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What Affordable Housing Does Novato Need?

It is time for proper planning for affordable housing in Novato.

When affordable housing is discussed, we always start with ABAG allocations. What we need to do is look at what has happened in the past and determine where we need in the future.

The census data indicates Novato population from 2000-2010 grew from 47,630 to 51,904, an 8.97 percent growth and an increase of 4,274. The average household was 2.52 persons, thus the total household grow was 1,696.

In the 1999-2006 housing cycle, Novato built 2,096 affordable housing units. Thus Novato built 1,300 more affordable housing units than the TOTAL household increase in this time period.

More importantly, Novato significantly overbuilt very-low and low-income housing relative to the rest of Marin. The numbers are as follows:

-- Novato built 56 percent of the very low income housing of all of Marin; Belvedere, Corte Madera, Fairfax, Ross and San Anselmo built ZERO.

-- Novato built 85 percent of the low income housing in all of Marin; Belvedere, Corte Madera, Fairfax, Ross, San Anselmo and Sausalito built ZERO.

-- Novato built 48 percent of moderate income housing in all of Marin. Corte Madera, Fairfax, Ross, San Anselmo, Sausalito and Tiburon built ZERO.

-- Novato built 48 percent of the above moderate income housing in all of Marin — 146 percent more than required.

During the same census period, 2000-2010, vacant housing increased 53.5 percent in Novato.

It is clear Novato does not need more very low and low housing in Novato. It is time to plan from the local level and make sure past performance and future needs meet the needs of Novato.

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R. Anne July 11, 2012 at 04:49 AM
Al what are your thoughts about this: Let's say the city council approves a Wal Mart to come to Novato. Wal Mart as a Big Box store hires low wage earners. Wal Mart makes millions and billions. So we, Novato would have to pay for the housing (as Tax Payers) of the Wal Mart workers (if the workers wanted to live in Novato and they may not)... and Wal Mart would not have to pay a living wage, and would make more and more proftis. So, in addition to the corporate developers who make billions off of these affordable housing projects, the big box stores etc. make billions too----and we, the dying middle class have to pay for it all.....
Al Dugan July 11, 2012 at 05:03 AM
I have nothing more to add......well done, well said......an issue for the future.
Al Dugan July 11, 2012 at 05:27 AM
We are definitively at the tipping point.
Dannie July 11, 2012 at 05:41 AM
I am sick and tired of the crime that the low income projects have brought to Novato. There are more monthly arrests in Novato than the combined arrests in Belvedere, Tiburon, San Anselmo, West Marin, Fairfax, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Sausalito, and Mill Valley. Saying Novato is one of the biggest cities is true, but combined all the others together and we still have more crime....and the reason is obvious.
Bob Innes October 06, 2012 at 03:54 AM
I know we are rehashing the same sentiments and I wonder if the council gives a damn. If Brown and the council continue to push the limits we may have to become more active. Perhaps the more radical “Occupy the Council”, protest on the street, oppose the construction, any of those kinds of things will get their attention. I am sure they do not want the TV news channels probing and investigating the situation. At this point no action is considered acceptance of their mandates. Additionally we may be able to appeal to the local congressional representative or any other elected authority for assistance. Failing that there are always the law suits. Perhaps we have a friendly attorney out there who would like to assist in drafting legalese? Radical ideas, yes, but are we making any headway on behalf of our community?

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