Commentary: A critical examination of our affordable housing program in Davis

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The issue of affordable housing is clearly one of those issues that will likely arise in each and every debate for city council. That’s not surprising and frankly it is one of those top four issues that is on everyone’s mind. And frankly it is an issue that transcends the divide between those who are slow growthers and those who are a little bit faster growthers.

There is an on-going and interesting debate on this blog about the extent to which the building of more homes will reduce housing prices. In the community there seems a clear ambivalence on the issue. On the one hand, about everyone is concerned with rising housing prices. On the other hand, about everyone is concerned with preserving the character of Davis. The thought is you build up, build out, or jack up the prices. Personally I don’t think it is quite that simple and I’m questionable on the issue that we can grow sufficiently to reduce the cost of housing in real terms in the short-run. In the long-run, we could probably do it by reducing the character and appeal of Davis, but that seems a pretty high price to pay (no pun intended).

I actually am not that interested in rehashing this argument in this space today, although, feel free to debate it to your hearts content in the comments section.

There is actually another issue I want to talk about that I have been thinking about for a long time and it came up in the debates.

It comes from comments that Stephen Souza and Don Saylor made in the debates this week, captured nicely by the quote from Councilmember Souza:

“We implemented the fairest and toughest affordable housing ordinance in the nation.”

We certainly have a broad affordable housing ordinance, but I have had real concerns about the ordinance for quite some time.

The first problem with it, is that for the low income people the cost of housing is $177,000. Now in order to explain the problem we have to backtrack to the early portion of this decade. What would happen is that people would purchase these houses, and in some case fraudulently–wealthier people would get individuals who qualified to basically be squatters for a two year period that they were required to own and occupy the home, and then they could sell it. When they sold it was sold at market rate, for huge profits. Those who were around know this was a huge fiasco at the time and there were some city staffers in on it. Needless to say however, after two years, what was supposed to be an affordable home becomes just another market rate home.

The city fixed this problem by limiting the amount of equity that you could make on a home to a value based on the rate of inflation. So if you buy a house for $177,000, then in ten years, you sell it for $177,000 plus inflation. That achieves the goal of keeping the homes that were supposed to be affordable housing, affordable, but it also creates new problems.

One of the purposes of affordable housing is not merely to provide someone with a place to live that they can afford, but it is also to help them build up equity and be able to raise the level of their condition. The Davis affordable housing by limiting equity, pretty much traps individuals at these incomes into affordable housing because it does not allow them to build up equity.

There are other models of housing out there that might be better for the individual who is not able to afford market rate homes to be able to build up their equity so that they can better their conditions–while at the same time being able to keep what is an affordable home, affordable (and avoid some of the past scandals). That’s really I think what this city needs to look toward.

The problem of workforce housing also comes into play. When most people think about affordable housing, that is really what they are thinking about–housing that people over moderate and middle incomes can afford. The city of Davis’ ordinance provides people of this range about 20 to 25% of the housing. That means up to $464,000 or so.

On the surface again, that sounds very good. Except you start to realize quickly that over half of the housing is going to cost more than $464,000. And in fact, it may cost much more. Not that $464,000 is cheap. I remember when a former colleague of mine got a job in Lawrence, Kansas at the university there and purchased his home for $92,000. An assistant professor at the University of Kansas at the time made about $3000 less per year than an assistant professor at UC Davis.

As Sue Greenwald pointed out at the forum on Thursday night, the break even point for a developer to make money on a home is about $500,000 per unit. If half your homes are held below that mark, that means the other half have to basically be McMansions in order for the property owner to make a profit.

So you basically have an affordable action program which sounds very good, but you end up with about 25% of the units for low income people, 20 to 25% of the units for middle income people, and then half of the units costing more than $600,000. Those who believe that we can bring about affordability in this way, might want to re-think it.

And that leads to another point that Stephen Souza made both Wednesday and Thursday.

“The problem is if you don’t build anything about 25 units you don’t get that full 45%, you get a smaller percentage based on the number of units that you build.”

In other words, we have to build larger developments in order to get the full impact of the affordable housing ordinance. We have to do it in terms of getting the full 45% of the units being in the lower and middle range. But we also have to do it in terms of overall numbers. In a project the size of Covell Village, you are theoretically talking about producing between 850 and 900 affordable units. At the same time you are producing another 900 to 1000 units that are costing more than $600,000. That means you have to build a lot just to increase the number of affordable units.

As one can see, the benefits of such of program are not nearly as clear cut as they appear on the surface. There are other ways to produce affordability, but it is clear that we cannot rely on this ordinance to do it. We need to start, I think by looking toward building more compact developments with smaller units–townhouses, duplexes, and condos. I also think we need to seriously look to address the student housing problem, because so many core homes are rental units now rather than owner-occupied, which takes those units effectively outside of the market.
The number that was thrown around on Thursday was 8,000, the number of students who reside outside of Davis. Another number that was mentioned was 1%, the apartment vacancy rate in Davis. A number that should have been mentioned would be 24%–the number of students who live on the UC Davis campus itself, lowest in the system according to the table I saw a few weeks ago. Of all the jurisdictions involved, the university is in the best position to provide housing to students at the very least. If they can do that, it frees up housing in the core of Davis to single-family, owner occupied homes.

Finally, I think we need to revisit the affordable housing ordinance. It has some good properties to it, it is aggressive, but it also does not solve the overall problem of providing affordable homes to young families with children.

—Doug Paul Davis 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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148 thoughts on “Commentary: A critical examination of our affordable housing program in Davis”

  1. Anonymous

    In terms of social policy as it relates to affordable housing,perhaps one of the problems is in insisting that Davis address it as a universe unto itself. Thinking of Davis as a “neighborhood” in a regional “community” may reflect reality more accurately.

  2. Anonymous

    In terms of social policy as it relates to affordable housing,perhaps one of the problems is in insisting that Davis address it as a universe unto itself. Thinking of Davis as a “neighborhood” in a regional “community” may reflect reality more accurately.

  3. Anonymous

    In terms of social policy as it relates to affordable housing,perhaps one of the problems is in insisting that Davis address it as a universe unto itself. Thinking of Davis as a “neighborhood” in a regional “community” may reflect reality more accurately.

  4. Anonymous

    In terms of social policy as it relates to affordable housing,perhaps one of the problems is in insisting that Davis address it as a universe unto itself. Thinking of Davis as a “neighborhood” in a regional “community” may reflect reality more accurately.

  5. don shor

    Change zoning and the permit process to encourage builders to build apartments, and quit trying to achieve unachievable ends by putting mandates on the housing market.

  6. don shor

    Change zoning and the permit process to encourage builders to build apartments, and quit trying to achieve unachievable ends by putting mandates on the housing market.

  7. don shor

    Change zoning and the permit process to encourage builders to build apartments, and quit trying to achieve unachievable ends by putting mandates on the housing market.

  8. don shor

    Change zoning and the permit process to encourage builders to build apartments, and quit trying to achieve unachievable ends by putting mandates on the housing market.

  9. Anonymous

    I think it’s important to remember that building costs have actually gone down or remained static over the past few years, while land and development costs have skyrocketed. It might be time to look more closely at developing a City land bank, with restricted development agreements similar to the University’s West Village, rather than depend on McMansions to subsidize McMinis.

  10. Anonymous

    I think it’s important to remember that building costs have actually gone down or remained static over the past few years, while land and development costs have skyrocketed. It might be time to look more closely at developing a City land bank, with restricted development agreements similar to the University’s West Village, rather than depend on McMansions to subsidize McMinis.

  11. Anonymous

    I think it’s important to remember that building costs have actually gone down or remained static over the past few years, while land and development costs have skyrocketed. It might be time to look more closely at developing a City land bank, with restricted development agreements similar to the University’s West Village, rather than depend on McMansions to subsidize McMinis.

  12. Anonymous

    I think it’s important to remember that building costs have actually gone down or remained static over the past few years, while land and development costs have skyrocketed. It might be time to look more closely at developing a City land bank, with restricted development agreements similar to the University’s West Village, rather than depend on McMansions to subsidize McMinis.

  13. Mike

    The single best thing we could do in Davis would be to give permits to the most expensive homes possible. People living in $600K homes could move up, and their homes moved into by people in $400K homes and people in still less expensive homes (there are some) could move up as well. In short, create a pull-effect. Simply building some cheap houses and creating a huge system to control who moves into them accomplishes little. Building expensive homes allows a whole community to move into the “right-sized” home.

