New Affordable Proposal at Lincoln40 Will Allow for Permanently Affordable Student Housing

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Lincoln40 is a proposed off-campus student-housing complex with 130 rental units that result in 708 beds, with the majority of units being four-bedroom/four-bathroom units.

The project will come before the Social Services Commission on Monday, where a new affordable housing plan will be presented to the commission.

Originally the applicant had proposed to pay affordable housing in-lieu fees as the vehicle to meet the city’s affordable housing requirements for the project proposal.  However, as staff notes, the applicant recently changed the proposal to pay in-lieu fee to reflect the “public sentiment expressed by city leaders, citizens and students that additional on-site affordable housing is greatly needed in Davis and preferable to developer in-lieu fees.”

The plan now calls for a privately-run, fully integrated affordable housing program onsite that would be managed by the ownership of Lincoln40.

“Lincoln40 will include 71 fully integrated, rent restricted beds that shall remain affordable in perpetuity,” the developer writes.  “We propose that 80% or 57 beds of these affordable beds will be at rents meeting the very low income requirements (30% of 50% of Area Median Income (AMI) for a one-bedroom occupant), and 20% or 14 beds at rents meeting 30% of 60% of AMI.”

The program is intended to provide “below-market rental alternatives by way of design and product offering, as well as an on-site affordable program that will directly serve disadvantaged, full-
time students.”

The program will be privately managed and is “designed to make financial decisions easier for college students who may not otherwise be able to afford the burdensome and increasing costs of rental housing and higher education.”

Each student applicant to “LincolnLift” will be “chosen based on need based on the qualification parameters established.”

According to the applicant, “LincolnLift seeks to mitigate the disadvantages faced by low-income full-time students due to economic barriers. Recent research focusing on socioeconomic diversity in higher education shows that high-achieving, low-income students are severely underrepresented at the nation’s selective post-secondary institutions.

“In fact, students from families in the bottom economic quartile comprise only three percent (3%) of enrollment at those institutions, while those from the upper economic quartile comprise seventy-two percent (72%).”

The applicant proposes that “LincolnLift and its affordability requirements will be addressed in Lincoln40’s Development Agreement and written into the restrictive covenants of Lincoln40. The covenants will run in perpetuity from the date of first occupancy.”

Further: “Subject to the conditions set forth in the Development Agreement between the Developer and the City, a predetermined number of beds integrated among any of Lincoln40’s double-bed rooms will be allocated to the LincolnLift program. There will be no distinction made between the LincolnLift beds and the market rate beds. Participants in the LincolnLift program will enjoy the same amenities and living experience as all other residents in the project. Lincoln40’s management staff will administer both eligibility and suitability of residents and matches.”

Further, the administration will involve:

  • Giving priority to continuing residents over new residents so long as they continue to qualify.
  • Priority of tenant applications will be based on demonstrated need, except when qualifying tenant applicants outnumber available beds, a waitlist will be implemented that takes the order in which applications are received.
  • In the event the LincolnLift program is undersubscribed in any year, Lincoln40 will pay the City of Davis’ Housing Fund an amount equivalent to the sum of the annual discount for each bed that is not occupied by an eligible student.
  • Lincoln40 management will provide an annual report to the City of Davis on the program.

The program is set up to provide housing for full-time students and full-time student households whose income cannot exceed 80 percent of the area median income (AMI). The applicant states that “financially dependent full-time students and financially independent full-time students will be eligible for the LincolnLift program.”

The residents must meet the following criteria:

1) Financially Dependent Full-time Students. Full-time students claimed as an income tax dependent by any individual for the tax year preceding application to the program may qualify for LincolnLift by demonstrating that the household income of the parent or other legally supporting person when combined with the full-time student’s income does not exceed eighty percent (80%) of area median income for Yolo County.  a. Verifying Parent or Other Legally Supporting Person’s Low Income Status. The full-time student must verify his or her parent’s or other supporting person’s income by means of documentation such as tax returns, W-2s, pay stubs, bank statements, etc. Income includes all sources of income including wages, investment income, etc.

