Resident E’ville Survey: Measure C – Yes or No?

Published On June 4, 2018 | By Rob Arias | Election Coverage, News & Commentary, Politics

“Resident E’ville” is a new column where we ask our readers your perspective on important issues through a short, online survey. On today’s primary ballot, Emeryville voters will be faced with an important choice and we wanted to tap into your insights.

“Measure C” will ask voters to approve a $50 million housing bond to pay for affordable housing projects and anti-displacement programs. The bond amounts to $4,284 in debt for each of our current 11,671 residents and will cost a typical homeowner in the neighborhood of $200 per year and $5,000 over the 27 year repayment term. Impacts on rents have not been studied.

While “yes or no” Nextdoor and Facebook polls posted by The E’ville Eye have been unfavorable to the measure, its worth noting that these are not scientific and had relatively small participation. Our email survey received notably higher outcome with a 53% approval rate at the time of publication (38 responses).

City consultants indicated a 74% favorability of a housing bond measure from the community when a feasibility survey was conducted earlier this year. The outcome of the election may not be decided for several days as mail-in votes that are postmarked on election day will be counted. Measure C will require 2/3 “Yes” votes to be approved.

While there is no organized “no” campaign against the measure, The “Yes on Measure C with Mayor Bauters for Affordable Housing” has collected over $8,500 in donations as of the last May 7th FPPC filing. The largest campaign contributions have come from labor groups and affordable developer EAH Housing who are building the Estrella Vista affordable development on San Pablo Avenue.

We placed this five question survey on our Facebook page and through our email newsletter asking for additional insight into your voting decision. Participants in our survey were predominantly longtime homeowners averaging over 10 years in our city.


Resident E’ville Survey: Measure C – Yes or No?

What was the primary reason you voted/intend to vote this way?

We’re just making it as it is and adding even more taxes will make it harder to survive.

The cost is too high funding things with bonds. It is a larger societal/economic problem and I do not think it is effectively solved at a city level!

cant afford any more taxes, no gaurantee that affordable senior housing will go only to low income Emeryville residents

Realistic method for providing seed money for below market and low-income housing projects.

I have to borrow every month just to make my own rent. I’m middle class but deemed well off enough to not be eligible for aid/help. But you want me now fork over money for those less inclined to work or stop buying what they can’t afford – um, no. The low-cost housing will not be available to me, only to welfare, food stamps, and those that know how to take advantage of gov’t funding programs – THEY LIVE BETTER THAN ME with less effort. No thank you.

I don’t trust how the funds will be used. I don’t believe policy makers are aligned with property owners as to benefits

It makes sense! We need housing for everyone.

“Affordable housing” is flawed and there is nothing affordable about it. I am against what is called “affordable housing” and additional taxation to make it possible.

The San Francisco Bay Area — indeed, the entire United States — needs to be a place where we all can live together and work together, and not a place where only the well-to-do can afford to live. If we are to truly reflect the values of “of, by and for the people” we need to provide housing that is affordable to ALL.

To support the people who cannot afford housing.

Our prop taxes are over 12K per year. This includes the base tax on the purchase price plus numerous other initiative assessments. We’re choking on prop. tax and will likely have to move in the next few years due to cost. Sadly, after a combined 50+ years in the bay area combined for the both of us, we’ll have to leave for somewhere more affordable. We understand and sympathize with those struggling but all we pay in initiative assessments already hasn’t resolved any of the problems for which the initiatives were intended.

Homelessness is bad for property values, quality of life and a reflection of the contents of our souls.

we need more affordable housing for our work force

Blank check, poor fiscal controls. Marginal outcomes

Homelessness is a problem and we all need to chip in to solve it.

Am on fixed income and cannot afford additional taxes.
Also, why does City need to have an Art Center when that $ could have been put into housing needs.

Too costly.

While the action to help those unfortunate enough to not be able to afford conventional housing is well-intentioned, government subsidies will not solve this. If the numerous obstacles to development were removed, private solutions would be forthcoming. Emeryville’s recent bond issue to finance ECCL is perfect example of carpet bagging politicians and their bureaucratic minions squandering money and burdening taxpayers.

The need is great. I trust John Bauters to have crafted a thoughtful measure. He alone of our political leaders pays attention to the details and really understands to be effective. I also own two rental properties and have told my tenants that I support Measure C and will not pass my costs along in raised rent.

Housing should be approached collaboratively with surrounding cities/counties. Emeryville is a small city. Measure C seems more like a gesture that will do nothing to really impact the housing crisis. It will only add further hardship to property owners within the city, with little to show for it. The Measure is overly broad.

I would like to protect the values that at one time seemed important to residents – such as affordable housing. I would hate for Emeryville to be an enclave solely for the affluent.

It feels like a way to address the homeless issue, which is so difficult to do anything about.

Most of the money will be used to house and care for area homeless. That will just enable this terrible situation to expand. Any funds for such services should come from tax free churches, philanthropic groups, individual generosity, state or federal funds — not property taxes or bonds. Some of the proposals in the measure were otherwise good, but is was written too broadly.