    As an aside- I am not aware of many people actually concerned about “rising home prices”, quite the contrary- prices haven’t risen in years. There is a premium to be paid for living in Davis, get used to it.

  14. Mike

    The single best thing we could do in Davis would be to give permits to the most expensive homes possible. People living in $600K homes could move up, and their homes moved into by people in $400K homes and people in still less expensive homes (there are some) could move up as well. In short, create a pull-effect. Simply building some cheap houses and creating a huge system to control who moves into them accomplishes little. Building expensive homes allows a whole community to move into the “right-sized” home.

    As an aside- I am not aware of many people actually concerned about “rising home prices”, quite the contrary- prices haven’t risen in years. There is a premium to be paid for living in Davis, get used to it.

  15. Mike

    The single best thing we could do in Davis would be to give permits to the most expensive homes possible. People living in $600K homes could move up, and their homes moved into by people in $400K homes and people in still less expensive homes (there are some) could move up as well. In short, create a pull-effect. Simply building some cheap houses and creating a huge system to control who moves into them accomplishes little. Building expensive homes allows a whole community to move into the “right-sized” home.

    As an aside- I am not aware of many people actually concerned about “rising home prices”, quite the contrary- prices haven’t risen in years. There is a premium to be paid for living in Davis, get used to it.

  16. Mike

    The single best thing we could do in Davis would be to give permits to the most expensive homes possible. People living in $600K homes could move up, and their homes moved into by people in $400K homes and people in still less expensive homes (there are some) could move up as well. In short, create a pull-effect. Simply building some cheap houses and creating a huge system to control who moves into them accomplishes little. Building expensive homes allows a whole community to move into the “right-sized” home.

    As an aside- I am not aware of many people actually concerned about “rising home prices”, quite the contrary- prices haven’t risen in years. There is a premium to be paid for living in Davis, get used to it.

  17. Its not working

    I don’t think that the affordable housing stock should be used as a way for people to “build equity.” I think the point was that it was so people could purchase houses in Davis and live here. $177,000 is a low priced home in Davis. Many people would jump at the chance to purchase a home at that dream price. If you then allow someone to turn around and sell the house at market rate, it is akin to winning the lottery for that person. Wouldn’t it just be easier and cheaper to just give the family the money and not go through the hassle of subsidizing the building of the houses?

  18. Its not working

    I don’t think that the affordable housing stock should be used as a way for people to “build equity.” I think the point was that it was so people could purchase houses in Davis and live here. $177,000 is a low priced home in Davis. Many people would jump at the chance to purchase a home at that dream price. If you then allow someone to turn around and sell the house at market rate, it is akin to winning the lottery for that person. Wouldn’t it just be easier and cheaper to just give the family the money and not go through the hassle of subsidizing the building of the houses?

  19. Its not working

    I don’t think that the affordable housing stock should be used as a way for people to “build equity.” I think the point was that it was so people could purchase houses in Davis and live here. $177,000 is a low priced home in Davis. Many people would jump at the chance to purchase a home at that dream price. If you then allow someone to turn around and sell the house at market rate, it is akin to winning the lottery for that person. Wouldn’t it just be easier and cheaper to just give the family the money and not go through the hassle of subsidizing the building of the houses?

  20. Its not working

    I don’t think that the affordable housing stock should be used as a way for people to “build equity.” I think the point was that it was so people could purchase houses in Davis and live here. $177,000 is a low priced home in Davis. Many people would jump at the chance to purchase a home at that dream price. If you then allow someone to turn around and sell the house at market rate, it is akin to winning the lottery for that person. Wouldn’t it just be easier and cheaper to just give the family the money and not go through the hassle of subsidizing the building of the houses?

  21. Matt Williams

    Mike said…

    The single best thing we could do in Davis would be to give permits to the most expensive homes possible …

    There are a lot of reasons I disagree with your suggestion, but rather than go through those (because they have been discussed many times before), lets look at your suggestion from another perspective.

    To do so, I’d like to start with a question, “How many current Davis residents do you think are looking to move up to a new house that sells for over $600,000?”

    Understanding the amount of demand that exists in Davis for such a transaction will give us a good sense of the number of existing houses that will come on the market as a result of the move up transaction.

    A second question your suggestion prompts is, “What do you think the selling price will be of the home that the movers up currently live in?”

  22. Anonymous

    I think the point is whether afforable housing means people will always have to live in subsidized homes or whether we can do more with the program.

    The otherinteresting thought is that the a-h program is actually keeping housing in Davis unaffordable.

  23. Matt Williams

    Mike said…

    The single best thing we could do in Davis would be to give permits to the most expensive homes possible …

    There are a lot of reasons I disagree with your suggestion, but rather than go through those (because they have been discussed many times before), lets look at your suggestion from another perspective.

    To do so, I’d like to start with a question, “How many current Davis residents do you think are looking to move up to a new house that sells for over $600,000?”

    Understanding the amount of demand that exists in Davis for such a transaction will give us a good sense of the number of existing houses that will come on the market as a result of the move up transaction.

    A second question your suggestion prompts is, “What do you think the selling price will be of the home that the movers up currently live in?”

  24. Anonymous

    I think the point is whether afforable housing means people will always have to live in subsidized homes or whether we can do more with the program.

    The otherinteresting thought is that the a-h program is actually keeping housing in Davis unaffordable.

  25. Matt Williams

    Mike said…

    The single best thing we could do in Davis would be to give permits to the most expensive homes possible …

    There are a lot of reasons I disagree with your suggestion, but rather than go through those (because they have been discussed many times before), lets look at your suggestion from another perspective.

    To do so, I’d like to start with a question, “How many current Davis residents do you think are looking to move up to a new house that sells for over $600,000?”

    Understanding the amount of demand that exists in Davis for such a transaction will give us a good sense of the number of existing houses that will come on the market as a result of the move up transaction.

    A second question your suggestion prompts is, “What do you think the selling price will be of the home that the movers up currently live in?”

  26. Anonymous

    I think the point is whether afforable housing means people will always have to live in subsidized homes or whether we can do more with the program.

    The otherinteresting thought is that the a-h program is actually keeping housing in Davis unaffordable.

  27. Matt Williams

    Mike said…

    The single best thing we could do in Davis would be to give permits to the most expensive homes possible …

    There are a lot of reasons I disagree with your suggestion, but rather than go through those (because they have been discussed many times before), lets look at your suggestion from another perspective.

    To do so, I’d like to start with a question, “How many current Davis residents do you think are looking to move up to a new house that sells for over $600,000?”

    Understanding the amount of demand that exists in Davis for such a transaction will give us a good sense of the number of existing houses that will come on the market as a result of the move up transaction.

    A second question your suggestion prompts is, “What do you think the selling price will be of the home that the movers up currently live in?”

  28. Anonymous

    I think the point is whether afforable housing means people will always have to live in subsidized homes or whether we can do more with the program.

    The otherinteresting thought is that the a-h program is actually keeping housing in Davis unaffordable.

  29. don shor

    The affordable housing policy does not achieve affordable housing. It should be abolished.
    The city needs to allow for the development of 800 – 1000 apartment units in the next 5 years (or so) just to provide for the excess of students beyond what the university will be providing housing for. That would maintain the current housing stock with the currently very low vacancy rate. So probably double that number of student units will be needed to have any impact on the current availability of affordable housing.
    Affordable housing means
    –duplexes
    –mobile units and trailer parks
    –older homes that are below median price.
    Currently you have thousands of students occupying those units in those categories that are available. Limited equity homes are not a realistic option unless the city is going to build them itself. Only a deep-pocket builder like the university is going to be willing to build homes that don’t build equity.

    If anyone with a background in urban planning or economics can persuade us how the current policy is achieving any of its objectives, I would be curious to hear about it. Otherwise, it is time to abandon the current policy and work on the demand end at the rental level.

  30. don shor

    The affordable housing policy does not achieve affordable housing. It should be abolished.
    The city needs to allow for the development of 800 – 1000 apartment units in the next 5 years (or so) just to provide for the excess of students beyond what the university will be providing housing for. That would maintain the current housing stock with the currently very low vacancy rate. So probably double that number of student units will be needed to have any impact on the current availability of affordable housing.
    Affordable housing means
    –duplexes
    –mobile units and trailer parks
    –older homes that are below median price.
    Currently you have thousands of students occupying those units in those categories that are available. Limited equity homes are not a realistic option unless the city is going to build them itself. Only a deep-pocket builder like the university is going to be willing to build homes that don’t build equity.

