Letters to the Editor
Barbara Mooney asks Alameda residents to give Jamestown Properties a chance with their 1,200-apartment proposal for South Shore Center. (“Give Jamestown a Chance,” Sept. 5). The most important question is, how many units will be set aside as below-market-rate rentals?
It reminds me that several years ago, when Barbara’s husband, Ron Mooney, sat on the school board, he controlled a political action committee (PAC) that campaigned in favor of a school parcel tax. I seem to remember that PAC received a $5,000 contribution from Jamestown Properties.
That parcel tax and subsequent parcel taxes included caps that limited the amount of the tax that Jamestown would pay on South Shore Shopping Center, thereby transferring Jamestown’s benefit to Alameda property owners’ expense.
I usually do not watch the news, but recently I stumbled on the story about the apartment complex in Alameda that is considering cancelling the section-8 portion of tenant apartments in its complex in order to charge higher rents (“Neighbors Rally to Help Renters,” Aug, 29).
The city, county and federal government have worked with community members to provide a safety net for those most vulnerable. Section-8 is a well-organized scientific system that not only helps those who are most vulnerable — namely the elderly, disabled and families with young children — but also those who randomly fall through the cracks into homelessness for one reason or another.
My fear is if property managers and owners who are currently accepting section-8, decide not to accept it, then the value of the city’s property will actually plummet. Not accepting the subsidies will increase the city’s homelessness to a point that would be unmanageable by the local police, law enforcement and other agencies.
We might have people sleeping in tents in and around our backyards instead of in proper housing. Owners and property managers certainly have a right to refuse the subsidies they are already accepting, but they must do it in such a way that all of the other property values in the city will not drop.
I would hope that ample time would be given for tenants to relocate, such as 9 to 12 months. Such time would reduce the influx of people who suddenly become homeless. This amount of time also allows some other landlord or property managers time to get approved to accept section-8. It is a long process that includes inspections, verifications and clearances.
Lastly, new apartment buildings are required to have at least 20 percent of their units allocated to affordable housing. Logically, once the section-8 tenants of the already-built apartments are moved out, then repairs and renovations will be needed to get the higher rents. Shouldn’t renovations be upheld to the same requirement of at least 20 percent of the newly renovated complex be allocated to affordable housing as well — especially to section-8?
If owners and property managers want the rent or value of their property to be maintained or go up, then the people who are currently housed cannot be made homeless. At the very least 9-months notice must be given to both the tenant and the authorities involved. Otherwise, they will simply be creating the same kind of chaos that reduces property values.
I also believe the longer someone remains homeless, the more they become depressed, angry or mentally ill. Crime levels might increase. Please give them 9 to 12 months.
Many thanks to those individuals and groups who have contributed to the Midway Shelter for abused women and their children. A number of the listed donors contributed several times in August.
The women and children of the shelter thank: the Pipkin-McGrath family, Constance & Lon Harvey, David Mercado, Tomorr Haximali, Jay Dawson, Gaby Dolphin & Alan Pryor, Gary & Lily Gee and Virginia Krutilek. Richard & Susan Sherratt gave generously last month along with: Lance & Sandra Russum in memory of: Bonnie Perakis, Izola Couther, Emil Firpo, Nardo David, Maxine Mrognik, Harvey Hanson, Thomas Goldt, Roger Lowery and Rascal Freitas.
Mary Buck was among the generous August donors, along with: Virginia Crinnion in honor of Jackie MacMillan’s birthday, Lois Pryor, Virginia Preston, Eliazbeth Tsai and Al & Cheryl Filart. The firm of Hewitt, Jones & Fitch opened their hearts and wallets, as did: Maylon Booth, Louis Rembrandt, Kelly Scott, Ann Casper & Mark Irons, Michele Giles & Jeffrey Ward and Marian Williams. Four donors chose to remain anonymous.
To see your name among the September donors send a check to: Alameda Homeless Network, P.O. Box 951, Alameda CA 94501. For more information call 357-0205, Ext. 206 or visit www.midwayshelter.org.