By David Taormino
Bretton Woods (formerly called The West Davis Active Adult Community) was approved by Davis’ voters in November 2018. At that time, the Applicant proposed a Davis-Connected Buyers Program as a part of the Project which was designed to retain Davis’ senior population.
The program was intended to ensure that Davis-connected seniors would be prioritized at Bretton Woods so they could downsize into age-appropriate housing while staying local, simultaneously, the existing housing stock would become available to a new generation. A program to achieve those policy goals has now been released.
The Davis-Connected Buyers Program (DCBP) is based on six key principles.
- Focus on attracting Davis’ existing age-qualified homeowners to Bretton Woods, thereby retaining our valued, aging citizenry.
- Open Davis’ inventory of larger, single-family designed homes for purchase by a new generation in order to better utilize the existing housing inventory and support the attendance levels of Davis schools.
- Comply with the goals of Measure J/R to have development proposals serve the internal needs of the City and thereby maintain the integrity of the voter approval process.
- Meet the 2018 election and campaign representations for a Davis Connected Buyers Program that attracts buyer with a preexisting Davis connection.
- Implement policies and processes that achieve the aforementioned objectives but do so in a manner that will not intentionally or unintentionally prevent the sale, directly or indirectly, of housing or otherwise result in housing being unavailable or restricted because of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disability, familial status, marital status, sexual orientation, or any arbitrary basis. Furthermore, do so in a manner that will not perpetuate discrimination within the City of Davis that resulted from a history of racially discriminatory covenants or informal redlining within the City.
- Comply with all applicable Federal and State fair housing requirements, including but not limited to the Federal Fair Housing Act (42. U.S.C S3604), the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Gov’t Code S12900 et. Seq.) and the California Unruh Act (Civil Code S51 et. Seq.)
The Davis-Connected Buyers Program is rooted in the language of Measure J/R and intended to help address the extreme local housing crisis resulting from a lack of supply. It was always intended to promote a diversity of homeowners with an emphasis on meeting the needs of local seniors.
The program and its objectives were the topic of much discussion as the Project sought City Council and voter approval in 2018.
In 2020, a proposed amendment to the Development Agreement to remove the program by a potential master builder, K. Hovnanian (K. Hov), was met with controversy. K. Hov eventually withdrew its amendment request and ultimately opted not to build at Bretton Woods. Since then, the Applicant has crafted the DCBP which is aimed at achieving the stated policy objectives.
The DCBP is a comprehensive, multi-phased advertising plan along with a verification and reporting system focused primarily on Davis-connected seniors. The program’s goal is to achieve a sale of ninety percent (90%) of the residential units within Bretton Woods to purchasers with a pre-existing connection to the City of Davis.
From its inception, the program was designed to comply with fair housing laws, including a commitment to not perpetuate historical discriminatory housing practices or impediments to homeownership in Davis rooted in bias. Since the 2018 approvals, this commitment has intensified in response to national and local attention surrounding racial injustice and implicit bias, spurred by the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement.
Accordingly, as crafted, the DCBP exempts protected classes of buyers from needing to provide any evidence of a local connection. The DCBP uses Federal and State Fair Housing standards to better define groups of individuals exempted from the local connection requirement. Removing the local connection requirement for any person of a protected class is an intentional step to eliminate any barrier to entry for groups which may have been historically excluded..
David Taormino is the Project Manager of Bretton Woods
To read a full detailed program – see here.
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