    If anyone with a background in urban planning or economics can persuade us how the current policy is achieving any of its objectives, I would be curious to hear about it. Otherwise, it is time to abandon the current policy and work on the demand end at the rental level.

  31. don shor

    The affordable housing policy does not achieve affordable housing. It should be abolished.
    The city needs to allow for the development of 800 – 1000 apartment units in the next 5 years (or so) just to provide for the excess of students beyond what the university will be providing housing for. That would maintain the current housing stock with the currently very low vacancy rate. So probably double that number of student units will be needed to have any impact on the current availability of affordable housing.
    Affordable housing means
    –duplexes
    –mobile units and trailer parks
    –older homes that are below median price.
    Currently you have thousands of students occupying those units in those categories that are available. Limited equity homes are not a realistic option unless the city is going to build them itself. Only a deep-pocket builder like the university is going to be willing to build homes that don’t build equity.

    If anyone with a background in urban planning or economics can persuade us how the current policy is achieving any of its objectives, I would be curious to hear about it. Otherwise, it is time to abandon the current policy and work on the demand end at the rental level.

  32. don shor

    The affordable housing policy does not achieve affordable housing. It should be abolished.
    The city needs to allow for the development of 800 – 1000 apartment units in the next 5 years (or so) just to provide for the excess of students beyond what the university will be providing housing for. That would maintain the current housing stock with the currently very low vacancy rate. So probably double that number of student units will be needed to have any impact on the current availability of affordable housing.
    Affordable housing means
    –duplexes
    –mobile units and trailer parks
    –older homes that are below median price.
    Currently you have thousands of students occupying those units in those categories that are available. Limited equity homes are not a realistic option unless the city is going to build them itself. Only a deep-pocket builder like the university is going to be willing to build homes that don’t build equity.

    If anyone with a background in urban planning or economics can persuade us how the current policy is achieving any of its objectives, I would be curious to hear about it. Otherwise, it is time to abandon the current policy and work on the demand end at the rental level.

  33. Anonymous

    More UCD (university built and controlled)housing development is a good idea. Since that market would be restricted to students and UCD employees, it would not be exposed to the open market and the result would be lower rents and prices. Stanford has substantial faculty housing and the resale values are around 80-90% of the prices in the open Palo Alto housing market. A discount of 10% to 20% is significant. For UCD to do that, the community of Davis has to be a little more receptive than it has been in the past.

  34. Anonymous

    More UCD (university built and controlled)housing development is a good idea. Since that market would be restricted to students and UCD employees, it would not be exposed to the open market and the result would be lower rents and prices. Stanford has substantial faculty housing and the resale values are around 80-90% of the prices in the open Palo Alto housing market. A discount of 10% to 20% is significant. For UCD to do that, the community of Davis has to be a little more receptive than it has been in the past.

  35. Anonymous

    More UCD (university built and controlled)housing development is a good idea. Since that market would be restricted to students and UCD employees, it would not be exposed to the open market and the result would be lower rents and prices. Stanford has substantial faculty housing and the resale values are around 80-90% of the prices in the open Palo Alto housing market. A discount of 10% to 20% is significant. For UCD to do that, the community of Davis has to be a little more receptive than it has been in the past.

  36. Anonymous

    More UCD (university built and controlled)housing development is a good idea. Since that market would be restricted to students and UCD employees, it would not be exposed to the open market and the result would be lower rents and prices. Stanford has substantial faculty housing and the resale values are around 80-90% of the prices in the open Palo Alto housing market. A discount of 10% to 20% is significant. For UCD to do that, the community of Davis has to be a little more receptive than it has been in the past.

  37. Doug Paul Davis

    Stanford is actually one of the places I had in mind when I wrote this. I was there for the summer of 2005, and in addition to what was described above, the university helps guarantee the loan, subsidizes it, but the individual buys into their equity so they are not disadvantaged by having subsidized housing. Stanford did this because they were losing out on top young assistant professors due to the cost of housing. Obviously they have some resources and endowments that UCD does not, but I would like to start looking of those kinds of models on how best to do these things. And the good thing is that when you are talking about assistant professors, you are talking about young families.

  38. Doug Paul Davis

    Stanford is actually one of the places I had in mind when I wrote this. I was there for the summer of 2005, and in addition to what was described above, the university helps guarantee the loan, subsidizes it, but the individual buys into their equity so they are not disadvantaged by having subsidized housing. Stanford did this because they were losing out on top young assistant professors due to the cost of housing. Obviously they have some resources and endowments that UCD does not, but I would like to start looking of those kinds of models on how best to do these things. And the good thing is that when you are talking about assistant professors, you are talking about young families.

  39. Doug Paul Davis

    Stanford is actually one of the places I had in mind when I wrote this. I was there for the summer of 2005, and in addition to what was described above, the university helps guarantee the loan, subsidizes it, but the individual buys into their equity so they are not disadvantaged by having subsidized housing. Stanford did this because they were losing out on top young assistant professors due to the cost of housing. Obviously they have some resources and endowments that UCD does not, but I would like to start looking of those kinds of models on how best to do these things. And the good thing is that when you are talking about assistant professors, you are talking about young families.

  40. Doug Paul Davis

    Stanford is actually one of the places I had in mind when I wrote this. I was there for the summer of 2005, and in addition to what was described above, the university helps guarantee the loan, subsidizes it, but the individual buys into their equity so they are not disadvantaged by having subsidized housing. Stanford did this because they were losing out on top young assistant professors due to the cost of housing. Obviously they have some resources and endowments that UCD does not, but I would like to start looking of those kinds of models on how best to do these things. And the good thing is that when you are talking about assistant professors, you are talking about young families.

  41. staff need housing too

    Stanford helps buy houses for new faculty members, but do they do that for staff? Attracting faculty is a problem at UCD, partly due to the cost of housing, but houses are probably even farther out of reach for the staff members at the university (not to mention people with “regular” Davis jobs – in retail, restaurants, etc.), who are far more numerous than the faculty.

  42. staff need housing too

    Stanford helps buy houses for new faculty members, but do they do that for staff? Attracting faculty is a problem at UCD, partly due to the cost of housing, but houses are probably even farther out of reach for the staff members at the university (not to mention people with “regular” Davis jobs – in retail, restaurants, etc.), who are far more numerous than the faculty.

  43. staff need housing too

    Stanford helps buy houses for new faculty members, but do they do that for staff? Attracting faculty is a problem at UCD, partly due to the cost of housing, but houses are probably even farther out of reach for the staff members at the university (not to mention people with “regular” Davis jobs – in retail, restaurants, etc.), who are far more numerous than the faculty.

  44. staff need housing too

    Stanford helps buy houses for new faculty members, but do they do that for staff? Attracting faculty is a problem at UCD, partly due to the cost of housing, but houses are probably even farther out of reach for the staff members at the university (not to mention people with “regular” Davis jobs – in retail, restaurants, etc.), who are far more numerous than the faculty.

  45. Black Bart

    Matt said “Understanding the amount of demand that exists in Davis for such a transaction will give us a good sense of the number of existing houses that will come on the market as a result of move up transaction.”

    But Matt, I thought supply and demand didn’t work in the Davis housing market. Could it be that it works in some parts of the market but not others? Or could it be that you want to deny that it works when it doesn’t support your personal biases?

    On another thread the other day someone asked the mayor to support her statement by providing a source about supply and demand not working in the Davis housing market. I don’t believe she has responded to that request yet Until she does I think we should assume that she has no real evidence to support her nimby views.

  46. Black Bart

    Matt said “Understanding the amount of demand that exists in Davis for such a transaction will give us a good sense of the number of existing houses that will come on the market as a result of move up transaction.”

    But Matt, I thought supply and demand didn’t work in the Davis housing market. Could it be that it works in some parts of the market but not others? Or could it be that you want to deny that it works when it doesn’t support your personal biases?

    On another thread the other day someone asked the mayor to support her statement by providing a source about supply and demand not working in the Davis housing market. I don’t believe she has responded to that request yet Until she does I think we should assume that she has no real evidence to support her nimby views.

  47. Black Bart

    Matt said “Understanding the amount of demand that exists in Davis for such a transaction will give us a good sense of the number of existing houses that will come on the market as a result of move up transaction.”

