Thursday, March 30, 2006

Condomania . . .

While home prices have soared out reach for about 90% of Californians, housing developers and real estate developers are still hanging on to condominiums. Many parts of the state have already experienced a condominium craze (read: San Diego), but other parts of the state are still seeing a condo explosion, including Long Beach and Orange County.

This article from the Los Angeles Times, points us towards Orange County. Near Anaheim Stadium, there are plans to develop 9,500 new residences. 90% will be condos.

"Where does this put all the upwardly mobile business people, young couples and people that can't afford medium-range houses?" said Anaheim Councilwoman Lorri Galloway, who continued, "We have this master-planned urban community, but I don't want it to be exclusively for people who can afford market-rate housing. Then it becomes something that's unreachable for most people."

Officials with the Kennedy Commission, a nonprofit Orange County group that advocates low-cost housing, say they worry that the Platinum Triangle will become another Anaheim Hills, an upscale enclave in east Anaheim.

"You don't want to segregate the community in that fashion," said Cesar Covarrubias of the Kennedy Commission, "especially adjacent to all the service jobs in that area, with Angels Stadium, the Arrowhead Pond and Disneyland."

In 2004, the Kennedy Commission reported that 48% of the city's 175,000 jobs came from the low-wage service and retail sectors and that 57% of jobs in the city paid less than $16 an hour. The same report noted that a worker had to earn more than $23 an hour to afford the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Anaheim.

The development is expected to pass through the City Council despite the objections.

Part of the problem is that politicians are concerned about the short-term, rather than the long term. Most politicians, especially at the local level, and especially in Long Beach, are doubtfully concerned about where this City will be in 2025. Most politicians, especially at the local level, and especially in Long Beach, are more concerned about where Long Beach will be on the date of their next election.

No doubt, this ‘me first’ attitude will drag us all down in time . . . well everybody except ‘them’.

Kosher Ham


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