Housing, as a social policy, is something that’s been litigated—and re-litigated—for decades, and quite vigorously so. And that’s because it matters, deeply, on an individual level how we frame the discourse. If we bolster the homes themselves, then we, in turn, support the people inside them—for whom these buildings are far more than just a roof and four walls.
A year of Covid means that we’ve learned to work, shop, learn and recreate virtually. The result is empty office buildings, hotels and malls. We desperately need more housing, especially affordable housing, so it’s only logical to convert those empty structures into housing. But zoning laws are standing in the way of making an easy building conversion.
As with any crisis, however, this moment also presents our city with opportunities for creative thinking and bold action. let’s act now to convert cash-strapped hotels and office buildings into permanently affordable and supportive housing. Luckily, there is state legislation known as the “Housing Our Neighbors with Dignity Act” which would allow us to do just that.
Many people are unaware that a problem exists because it doesn’t affect them or their neighborhood.
They believe that living near project will negatively affect surrounding property values and work to defeat affordable housing efforts.
As much as they may love the schools and the community, many families simply can’t afford to live here, and they leave. For Rob and Jordan, this is their home, the place they’re raising their kids. They’re committed to staying right here in St. Helena. But without affordable housing, St. Helena will continue to lose these young families who are an essential part of the culture.
Victor’s parents immigrated to St. Helena from Mexico, like so many before them, seeking better opportunities for their children. They stressed the importance of education from a very early age. They wanted to make sure their children took advantage of opportunities to go to college.
“You get a sunrise view in your bedroom and a sunset view in your living room. That was intentional. It’s all about light, this project,” Kafka explained. “The real benefit isn’t that the Quonset hut lets me build a project so inexpensively, it’s that it lets me give people extremely high-quality space for a reasonable price.”
California’s State Building and Construction Trades Council, which represents 450,000 ironworkers, pipe fitters and other skilled laborers, has blocked numerous bills it says don’t guarantee enough work for its members.
Marjy Stagmeier invested in old affordable apartment communities and quickly realized that many of her renter families were low-income single parents who needed services like after-school programs and playgrounds for their communities. Launched a nonprofit to provide social services to low-income families Read more…