The Berkeley City Council voted Tuesday night to analyze the possibility of service-rich senior housing on the parcel now occupied by the West Berkeley Service Center.
Companies that build affordable housing are pouring funds into support of the O and P measures, Realtors are opposing the proposed property transfer tax hike and Wicks is outspending Beckles in the AD15 race.
Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín hit the campaign trail last week to urge voters to support tax measures O and P to raise money for affordable housing and homeless services. He met with a tough crowd.
Arguments for Measure O contend it will cost average residents $97 a year. But those with newer houses will pay 3-10 times more over 36 years than older residents because their baseline assessment is much higher.
Measure O will raise $135M in bonds that can be leveraged to bring in $500M to build more affordable housing for very-low-income, low-income, and moderate-income people.
Between 2014 and 2017, only 137 units of affordable housing were permitted, while 1,320 market rate units got permits. To correct this imbalance, Berkeley must pass Measure O, increase density & involve community voices.
Measure O will fail to make a dent in the housing crisis; it promises more than it can deliver. It will also be a burden on homeowners who already pay for 6 local bonds and 9 different parcel taxes/fees.
Measure O would cost taxpayers $280 million (including interest) but its claim to provide "affordable housing" is vague and there is no oversight mechanism.
The status quo is unsustainable and inhumane. Berkeley residents should support these measures to help those in need.
Berkeley voters are set to have a chance in November to consider a $135 million bond measure officials hope will create more affordable housing in the city to fight displacement.