Rich Rifkin had it right – housing in Davis is developer-driven rather than consumer-oriented – which means John Q. Taxpayer gets screwed (pardon the “harsh tone”, which is the excuse often give by those who can’t come back with a logical answer to plain speaking).

    Tansey Thomas is also correct. Why should any senior pay three times the rent of a neighbor, if they can get an apartment elsewhere that is better, and costs less? Who would think to do that? Not anyone I know of…it doesn’t compute!

    This is not an issue of discriminating against those of low income – my best friend lives in gov’t subsidized housing. It is a question of the best uses of our tax dollars, and the insidious influence some developers have on giving citizens something they don’t want. Why should developers get to decide land use planning issues instead of citizens? Developers (not all by the way – this is not an attempt to bash every developer) are usurping the process – and the local city and county gov’t are complicit in allowing it. In the case of ERC, statements were made the City Staff did the market analysis; the developer did the market analysis. I have no idea which statement is true. But if the developer did the market analysis, that should bother any taxpayer. If City Staff did the market analysis, how could they have been so off – or were their conclusions heavily influenced by the developer? It is important for citizens to ask the hard questions, no matter how harsh it may sound to the sensitive ears of politicians.

  29. Anonymous

    As far as the Medicare Part D discussion of the article and PDP plan choices, suggest a good option is to ask a trusted pharmacist to help in the selection of a plan or IF a plan is best for the individual. As one individual pointed out if few medications and another pension plan is the case, a Part D PDP may NOT be the best option. Thanks.

  30. Anonymous

    As far as the Medicare Part D discussion of the article and PDP plan choices, suggest a good option is to ask a trusted pharmacist to help in the selection of a plan or IF a plan is best for the individual. As one individual pointed out if few medications and another pension plan is the case, a Part D PDP may NOT be the best option. Thanks.

  31. Anonymous

    As far as the Medicare Part D discussion of the article and PDP plan choices, suggest a good option is to ask a trusted pharmacist to help in the selection of a plan or IF a plan is best for the individual. As one individual pointed out if few medications and another pension plan is the case, a Part D PDP may NOT be the best option. Thanks.

  32. Anonymous

    As far as the Medicare Part D discussion of the article and PDP plan choices, suggest a good option is to ask a trusted pharmacist to help in the selection of a plan or IF a plan is best for the individual. As one individual pointed out if few medications and another pension plan is the case, a Part D PDP may NOT be the best option. Thanks.

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