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Housing crisis | consider working families

From: domainremoved <Katelyn>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2017 17:23:40 +0000

Hello city council members,

I wanted to express my support for the goals identified in the City Council 2017 Work Plan Preparation<http://menlopark.org/DocumentCenter/View/12788> document. I am proud to live in a city that holds itself accountable to goals that will continue to help Menlo Park residents be healthy, resilient, and thrive.

I am however concerned by the recent housing discussion that took place, and the council's decision to focus its evaluation of possible housing-related priorities on efforts that will not address the artificially restricted supply of housing in the Menlo Park area. We need more multi-story apartments to reduce the unnecessary constraints on housing supply, especially near key transit access (Caltrain). We also need to address the lax policies that allow landlords to evict tenants quickly and without cause.

Now is the time for us to act. With incredible investment in jobs in Menlo Park, we need to make sure the housing supply keeps up and does not force people out of their homes, their communities, their jobs and livelihoods.

I want to show support for two issues in particular:

1) I am fully supportive of any plans to develop mixed-use retail/commercial/residential units on Santa Cruz Avenue. I think this creates vibrancy and promotes community.

2) I think we must consider options that tackle root cause, such as rent control and "just cause" eviction. As part of a dual working family, my husband and I have been blessed to have incredibly gracious and fair landlords over our 10 years living in Menlo Park. I can't say the same for a few of my friends. As our son and his friends grows begin to prepare for school, we are constantly weighing our civic investment in and living in Menlo Park (where landlords may decide to terminate month-to-month policies at any moment) especially as market demand grows with the influx of new very-high wage jobs.

In my exploration of affordable housing policies, I have found resources from PolicyLink<https://www.policylink.org/equity-tools/equitable-development-toolkit/affordable-housing> (based in Oakland) to be extremely informative. Given our diverse community, we need to approach any solution with an equity lens, ensuring that low-income, vulnerable residents in our community are not unintentionally harmed by our city's actions. I am happy to put you in touch with the right person at PolicyLink to discuss Menlo Park's unique circumstances if you would like to tap their expertise.

My "tribe" of civic-minded, economically conscious friends are active in our neighborhoods and community. We love Menlo Park and want to stay. But one by one we leave. It's inevitable given our city's housing policies. Please help us change this vicious cycle for our young, working families, and soon.

With gratitude,

Katelyn Mack
Social impact consultant
Allied Arts, Menlo Park
Received on Thu Jan 26 2017 - 09:26:58 PST

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