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Mayor Grades Redwood City on Affordable Housing

Mayor Jeff Ira says Redwood City, compared to neighboring cities, provides several options for residents and that no one housing project can solve the housing need.

Though Affordable Housing Week ended last week, housing is a topic always on Bay Area residents' minds. As one of the most expensive places to live in the country, below market housing is an absolute need for Redwood City residents.

Current development proposals in Redwood City include the Bair Island Renovation project, the development on the old Mel's Bowl site, and the development on the old Dodge dealership.

But, Ira said, "It's never enough."

Questions for the Mayor:

  • How would you grade Redwood City's ability to provide enough affordable housing to residents?
  • Do you think the proposed Cargill development project could solve the affordable housing need?
  • How does the city work with developers to determine the number of affordable housing units?
  • What has been the most memorable affordable housing development?
Diana Reddy May 18, 2011 at 06:20 PM
Though I share the Mayor’s pride in the way Redwood City has responded to the need for housing, I disagree and am disappointed with his statement that Redwood City will never have inclusionary zoning. As responsive as Redwood City has been, only a fraction of the affordable housing needed (compared to market rate) has been provided to address the jobs/housing imbalance. With the future of redevelopment agencies and their housing dollars at risk, cities will not have the leverage needed to ensure that developers include affordable housing in their plans. A case in point is the proposed housing development at the current Mel’s Bowl site. Not one unit of affordable housing is being offered. When the median range for affordable housing includes salaries of up to $99,000 for a family of four, this is unacceptable. I urge the Mayor and city council members to consider mechanisms such as inclusionary zoning, which can provide the authority needed by the city council to require some level of affordability on all developments. I believe this important issue deserves public involvement, and to declare that inclusionary zoning will never be done without the public weighing in risks locking the people of Redwood City into an unsustainable future.
Carol May 30, 2011 at 01:32 AM
I'm very concerned that inclusionary zoning will not be a part of new developments, I was under the impression that it was. I live at City Center Plaza, a beautiful example of low income housing, and was on a waiting list for years to get into that complex. As a service worker and a resident of Woodside and Redwood City for over 50 years, I am very worried about being priced out of the area, as are my children. There is such a need for low income housing in this area, with long wait lists for buildings that are low income, and I don't see how residents that partake of the service industry (caregivers, household help, landscapers, and other service positions) expect their employees to commute in from Concord and Tracy as some I know do. I feel this will lead us to another kind of economic collapse if we don't have the foresight to provide more low income housing. Like Diana, I also urge city council members to look again at inclusionary zoning. ~Carol Wolfe

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