    But Matt, I thought supply and demand didn’t work in the Davis housing market. Could it be that it works in some parts of the market but not others? Or could it be that you want to deny that it works when it doesn’t support your personal biases?

    On another thread the other day someone asked the mayor to support her statement by providing a source about supply and demand not working in the Davis housing market. I don’t believe she has responded to that request yet Until she does I think we should assume that she has no real evidence to support her nimby views.

  48. Black Bart

    Matt said “Understanding the amount of demand that exists in Davis for such a transaction will give us a good sense of the number of existing houses that will come on the market as a result of move up transaction.”

    But Matt, I thought supply and demand didn’t work in the Davis housing market. Could it be that it works in some parts of the market but not others? Or could it be that you want to deny that it works when it doesn’t support your personal biases?

    On another thread the other day someone asked the mayor to support her statement by providing a source about supply and demand not working in the Davis housing market. I don’t believe she has responded to that request yet Until she does I think we should assume that she has no real evidence to support her nimby views.

  49. Sue Greenwald

    Black Bart:

    As I said, I cannot post the graphs that illustrate that the demand for single family houses in Davis is sufficiently elastic that the they have not affected the relative price of Davis houses. I can forward these graphs to David if he wants to post them, have Mark forward them.

  50. Sue Greenwald

    Black Bart:

    As I said, I cannot post the graphs that illustrate that the demand for single family houses in Davis is sufficiently elastic that the they have not affected the relative price of Davis houses. I can forward these graphs to David if he wants to post them, have Mark forward them.

  51. Sue Greenwald

    Black Bart:

    As I said, I cannot post the graphs that illustrate that the demand for single family houses in Davis is sufficiently elastic that the they have not affected the relative price of Davis houses. I can forward these graphs to David if he wants to post them, have Mark forward them.

  52. Sue Greenwald

    Black Bart:

    As I said, I cannot post the graphs that illustrate that the demand for single family houses in Davis is sufficiently elastic that the they have not affected the relative price of Davis houses. I can forward these graphs to David if he wants to post them, have Mark forward them.

  53. Sue Greenwald

    Correction:

    As I said, I cannot post the graphs that illustrate that the demand for single family houses in Davis is sufficiently elastic that fluctuations in growth have not affected the relative price of Davis houses. I can forward these graphs to David if he wants to post them, have Mark forward them.

    4/26/08 5:43 PM
    Delete

  54. Sue Greenwald

    Correction:

    As I said, I cannot post the graphs that illustrate that the demand for single family houses in Davis is sufficiently elastic that fluctuations in growth have not affected the relative price of Davis houses. I can forward these graphs to David if he wants to post them, have Mark forward them.

    4/26/08 5:43 PM
    Delete

  55. Sue Greenwald

    Correction:

    As I said, I cannot post the graphs that illustrate that the demand for single family houses in Davis is sufficiently elastic that fluctuations in growth have not affected the relative price of Davis houses. I can forward these graphs to David if he wants to post them, have Mark forward them.

    4/26/08 5:43 PM
    Delete

  56. Sue Greenwald

    Correction:

    As I said, I cannot post the graphs that illustrate that the demand for single family houses in Davis is sufficiently elastic that fluctuations in growth have not affected the relative price of Davis houses. I can forward these graphs to David if he wants to post them, have Mark forward them.

    4/26/08 5:43 PM
    Delete

  57. Sue Greenwald

    Don Shor:

    I am a little confused by your post, but if you are saying that building apartments will “free up” single family houses, as some people have said, I think this is an oversimplified model.

    In my experience, students want to live in single family houses like everyone else does. And graduate students in particular seek the peace and quiet of a single family home.

    When I a graduate student at Berkeley, I always shared single family homes with other graduate students out of preference, and would go to great lengths, and often travel some distance from campus, to live in them.

    I would not have moved out of a single family house because someone built a new apartment complex.

    I do think that the 5,000 new beds on campus could do a lot toward bringing up the vacancy rate. But apartment vacancy rates have been pretty unpredictable; over the years, they have fluctuated
    very widely, while University enrollment has stayed relatively constant. I have always wondered why.

  58. Sue Greenwald

    Don Shor:

    I am a little confused by your post, but if you are saying that building apartments will “free up” single family houses, as some people have said, I think this is an oversimplified model.

    In my experience, students want to live in single family houses like everyone else does. And graduate students in particular seek the peace and quiet of a single family home.

    When I a graduate student at Berkeley, I always shared single family homes with other graduate students out of preference, and would go to great lengths, and often travel some distance from campus, to live in them.

    I would not have moved out of a single family house because someone built a new apartment complex.

    I do think that the 5,000 new beds on campus could do a lot toward bringing up the vacancy rate. But apartment vacancy rates have been pretty unpredictable; over the years, they have fluctuated
    very widely, while University enrollment has stayed relatively constant. I have always wondered why.

  59. Sue Greenwald

    Don Shor:

    I am a little confused by your post, but if you are saying that building apartments will “free up” single family houses, as some people have said, I think this is an oversimplified model.

    In my experience, students want to live in single family houses like everyone else does. And graduate students in particular seek the peace and quiet of a single family home.

    When I a graduate student at Berkeley, I always shared single family homes with other graduate students out of preference, and would go to great lengths, and often travel some distance from campus, to live in them.

    I would not have moved out of a single family house because someone built a new apartment complex.

    I do think that the 5,000 new beds on campus could do a lot toward bringing up the vacancy rate. But apartment vacancy rates have been pretty unpredictable; over the years, they have fluctuated
    very widely, while University enrollment has stayed relatively constant. I have always wondered why.

  60. Sue Greenwald

    Don Shor:

    I am a little confused by your post, but if you are saying that building apartments will “free up” single family houses, as some people have said, I think this is an oversimplified model.

    In my experience, students want to live in single family houses like everyone else does. And graduate students in particular seek the peace and quiet of a single family home.

    When I a graduate student at Berkeley, I always shared single family homes with other graduate students out of preference, and would go to great lengths, and often travel some distance from campus, to live in them.

    I would not have moved out of a single family house because someone built a new apartment complex.

    I do think that the 5,000 new beds on campus could do a lot toward bringing up the vacancy rate. But apartment vacancy rates have been pretty unpredictable; over the years, they have fluctuated
    very widely, while University enrollment has stayed relatively constant. I have always wondered why.

  61. Sue Greenwald

    David,

    Let me try to get Mark to send them to you with a written explanation. He will do a better job than I could, and it would take me a while to assemble the presentation.

    I think it would make an interesting topic in and of itself.

  62. Sue Greenwald

    David,

    Let me try to get Mark to send them to you with a written explanation. He will do a better job than I could, and it would take me a while to assemble the presentation.

    I think it would make an interesting topic in and of itself.

  63. Sue Greenwald

    David,

    Let me try to get Mark to send them to you with a written explanation. He will do a better job than I could, and it would take me a while to assemble the presentation.

    I think it would make an interesting topic in and of itself.

  64. Sue Greenwald

    David,

    Let me try to get Mark to send them to you with a written explanation. He will do a better job than I could, and it would take me a while to assemble the presentation.

    I think it would make an interesting topic in and of itself.

  65. Anonymous

    “But apartment vacancy rates have been pretty unpredictable; over the years, they have fluctuated
    very widely, while University enrollment has stayed relatively constant.”

    I have only paid attention for about 10 years and the vacancy rate has always been near zero. I do not understand how you can say the rate has fluctuated widely. There is subtantial pressure to raise rents when the vacancy rate is zero.

  66. Anonymous

    “But apartment vacancy rates have been pretty unpredictable; over the years, they have fluctuated
    very widely, while University enrollment has stayed relatively constant.”

    I have only paid attention for about 10 years and the vacancy rate has always been near zero. I do not understand how you can say the rate has fluctuated widely. There is subtantial pressure to raise rents when the vacancy rate is zero.

  67. Anonymous

    “But apartment vacancy rates have been pretty unpredictable; over the years, they have fluctuated
    very widely, while University enrollment has stayed relatively constant.”

    I have only paid attention for about 10 years and the vacancy rate has always been near zero. I do not understand how you can say the rate has fluctuated widely. There is subtantial pressure to raise rents when the vacancy rate is zero.

  68. Anonymous

    “But apartment vacancy rates have been pretty unpredictable; over the years, they have fluctuated
    very widely, while University enrollment has stayed relatively constant.”