2) Financially Independent Full-time Students. Full-time students who have not been claimed as an income tax dependent by any individual for the tax year immediately preceding application to the program may qualify by verifying financial independence and by demonstrating that the full-time student’s income does not exceed eighty percent (80%) of area median income.

  1. Verifying Financially Independent Status. Financially independent full-time students must be able to demonstrate that they are not claimed as a dependent on anyone else’s tax return and show financial self-sufficient status by means of verifying documentation such as tax returns and W-2s as well as a budget showing how he or she is able to be supported by the funds claimed.
  2. Verifying Full-time Student’s Low Income Status. The full-time student must document his or her income by means of verifying documentation such as tax returns, W-2s, FAFSA documentation, bank statements, etc. Student income includes wages from employment, commercial loans, financial aid, savings, or other loans obtained with the student’s own credit. Loans or gifts from relatives, associates, or friends may not be included as student income.

Affordable Rate Determination: According to the applicant, the per bed rent of “LincolnLift’s operation will equal either: a) 30% of 60% of Yolo County area median income for a single person household; or, b) 30% of 50% of Yolo County area median (considered very Low-income) income for a single person household.

“Rental rates for each participant will be assessed based (on) amount of income verified at time of application. This rental rate includes all utilities, but increases from utility overutilization will be passed through to tenants in the LincolnLift program in the same way as they are in the Lincoln40 apartment complex to encourage sustainable living.”

The applicant concludes: “Lincoln40 subscribes to the Principles of One Community as prescribed by ASUCD and the City of Davis. As such, we are committed to attracting a diverse and respectful community of residents from all socioeconomic backgrounds. LincolnLift represents the spirit of this commitment and our values as a company.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting



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About The Author

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

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21 thoughts on “New Affordable Proposal at Lincoln40 Will Allow for Permanently Affordable Student Housing”

  1. Howard P

    Early morning skepticism… development agreements for apartments are unusual… any wagers that the DA will exchange this proposed program for a guarantee that any rent control ordinance, possibly adopted in the future, will not apply to this project?

  2. Eileen Samitz

    The City’s affordable housing ordinance is 35% total, with 25% for low incomes and 10% for very low incomes. This proposal for affordable “beds” amounts to only 10% (71 beds of 708.) So this Lincoln40 “affordable housing” proposal short-changes the City’s affordable housing policies on top of having predominately 4- and 5- bedroom mega-apartment “suites” which do nothing to help with market rate rental housing needed by families and local workers.

    1. David Greenwald

      “The program is intended to provide “below-market rental alternatives by way of design and product offering, as well as an on-site affordable program that will directly serve disadvantaged, full-time students.”

      So what you are saying is that you don’t care about students who are low income?

      Market rate rental apartments aren’t going to benefit families for the most part.

       

      1. Ron

        David:  “So what you are saying is that you don’t care about students who are low income?”

        What an arrogant response. And, no relationship to what Eileen wrote.

        David:  “Market rate rental apartments aren’t going to benefit families for the most part.”

        So, smaller families, couples, and single folks always rent houses, instead? (Guess there’s no market for Trackside, then.)

      2. Eileen Samitz

        David,

        Your question is ridiculous and it is not what I am saying at all.

        What I am saying is that Lincoln40 is not providing nearly enough affordable housing. But apparently you don’t want to talk about that.

        Also, smaller market rate apartments units are needed. Families include couples with and without children and 1- and 2- bedroom apartments are needed as well, not just a disproportionate number of mega-dorm 4- and 5 bedroom mega-apartment “suites” which are of no help to provide rental housing for smaller families or local workers.

        It seems apparent that you don’t care about the need for rental housing for non-students.