Housing is needed.

Property tax increase

it’s good for Emeryville

To be a truly responsible citizen one must vote for the large community and our country. Voting ‘yes’ is to think globally, act locally.

Too big of a burden on senior property owners. Too ambitious for a city of our size. We can’t solve the regional problems. I don’t want to fund residents other than Emeryville residents, since it appears to be open to all (Emeryville residents get extra points for eligibility).

This measure is nothing more than an interest free loan to developers. There is no oversight or accountability built into the measure. There are other mechanisms already available for creating affordable housing. This measure will tax all residents, including the people it is allegedly serving. The amount seems to be arbitrary and the timing comes across as politically motivated.

Seniors get no exemption. Corporations are largely responsible for this mess and should be held accountable

We need more efforts to address the chronic and many housing needs in the area, especially for low-income people.

Affordable housing and homelessness is a huge issue in Emeryville and the entire Bay area so I support any reasonable efforts to try to address it. I feel like the tax is a fairly minor cost especially in relation to the huge price appreciation my condo has experienced in the last several years and even more especially since that price rise is linked to increasing housing problems.

It’s the right thing to do.

No specific project; incompetent administration of funds; not my battle. I remember ECCL; $90M turned into $150M, and what did we end up with? Taxpayers got screwed, and we are holding the “Bag”. Sorry to be so blunt! That High School and Anna Yates School had been bought and paid for. Now they rely of outside
students.

Property owners should not be taxed to support this Measure. We already pay for ECCL and many, many other initiatives. Find another way to fund this instead of pushing a feel good legacy for your political career.

Measure is overpromising and underdelivering. Cost to construct the 500 units will exceed the $50 million in this bond. That would take $150 million minimum. On top of that, the programs outlined will help very few since there won’t be money left from the main portion of this bond. The city council controls incentives over what gets built so why are the taxpayers footing the bill. This is a state-wide issue and there are monies out there (county and state) that can tackle affordable housing issue that are not being utilized. The tax increase will be a minimum 4% on most properties. This is on top of other initiatives on this months ballot. We can’t keep increasing taxes for poorly executed ideas. Let’s draw a line.

The government takes too much of my income as it is and they squander it all – why don’t the pot holes get filled? What is their trash all over the highways? We can do better and I am going to go pick up the trash myself on the Powell St. exit.


The City’s FAQ’s on the measure can be read here →

The E’ville Eye Q&A with the city can be read here →

DISCLAIMER: The E’ville Eye posts online surveys as a way of encouraging our readers to express their views and participate in our community. They are not based on scientific, representative samples and their results are vulnerable to manipulation by individuals or groups with an interest in the outcome.

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

4 Responses to Resident E’ville Survey: Measure C – Yes or No?

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is a great feature, particularly the comments elicited from the community!!

    The city is often dominated by the loudest.

    The reasons here for votes both ways are very thoughtful and instructive as to the complexity of the issue and the fact that reasonable people can look at the same issue and arrive at two different conclusions. We need this reminder frequently in the current political climate.

    More of this please!!!

  2. Sarah says:

    Thanks for putting this together, Rob. It is really interesting to read that those supporting this measure seem to be doing so out of some kind of white guilt or bumper sticker philosophy rather than any technical knowledge of economics, finance, or third sector interventions. The irony being that “pay to make it go away” is not just wishful thinking, it is the apex of elitism and reveals how little many people actually understand about the housing crisis.

    For better or worse— THIS IS NOT GOING TO ADDRESS THE HOMELESSNESS ISSUE OR THE TRASH OR THE CRIME NOR IS IT GOING TO HELP THE CURRENT RESIDENTS OF EMERYVILLE

    This is a measure where you have an opportunity to pay to increase the density and lower the median income of the city while increasing pressure on services and decreasing the marginal tax base, or in other words, lower the quality of life measures within the city limits while increasing the tax burden on the most vulnerable current residents. His measure will tax the very people it is intended to serve.

    Whoever is scared that we may become a home just for the “affluent” needs to get out more. A ton of people living in condos and starter homes next to the strip mall is never going to be the haven for the rich and famous my dear, no matter how much your condo recently appreciated by. If having money makes you this nervous, it might be time for you to move to berkeley where your 700k will make you feel very poor again.

    Voting yes is going to fund a specific for-profit development group to receive an interest free loan to build an unspecified number of units to an unspecified number of unspecified people at some unspecified date without any accountability at an average cost of $5k/ per current resident.

  3. Anonymous says:

    BASED ON 2017 SAN FRANCISCO CONSTRUCTION COSTS: $714,405 TOTAL COST PER UNIT (FROM SAN FRANCISCO HOUSING ACTION COALITION – 2017.05.30 Why Does Housing Cost So Much – Hogan.pdf)

  4. Anon says:

    It will pass. The triangle wins again via mobilization.

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