    I have only paid attention for about 10 years and the vacancy rate has always been near zero. I do not understand how you can say the rate has fluctuated widely. There is subtantial pressure to raise rents when the vacancy rate is zero.

  69. 無名 - wu ming

    having rented here over the past 8 or 9 years, it has indeed been pretty close to 0%, although i think there was a bit where it got closer to 5% for a year or two. and that was in part because students started giving up and looking out of town for apartments.

  70. 無名 - wu ming

    having rented here over the past 8 or 9 years, it has indeed been pretty close to 0%, although i think there was a bit where it got closer to 5% for a year or two. and that was in part because students started giving up and looking out of town for apartments.

  71. 無名 - wu ming

    having rented here over the past 8 or 9 years, it has indeed been pretty close to 0%, although i think there was a bit where it got closer to 5% for a year or two. and that was in part because students started giving up and looking out of town for apartments.

  72. 無名 - wu ming

    having rented here over the past 8 or 9 years, it has indeed been pretty close to 0%, although i think there was a bit where it got closer to 5% for a year or two. and that was in part because students started giving up and looking out of town for apartments.

  73. don shor

    1997 24,554
    1998 24,866
    1999 25,092
    2000 26,094
    2001 27,292
    2002 29,087
    2003 30,229
    2004 30,065
    2005 29,637
    2006 30,475
    2007 30,685

    Increase in population over ten years: >6000.
    How many housing units has Davis added in the student-rental category in that time period?

    The freshman class is about 6000 students. I think the university’s goal is to house the entire freshman class, but then they fan out into the community to look for housing. I also wanted to get out of apartments as fast as possible — which we accomplished by finding a house in Dixon. But I would guess the percentage of sophomore-to- junior students who live outside of apartments is low. Those two years combined in 2007 totalled over 10,000 students.

    The point is, these numbers far outweigh any other consideration in trying to affect the affordable housing market. Nothing else has anywhere near the impact of over 30,000 people looking for temporary housing every year.

    DPD said, “Finally, I think we need to revisit the affordable housing ordinance. It has some good properties to it, it is aggressive, but it also does not solve the overall problem of providing affordable homes to young families with children.”
    It accomplishes nothing. I can’t think of any reason to continue the current affordable housing policy. Solutions which require action by UCD are also outside of the purview of the city council, as the council has no leverage over the university when it comes to land use or planning decisions. Councilmembers can ask, urge, cajole, or plead with UCD to build more units, but they will do that when and where it suits them. In fact, UCD might well reply… “More housing? Really? Where?”

    I would urge incumbents and candidates in the current election cycle to demonstrate how the current affordable housing has accomplished any of its goals or had any positive impact on the housing market. If it hasn’t, they would do well to explain why it should be continued. To say, as Stephen did, ““We implemented the fairest and toughest affordable housing ordinance in the nation….” begs the question of whether it has achieved its goals.

  74. don shor

    1997 24,554
    1998 24,866
    1999 25,092
    2000 26,094
    2001 27,292
    2002 29,087
    2003 30,229
    2004 30,065
    2005 29,637
    2006 30,475
    2007 30,685

    Increase in population over ten years: >6000.
    How many housing units has Davis added in the student-rental category in that time period?

    The freshman class is about 6000 students. I think the university’s goal is to house the entire freshman class, but then they fan out into the community to look for housing. I also wanted to get out of apartments as fast as possible — which we accomplished by finding a house in Dixon. But I would guess the percentage of sophomore-to- junior students who live outside of apartments is low. Those two years combined in 2007 totalled over 10,000 students.

    The point is, these numbers far outweigh any other consideration in trying to affect the affordable housing market. Nothing else has anywhere near the impact of over 30,000 people looking for temporary housing every year.

    DPD said, “Finally, I think we need to revisit the affordable housing ordinance. It has some good properties to it, it is aggressive, but it also does not solve the overall problem of providing affordable homes to young families with children.”
    It accomplishes nothing. I can’t think of any reason to continue the current affordable housing policy. Solutions which require action by UCD are also outside of the purview of the city council, as the council has no leverage over the university when it comes to land use or planning decisions. Councilmembers can ask, urge, cajole, or plead with UCD to build more units, but they will do that when and where it suits them. In fact, UCD might well reply… “More housing? Really? Where?”

    I would urge incumbents and candidates in the current election cycle to demonstrate how the current affordable housing has accomplished any of its goals or had any positive impact on the housing market. If it hasn’t, they would do well to explain why it should be continued. To say, as Stephen did, ““We implemented the fairest and toughest affordable housing ordinance in the nation….” begs the question of whether it has achieved its goals.

  75. don shor

    1997 24,554
    1998 24,866
    1999 25,092
    2000 26,094
    2001 27,292
    2002 29,087
    2003 30,229
    2004 30,065
    2005 29,637
    2006 30,475
    2007 30,685

    Increase in population over ten years: >6000.
    How many housing units has Davis added in the student-rental category in that time period?

    The freshman class is about 6000 students. I think the university’s goal is to house the entire freshman class, but then they fan out into the community to look for housing. I also wanted to get out of apartments as fast as possible — which we accomplished by finding a house in Dixon. But I would guess the percentage of sophomore-to- junior students who live outside of apartments is low. Those two years combined in 2007 totalled over 10,000 students.

    The point is, these numbers far outweigh any other consideration in trying to affect the affordable housing market. Nothing else has anywhere near the impact of over 30,000 people looking for temporary housing every year.

    DPD said, “Finally, I think we need to revisit the affordable housing ordinance. It has some good properties to it, it is aggressive, but it also does not solve the overall problem of providing affordable homes to young families with children.”
    It accomplishes nothing. I can’t think of any reason to continue the current affordable housing policy. Solutions which require action by UCD are also outside of the purview of the city council, as the council has no leverage over the university when it comes to land use or planning decisions. Councilmembers can ask, urge, cajole, or plead with UCD to build more units, but they will do that when and where it suits them. In fact, UCD might well reply… “More housing? Really? Where?”

    I would urge incumbents and candidates in the current election cycle to demonstrate how the current affordable housing has accomplished any of its goals or had any positive impact on the housing market. If it hasn’t, they would do well to explain why it should be continued. To say, as Stephen did, ““We implemented the fairest and toughest affordable housing ordinance in the nation….” begs the question of whether it has achieved its goals.

  76. don shor

    1997 24,554
    1998 24,866
    1999 25,092
    2000 26,094
    2001 27,292
    2002 29,087
    2003 30,229
    2004 30,065
    2005 29,637
    2006 30,475
    2007 30,685

    Increase in population over ten years: >6000.
    How many housing units has Davis added in the student-rental category in that time period?

    The freshman class is about 6000 students. I think the university’s goal is to house the entire freshman class, but then they fan out into the community to look for housing. I also wanted to get out of apartments as fast as possible — which we accomplished by finding a house in Dixon. But I would guess the percentage of sophomore-to- junior students who live outside of apartments is low. Those two years combined in 2007 totalled over 10,000 students.

    The point is, these numbers far outweigh any other consideration in trying to affect the affordable housing market. Nothing else has anywhere near the impact of over 30,000 people looking for temporary housing every year.

    DPD said, “Finally, I think we need to revisit the affordable housing ordinance. It has some good properties to it, it is aggressive, but it also does not solve the overall problem of providing affordable homes to young families with children.”
    It accomplishes nothing. I can’t think of any reason to continue the current affordable housing policy. Solutions which require action by UCD are also outside of the purview of the city council, as the council has no leverage over the university when it comes to land use or planning decisions. Councilmembers can ask, urge, cajole, or plead with UCD to build more units, but they will do that when and where it suits them. In fact, UCD might well reply… “More housing? Really? Where?”

    I would urge incumbents and candidates in the current election cycle to demonstrate how the current affordable housing has accomplished any of its goals or had any positive impact on the housing market. If it hasn’t, they would do well to explain why it should be continued. To say, as Stephen did, ““We implemented the fairest and toughest affordable housing ordinance in the nation….” begs the question of whether it has achieved its goals.

  77. don shor

    The apartment vacancy rate was 3.3% in 2004 and 4.2% in 2005, according to UC Davis News & Views. It was 1.8% in 2006 and 0.7% in the fall of 2007, according to the Sacramento Business Journal.
    “The university attributes the low vacancy rate, in part, to the large freshman class that enrolled in the fall of 2006 — 5,511 students — that are now moving off campus.”

