Seniors Need Options For Downsizing
by Susan Steinbach
I will vote in favor of Measure L, the West Davis Active Adult homes planned for Covell Blvd near Sutter Davis Hospital. I hope others join me.
From the very beginning, the project developers have sought input from the Davis community on the needs of seniors. One of the most confounding issues for seniors is finding right-sized housing, with single level access and universal design features (wider doorways and hallways, level entrances, lower counter tops, roll-in showers, etc.) Try finding that in the city of Davis!
Like myself, many seniors are in homes that they’ve owned for decades, homes that no longer accommodate their needs. Their homes have become too big to maintain, clean, or keep up landscaping, homes that they can’t make it up the stairs safely – homes that are better suited for young families that need more space.
I have watched several senior neighbors and friends struggle to stay in their homes when they’ve become debilitated by injury or illness, but the design of their homes does not support their comfort or mobility. What a shame that builders don’t recognize that principles of universal design can support anyone: an elder, a child with a broken leg, a mid-life career person recovering from surgery.
WDAAC will meet many of these needs, and in a way that prevents the subdivision from becoming another Cannery, which has manifested many shortcomings. The planned 150 affordable apartments is another bonus, meeting the needs of lower income seniors.
Our fair city needs other options than URC, Carlton Plaza, Atria Covell Gardens and Eleanor Roosevelt Circle. Please join me in voting yes on Measure L .
Lawsuit Basis is Specious
by Jim Cramer
Opponents of the West Davis Active Adult Community and Measure L argue that the WDAAC will perpetuate the racial profile of Davis that is skewed towards whites. I find this argument specious on two accounts: Davis’ racial profile is determined by other factors, and the WDAAC is racially indeterminate.
Davis certainly had a history of housing discrimination prior to the 1960s, and Davis’ racial profile certainly is more white than the rest of the county or state. Since the 1960’s our racial profile has been determined largely by three factors. First, the structure of job opportunities here is highly skewed towards high educational qualifications, where blacks and Latinos are underrepresented.
Second, house prices have consistently been substantially higher in Davis than in surrounding areas since at least 1970, and blacks and Latinos historically have had less wealth and fewer family financial resources than whites.
Third, the cultural climate in Davis is not friendly towards blacks or Latinos. Students of color in my classes at UCD often talked about racial profiling and harassment by police and shop keepers in town, making them feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. The WDAAC will have no impact on these three factors that determine our racial profile.
As currently proposed, the WDAAC restricts many housing units (say, X of them) to people with ties already to Davis. If this were not the case, those X units would be available to people of any race. But if it remains true, people moving into those X units will vacate X other housing units in Davis, and those X vacated units will be available to people of any race. Either way, X units are racially open. If Measure L is defeated and WDAAC is not built, no additional units will be available to anyone.