         

         

         

         

         

        1. David Greenwald Post author

          The number of beds/ units is something I think we need to look into because the number seemed low at least on the face of it, but I haven’t had a chance to ask anyone about those numbers because the staff report came out after the close of business on Friday. Note that if you are strictly going by number of units to calculate the affordables that would mean 45 or 46 out of the 130 units go for affordable housing. So one answer is that they would be using 1 and 2 bedroom apartments rather than four bedroom apartments to accommodate the housing. I’m sure you would argue that we should have 35 percent of the beds go to affordable housing, but I’m sure that’s how they are arriving at their bed figure. Need to ask more questions.

          More broadly, you’re misreading my comments. I haven’t offered an opinion on this yet. I do like in concept the idea of providing affordable housing for students – I would assume that the city would vet this with the attorney before allowing this to go to the social services commission.

        2. Sean Raycraft

          So get this, I actually agree with Eileen here. The developer is pretty clearly *trying* to lower their end game affordable housing unit total but having more of these big units. It effectively allows them to extract a similar amount of rent, (or maybe more) without producing a higher end number of housing units.

          The whole purpose of that ordinance is to force developers to build affordable housing, and thus lower income people could actually live here in town. Wouldnt that be nice? The extra bit of marketing exclusively for students is frankly upsetting, cuz in the end, it doesnt help the people I care most about. Clearly, this project has a long, long way to go.

      3. Eric Gelber

        Market rate rental apartments aren’t going to benefit families for the most part.

        How are you defining “families”? Family households are typically defined as 2 or more people related by birth, marriage, or adoption. If you mean families with children, nationally, about 23% of apartment renters are households with one or more children. National Multifamily Housing Council. Either way, that’s a lot of families.
         

        1. Ron

          Assuming that figure is accurate, non-families would include single people, non-married couples, those with roomates (who aren’t always students), etc.

          I’ll assume that this figure also excludes those living in Affordable housing.

          In any case, it also begs the question:  Should he city be encouraging an even higher percentage of apartments dedicated to students (aka, megadorms)?

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            Non-married couples are generally considered families – so it would include students and what you would call workers. Almost everyone in affordable housing is going to be a family.

            ” Should he city be encouraging an even higher percentage of apartments dedicated to students”

            It seems like the market is going to address that and it doesn’t appear to need encouragement.

        2. Ron

          Not sure how the 85% figure defines “families”, vs “non-families”.  That information has not been provided. (Nor would this provide information regarding “student”, vs. “non-student”.) However, the megadorms are clearly aimed at the student market.

          Regarding “encouragement”, it’s ultimately up to the city to decide whether or not “market proposals” (e.g., those requiring zoning changes) are meeting the city’s needs.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            It comes from the census data, so do some research dude (it literally took a single google search):

            “A family is defined by the United States Census Bureau for statistical purposes as “a group of two people or more (one of whom is the householder) related by birth, marriage, or adoption and residing together; all such people (including related subfamily members) are considered as members of one family.””

            “In 2014 the US Census Bureau began including same-sex marriages in their counts of families and family households. Prior to this, they were counted as cohabiting partners and thus not considered to form a family.”

            So it looks like the data I have available do not count same-sex marriages as families and do not count cohabitation. I don’t think that’s a huge number in Davis, but it is a caveat.

            Also the 85 percent figure comes from the 2010 census, so I believe it actually underestimates student housing rather than as you’re trying to argue, overestimates it. But I would like better data.

        3. Howard P

          Ron.. suggest your look at two definitions… “assume” (and yes, I mean THAT one) and “megadorm”… but not by a ‘local’…  just saying… words, and their meanings, are important, if we use them.

  3. Eileen Samitz

    Also, who will be managing and regulating this “LincolnLift” program?

    Will it be the project owners reviewing the applications and determining who gets to live in these affordable apartments?

    1. David Greenwald Post author

      “Lincoln40’s  management staff will administer both eligibility and suitability of residents and matches.”

      “Lincoln40 management will provide an annual report to the City of Davis that shows the number of beds participating in the LincolnLift program as well as compliance with qualification criteria of the LincolnLift program.”

       

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