  78. don shor

    The apartment vacancy rate was 3.3% in 2004 and 4.2% in 2005, according to UC Davis News & Views. It was 1.8% in 2006 and 0.7% in the fall of 2007, according to the Sacramento Business Journal.
    “The university attributes the low vacancy rate, in part, to the large freshman class that enrolled in the fall of 2006 — 5,511 students — that are now moving off campus.”

  79. don shor

    The apartment vacancy rate was 3.3% in 2004 and 4.2% in 2005, according to UC Davis News & Views. It was 1.8% in 2006 and 0.7% in the fall of 2007, according to the Sacramento Business Journal.
    “The university attributes the low vacancy rate, in part, to the large freshman class that enrolled in the fall of 2006 — 5,511 students — that are now moving off campus.”

  80. don shor

    The apartment vacancy rate was 3.3% in 2004 and 4.2% in 2005, according to UC Davis News & Views. It was 1.8% in 2006 and 0.7% in the fall of 2007, according to the Sacramento Business Journal.
    “The university attributes the low vacancy rate, in part, to the large freshman class that enrolled in the fall of 2006 — 5,511 students — that are now moving off campus.”

  81. Anonymous

    無名 brings up good point. You really need to look at the vacancy rate along the percentage of UCD students who give up on Davis and look elsewhere for housing. A healthy vacancy rate is about 5%. The tight rental market drives up prices and it makes it difficult to find apartments. The high prices and the pain of searching for apartments are driving students away from town.

  82. Anonymous

    無名 brings up good point. You really need to look at the vacancy rate along the percentage of UCD students who give up on Davis and look elsewhere for housing. A healthy vacancy rate is about 5%. The tight rental market drives up prices and it makes it difficult to find apartments. The high prices and the pain of searching for apartments are driving students away from town.

  83. Anonymous

    無名 brings up good point. You really need to look at the vacancy rate along the percentage of UCD students who give up on Davis and look elsewhere for housing. A healthy vacancy rate is about 5%. The tight rental market drives up prices and it makes it difficult to find apartments. The high prices and the pain of searching for apartments are driving students away from town.

  84. Anonymous

    無名 brings up good point. You really need to look at the vacancy rate along the percentage of UCD students who give up on Davis and look elsewhere for housing. A healthy vacancy rate is about 5%. The tight rental market drives up prices and it makes it difficult to find apartments. The high prices and the pain of searching for apartments are driving students away from town.

  85. Black Bart

    An interesting discussion about student housing and rentals. It seems that the university continues to grow, as it should, but the nimby’s in Davis, many of whom benefited in some way from the university, want to oppose the growth required to support the University.

    In my mind all this anti-growth stuff is just people being selfish and making it hard for Davis to fulfill its missions of research and education in order to preserve some sort of lifestyle that itself will be destroyed by the densification that the anti-growth advocates want to use as a rear guard action against the hordes of barbarians at the gate. One question I would ask those opposed to growth; what are you so afraid of happening if there is a lot of home building? Maybe if you could articulate your fears you might be able to face them down.

  86. Black Bart

    An interesting discussion about student housing and rentals. It seems that the university continues to grow, as it should, but the nimby’s in Davis, many of whom benefited in some way from the university, want to oppose the growth required to support the University.

    In my mind all this anti-growth stuff is just people being selfish and making it hard for Davis to fulfill its missions of research and education in order to preserve some sort of lifestyle that itself will be destroyed by the densification that the anti-growth advocates want to use as a rear guard action against the hordes of barbarians at the gate. One question I would ask those opposed to growth; what are you so afraid of happening if there is a lot of home building? Maybe if you could articulate your fears you might be able to face them down.

  87. Black Bart

    An interesting discussion about student housing and rentals. It seems that the university continues to grow, as it should, but the nimby’s in Davis, many of whom benefited in some way from the university, want to oppose the growth required to support the University.

    In my mind all this anti-growth stuff is just people being selfish and making it hard for Davis to fulfill its missions of research and education in order to preserve some sort of lifestyle that itself will be destroyed by the densification that the anti-growth advocates want to use as a rear guard action against the hordes of barbarians at the gate. One question I would ask those opposed to growth; what are you so afraid of happening if there is a lot of home building? Maybe if you could articulate your fears you might be able to face them down.

  88. Black Bart

    An interesting discussion about student housing and rentals. It seems that the university continues to grow, as it should, but the nimby’s in Davis, many of whom benefited in some way from the university, want to oppose the growth required to support the University.

    In my mind all this anti-growth stuff is just people being selfish and making it hard for Davis to fulfill its missions of research and education in order to preserve some sort of lifestyle that itself will be destroyed by the densification that the anti-growth advocates want to use as a rear guard action against the hordes of barbarians at the gate. One question I would ask those opposed to growth; what are you so afraid of happening if there is a lot of home building? Maybe if you could articulate your fears you might be able to face them down.

  89. Anonymous

    So you don’t think it’s about not wanting Davis to become Vacaville or Elk Grove? You don’t think it’s about wanting to preserve agricultural land? You don’t think that the University should take on their share of the growth? And btw, the UC system is really not projected to grow in the next 20 years due to demographic shifts, so it’s not clear why we need to build to accommodate growth from the university that is not coming.

  90. Anonymous

    So you don’t think it’s about not wanting Davis to become Vacaville or Elk Grove? You don’t think it’s about wanting to preserve agricultural land? You don’t think that the University should take on their share of the growth? And btw, the UC system is really not projected to grow in the next 20 years due to demographic shifts, so it’s not clear why we need to build to accommodate growth from the university that is not coming.

  91. Anonymous

    So you don’t think it’s about not wanting Davis to become Vacaville or Elk Grove? You don’t think it’s about wanting to preserve agricultural land? You don’t think that the University should take on their share of the growth? And btw, the UC system is really not projected to grow in the next 20 years due to demographic shifts, so it’s not clear why we need to build to accommodate growth from the university that is not coming.

  92. Anonymous

    So you don’t think it’s about not wanting Davis to become Vacaville or Elk Grove? You don’t think it’s about wanting to preserve agricultural land? You don’t think that the University should take on their share of the growth? And btw, the UC system is really not projected to grow in the next 20 years due to demographic shifts, so it’s not clear why we need to build to accommodate growth from the university that is not coming.

  93. How Do We Pay

    “As Sue Greenwald pointed out at the forum on Thursday night, the break even point for a developer to make money on a home is about $500,000 per unit.”

    I don’t quite understand this statement. So are you telling me that a developer cannot make money selling homes that cost less than $500,000? Can you prove this to me? Or at least explain why this is supposedly true?

    DPD makes an excellent point, when he notes that not being able to build equity causes the home buyer to be caught in a cycle of poverty. Many young faculty will have that problem with West Village built by UCD – which may create difficulties in recruiting qualified faculty.

    Densification has its problems too. I don’t know about anyone else, but I would not care to live in a tenement – a small home seems more preferable. Close living can breed law enforcement problems, among many, many other things.

    Affordable housing is an extremely complicated issue. A lack of student housing options certainly would seem to be part of the mix. The desirability of Davis pushing up prices is obviously another factor. Events themselves, or the direction Davis chooses to take may also have an effect.

    For instance, Davis schools are not quite as desirable now, because of their lack of fiscal responsibility. Firing over 100 teachers will not help that image. The closing of Emerson could really put a damper on things.

    Water and sewer rate increases, another parcel tax, a public safety tax, etc. may make Davis less desirable. Already Davis has a bad reputation for being snooty and unfriendly to outsiders and business. Sales tax dollars are leaking out of Davis at an alarming rate, which will almost necessitate further heavy taxation.

    I would say Davis needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Sticking to current policies may be disastrous for this town. The school mess is only the begining of what could be a real debacle. Souza’s comment from the City Council dais that somehow Davis will survive seems very naive to me – especially in the face of looming budget deficits at the city level because of the need to pay city employees handsome benefit and retirement packages. How is the city going to pay for all of that? How are citizens?

  94. How Do We Pay

    “As Sue Greenwald pointed out at the forum on Thursday night, the break even point for a developer to make money on a home is about $500,000 per unit.”

    I don’t quite understand this statement. So are you telling me that a developer cannot make money selling homes that cost less than $500,000? Can you prove this to me? Or at least explain why this is supposedly true?

    DPD makes an excellent point, when he notes that not being able to build equity causes the home buyer to be caught in a cycle of poverty. Many young faculty will have that problem with West Village built by UCD – which may create difficulties in recruiting qualified faculty.

    Densification has its problems too. I don’t know about anyone else, but I would not care to live in a tenement – a small home seems more preferable. Close living can breed law enforcement problems, among many, many other things.

    Affordable housing is an extremely complicated issue. A lack of student housing options certainly would seem to be part of the mix. The desirability of Davis pushing up prices is obviously another factor. Events themselves, or the direction Davis chooses to take may also have an effect.

    For instance, Davis schools are not quite as desirable now, because of their lack of fiscal responsibility. Firing over 100 teachers will not help that image. The closing of Emerson could really put a damper on things.

    Water and sewer rate increases, another parcel tax, a public safety tax, etc. may make Davis less desirable. Already Davis has a bad reputation for being snooty and unfriendly to outsiders and business. Sales tax dollars are leaking out of Davis at an alarming rate, which will almost necessitate further heavy taxation.

    I would say Davis needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Sticking to current policies may be disastrous for this town. The school mess is only the begining of what could be a real debacle. Souza’s comment from the City Council dais that somehow Davis will survive seems very naive to me – especially in the face of looming budget deficits at the city level because of the need to pay city employees handsome benefit and retirement packages. How is the city going to pay for all of that? How are citizens?

  95. How Do We Pay

    “As Sue Greenwald pointed out at the forum on Thursday night, the break even point for a developer to make money on a home is about $500,000 per unit.”

    I don’t quite understand this statement. So are you telling me that a developer cannot make money selling homes that cost less than $500,000? Can you prove this to me? Or at least explain why this is supposedly true?

    DPD makes an excellent point, when he notes that not being able to build equity causes the home buyer to be caught in a cycle of poverty. Many young faculty will have that problem with West Village built by UCD – which may create difficulties in recruiting qualified faculty.

    Densification has its problems too. I don’t know about anyone else, but I would not care to live in a tenement – a small home seems more preferable. Close living can breed law enforcement problems, among many, many other things.

    Affordable housing is an extremely complicated issue. A lack of student housing options certainly would seem to be part of the mix. The desirability of Davis pushing up prices is obviously another factor. Events themselves, or the direction Davis chooses to take may also have an effect.

    For instance, Davis schools are not quite as desirable now, because of their lack of fiscal responsibility. Firing over 100 teachers will not help that image. The closing of Emerson could really put a damper on things.

    Water and sewer rate increases, another parcel tax, a public safety tax, etc. may make Davis less desirable. Already Davis has a bad reputation for being snooty and unfriendly to outsiders and business. Sales tax dollars are leaking out of Davis at an alarming rate, which will almost necessitate further heavy taxation.

    I would say Davis needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Sticking to current policies may be disastrous for this town. The school mess is only the begining of what could be a real debacle. Souza’s comment from the City Council dais that somehow Davis will survive seems very naive to me – especially in the face of looming budget deficits at the city level because of the need to pay city employees handsome benefit and retirement packages. How is the city going to pay for all of that? How are citizens?

  96. How Do We Pay

    “As Sue Greenwald pointed out at the forum on Thursday night, the break even point for a developer to make money on a home is about $500,000 per unit.”

    I don’t quite understand this statement. So are you telling me that a developer cannot make money selling homes that cost less than $500,000? Can you prove this to me? Or at least explain why this is supposedly true?

    DPD makes an excellent point, when he notes that not being able to build equity causes the home buyer to be caught in a cycle of poverty. Many young faculty will have that problem with West Village built by UCD – which may create difficulties in recruiting qualified faculty.

    Densification has its problems too. I don’t know about anyone else, but I would not care to live in a tenement – a small home seems more preferable. Close living can breed law enforcement problems, among many, many other things.

    Affordable housing is an extremely complicated issue. A lack of student housing options certainly would seem to be part of the mix. The desirability of Davis pushing up prices is obviously another factor. Events themselves, or the direction Davis chooses to take may also have an effect.

    For instance, Davis schools are not quite as desirable now, because of their lack of fiscal responsibility. Firing over 100 teachers will not help that image. The closing of Emerson could really put a damper on things.

    Water and sewer rate increases, another parcel tax, a public safety tax, etc. may make Davis less desirable. Already Davis has a bad reputation for being snooty and unfriendly to outsiders and business. Sales tax dollars are leaking out of Davis at an alarming rate, which will almost necessitate further heavy taxation.

    I would say Davis needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Sticking to current policies may be disastrous for this town. The school mess is only the begining of what could be a real debacle. Souza’s comment from the City Council dais that somehow Davis will survive seems very naive to me – especially in the face of looming budget deficits at the city level because of the need to pay city employees handsome benefit and retirement packages. How is the city going to pay for all of that? How are citizens?

  97. Black Bart

    Elk Grove? How will Davis become Elk Grove? Elk Grove has how many high schools? I think they built 3 at once in addition to whatever else they have built. Elk Grove doesn’t have a train station or a world class university. How many homes have been built in Elk Grove? Elk Grove is so overbuilt that there are hundreds if not thousands of foreclosures there. The bubble finance economics that built Elk Grove are gone for the next 80 years until everyone who lives through this collapse is dead just like there are few left who remember 29. So why worry about Davis becoming Elk Grove?

    You really think that the University is maxed out for the next 20 years? Can anyone make that long a forecast with any real visibility? Didn’t UC just admit its largest freshman class? Aren’t anti-growth advocates consistantly talking about how the university hasn’t built its fair share of housing? Don’t we need to build just to catch up with the growth that has already taken place?Shouldn’t the university continue to bring in the best talent for research? Shouldn’t this community aid the university by helping to provide the infrastructure and housing needed for the great economic engine of UC Davis?

    Vote your hopes not your fears.

  98. Black Bart

    Elk Grove? How will Davis become Elk Grove? Elk Grove has how many high schools? I think they built 3 at once in addition to whatever else they have built. Elk Grove doesn’t have a train station or a world class university. How many homes have been built in Elk Grove? Elk Grove is so overbuilt that there are hundreds if not thousands of foreclosures there. The bubble finance economics that built Elk Grove are gone for the next 80 years until everyone who lives through this collapse is dead just like there are few left who remember 29. So why worry about Davis becoming Elk Grove?

    You really think that the University is maxed out for the next 20 years? Can anyone make that long a forecast with any real visibility? Didn’t UC just admit its largest freshman class? Aren’t anti-growth advocates consistantly talking about how the university hasn’t built its fair share of housing? Don’t we need to build just to catch up with the growth that has already taken place?Shouldn’t the university continue to bring in the best talent for research? Shouldn’t this community aid the university by helping to provide the infrastructure and housing needed for the great economic engine of UC Davis?

    Vote your hopes not your fears.

  99. Black Bart

    Elk Grove? How will Davis become Elk Grove? Elk Grove has how many high schools? I think they built 3 at once in addition to whatever else they have built. Elk Grove doesn’t have a train station or a world class university. How many homes have been built in Elk Grove? Elk Grove is so overbuilt that there are hundreds if not thousands of foreclosures there. The bubble finance economics that built Elk Grove are gone for the next 80 years until everyone who lives through this collapse is dead just like there are few left who remember 29. So why worry about Davis becoming Elk Grove?

    You really think that the University is maxed out for the next 20 years? Can anyone make that long a forecast with any real visibility? Didn’t UC just admit its largest freshman class? Aren’t anti-growth advocates consistantly talking about how the university hasn’t built its fair share of housing? Don’t we need to build just to catch up with the growth that has already taken place?Shouldn’t the university continue to bring in the best talent for research? Shouldn’t this community aid the university by helping to provide the infrastructure and housing needed for the great economic engine of UC Davis?

    Vote your hopes not your fears.

  100. Black Bart

    Elk Grove? How will Davis become Elk Grove? Elk Grove has how many high schools? I think they built 3 at once in addition to whatever else they have built. Elk Grove doesn’t have a train station or a world class university. How many homes have been built in Elk Grove? Elk Grove is so overbuilt that there are hundreds if not thousands of foreclosures there. The bubble finance economics that built Elk Grove are gone for the next 80 years until everyone who lives through this collapse is dead just like there are few left who remember 29. So why worry about Davis becoming Elk Grove?

    You really think that the University is maxed out for the next 20 years? Can anyone make that long a forecast with any real visibility? Didn’t UC just admit its largest freshman class? Aren’t anti-growth advocates consistantly talking about how the university hasn’t built its fair share of housing? Don’t we need to build just to catch up with the growth that has already taken place?Shouldn’t the university continue to bring in the best talent for research? Shouldn’t this community aid the university by helping to provide the infrastructure and housing needed for the great economic engine of UC Davis?

    Vote your hopes not your fears.

  101. Joshua

    Josh Williams-
    I am a student housing developer. Please let me know if there is an actual need for student housing and I would love to take a look at the community.

    Thanks.
    Josh

  102. Joshua

    Josh Williams-
    I am a student housing developer. Please let me know if there is an actual need for student housing and I would love to take a look at the community.

    Thanks.
    Josh

  103. Joshua

    Josh Williams-
    I am a student housing developer. Please let me know if there is an actual need for student housing and I would love to take a look at the community.

    Thanks.
    Josh

  104. Joshua

    Josh Williams-
    I am a student housing developer. Please let me know if there is an actual need for student housing and I would love to take a look at the community.

    Thanks.
    Josh

  105. don shor

    black bart said, “You really think that the University is maxed out for the next 20 years?”

    No. From the California Department of Finance, 2006:

    “Total [University of California] enrollment is projected to grow by 32,592 students, or nearly 17 percent over the next ten years, with undergraduate enrollment accounting for over nine out of ten additional students.”

    To Josh Williams: with an apartment vacancy rate less than 1%, I think it is safe to say there is a need for student housing.

  106. don shor

    black bart said, “You really think that the University is maxed out for the next 20 years?”

    No. From the California Department of Finance, 2006:

    “Total [University of California] enrollment is projected to grow by 32,592 students, or nearly 17 percent over the next ten years, with undergraduate enrollment accounting for over nine out of ten additional students.”

    To Josh Williams: with an apartment vacancy rate less than 1%, I think it is safe to say there is a need for student housing.

  107. don shor

    black bart said, “You really think that the University is maxed out for the next 20 years?”

    No. From the California Department of Finance, 2006:

    “Total [University of California] enrollment is projected to grow by 32,592 students, or nearly 17 percent over the next ten years, with undergraduate enrollment accounting for over nine out of ten additional students.”

    To Josh Williams: with an apartment vacancy rate less than 1%, I think it is safe to say there is a need for student housing.

  108. don shor

    black bart said, “You really think that the University is maxed out for the next 20 years?”

    No. From the California Department of Finance, 2006:

    “Total [University of California] enrollment is projected to grow by 32,592 students, or nearly 17 percent over the next ten years, with undergraduate enrollment accounting for over nine out of ten additional students.”

    To Josh Williams: with an apartment vacancy rate less than 1%, I think it is safe to say there is a need for student housing.

  109. Anonymous

    Sue, I think you’re using the term “elastic” incorrectly. What you’re trying to say, in your opinion, is that demand for housing in Davis is “inelastic”. That is, if housing is increased substantially, demand, and thus the price for Davis housing is so great (inelastic), that it will have little effect in reducing the cost of housing.

    An analogy is the cost of gasoline. Gasoline is an “inelastic” commodity because the demand for it is so high and because people’s willingness to pay for it is high that only when it reaches extremely high prices (i.e. over $4.00/gallon) does demand for it decline.

    Thus, as mentioned above, in your opinion, the demand for Davis housing is “inelastic” such that increases in housing supply will not result in price reductions. I don’t necessarily agree with your point, I just want to make sure the terms are being used correctly.

  110. Anonymous

    Sue, I think you’re using the term “elastic” incorrectly. What you’re trying to say, in your opinion, is that demand for housing in Davis is “inelastic”. That is, if housing is increased substantially, demand, and thus the price for Davis housing is so great (inelastic), that it will have little effect in reducing the cost of housing.

    An analogy is the cost of gasoline. Gasoline is an “inelastic” commodity because the demand for it is so high and because people’s willingness to pay for it is high that only when it reaches extremely high prices (i.e. over $4.00/gallon) does demand for it decline.

    Thus, as mentioned above, in your opinion, the demand for Davis housing is “inelastic” such that increases in housing supply will not result in price reductions. I don’t necessarily agree with your point, I just want to make sure the terms are being used correctly.

  111. Anonymous

    Sue, I think you’re using the term “elastic” incorrectly. What you’re trying to say, in your opinion, is that demand for housing in Davis is “inelastic”. That is, if housing is increased substantially, demand, and thus the price for Davis housing is so great (inelastic), that it will have little effect in reducing the cost of housing.

    An analogy is the cost of gasoline. Gasoline is an “inelastic” commodity because the demand for it is so high and because people’s willingness to pay for it is high that only when it reaches extremely high prices (i.e. over $4.00/gallon) does demand for it decline.

    Thus, as mentioned above, in your opinion, the demand for Davis housing is “inelastic” such that increases in housing supply will not result in price reductions. I don’t necessarily agree with your point, I just want to make sure the terms are being used correctly.

  112. Anonymous

    Sue, I think you’re using the term “elastic” incorrectly. What you’re trying to say, in your opinion, is that demand for housing in Davis is “inelastic”. That is, if housing is increased substantially, demand, and thus the price for Davis housing is so great (inelastic), that it will have little effect in reducing the cost of housing.

    An analogy is the cost of gasoline. Gasoline is an “inelastic” commodity because the demand for it is so high and because people’s willingness to pay for it is high that only when it reaches extremely high prices (i.e. over $4.00/gallon) does demand for it decline.

    Thus, as mentioned above, in your opinion, the demand for Davis housing is “inelastic” such that increases in housing supply will not result in price reductions. I don’t necessarily agree with your point, I just want to make sure the terms are being used correctly.

  113. Anonymous

    I am appalled at the equity mega advantage of those who were fortunate enough to get into subsidized homes several years ago received. That was not the intent of the program. Now those homes are no longer affordable. If there is not already one in place, there should be some kind of equity cap for affordable homes. When owners sell their ” affordable home”, the same home will sell near what the original owner paid and another lower middle incomed family can benefit . As it stands, the “affordable” homes bought several years ago sold for 170,000 or so. The same homes are now worth 400,000+ even in this market!

  114. Anonymous

    I am appalled at the equity mega advantage of those who were fortunate enough to get into subsidized homes several years ago received. That was not the intent of the program. Now those homes are no longer affordable. If there is not already one in place, there should be some kind of equity cap for affordable homes. When owners sell their ” affordable home”, the same home will sell near what the original owner paid and another lower middle incomed family can benefit . As it stands, the “affordable” homes bought several years ago sold for 170,000 or so. The same homes are now worth 400,000+ even in this market!

  115. Anonymous

    I am appalled at the equity mega advantage of those who were fortunate enough to get into subsidized homes several years ago received. That was not the intent of the program. Now those homes are no longer affordable. If there is not already one in place, there should be some kind of equity cap for affordable homes. When owners sell their ” affordable home”, the same home will sell near what the original owner paid and another lower middle incomed family can benefit . As it stands, the “affordable” homes bought several years ago sold for 170,000 or so. The same homes are now worth 400,000+ even in this market!

  116. Anonymous

    I am appalled at the equity mega advantage of those who were fortunate enough to get into subsidized homes several years ago received. That was not the intent of the program. Now those homes are no longer affordable. If there is not already one in place, there should be some kind of equity cap for affordable homes. When owners sell their ” affordable home”, the same home will sell near what the original owner paid and another lower middle incomed family can benefit . As it stands, the “affordable” homes bought several years ago sold for 170,000 or so. The same homes are now worth 400,000+ even in this market!

  117. Diogenes

    DPD

    Has Sue Greenwald provided the information that she referenced in her posts regarding Davis home supply and prices relative to surrounding communities? If so, please post this material. Thanks

  118. Diogenes

    DPD

    Has Sue Greenwald provided the information that she referenced in her posts regarding Davis home supply and prices relative to surrounding communities? If so, please post this material. Thanks

  119. Diogenes

    DPD

    Has Sue Greenwald provided the information that she referenced in her posts regarding Davis home supply and prices relative to surrounding communities? If so, please post this material. Thanks

  120. Diogenes

    DPD

    Has Sue Greenwald provided the information that she referenced in her posts regarding Davis home supply and prices relative to surrounding communities? If so, please post this material. Thanks

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