Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Marin Housing Heroine Retires

A remarkable Marinite retires:
[Betty] Pagett, who has spent the past 16 years as director of education and advocacy at the Ecumenical Association for Housing, will retire June 21...

Marin is an extraordinarily beautiful place, she says, full of wonderfully creative and mostly wealthy people. But these people, building ever-larger homes, are blocking the way for the less wealthy.

These residents don't think in terms of "community," she says, but about property values and entitlement [whose got the entitlement problem?]. "They don't talk about what will make life better for everybody. It's more about 'this is what I want.'"

When Marin residents complain about traffic [one of the arguments Marinites most love to use to oppose affordable housing, but not new market-rate or above housing], she says, they should think about the 40,000 people who have to drive to Marin every day for their jobs. [In other words, Marinites don't really care about an increase in traffic or the commensurate increase in air pollution as long as it happens "over there".]

Giambastiani [former executive director of the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce and an ally in the Consortium for Workforce Housing], who calls Pagett "brilliant, compassionate and dedicated," says the main opposition to workforce housing comes from environmentalists and homeowner groups who say "I support affordable housing but this is not an appropriate location."

The two believe that opposition stems from fear - fear that property values will decline, fear of more traffic, fear of the people who might live there...the Marin community has "really tried to run away" from finding solutions, she says.


Blogger bob said...

It is nice that at least in Marin, some people are voicing their opinions about NIMBYism.You could take this same report and apply it to any number of BA communities, mine included.

Jun 7, 2007, 8:27:00 AM  
Blogger Holland said...

I know this is not the right place to post this piece of news. However, I think it is important for people to know that the 10-year Treasury note's yield surpassed 5 percent today.

Do people know that we are at the mercy of foreign central bankers, especially the Chinese? All the good fortune or lifestyles from the rapid appreciation of housing prices may just be the byproducts of Chinese government policy to keep our interest rates low so their economy could grow rapidly. What have we have lost during this process? It is more profound than selfish gratification from some of the residents who are glad that they bought the house earlier than others. This good fortune may not last.

Jun 7, 2007, 8:46:00 AM  
Blogger bob said...

Yes indeeddy there was BIG news in the financial markets yesterday. Bonds are up, the fed raised interest rates, and all 16 major home builders took major hits. The stock market took a hit. The Nasdaq took a hit.

The funny thing listening to the financial report was that the host didn't seem to fully make the connection. Wal-Mart was down. JC Penny was down. Most retailers were down in fact. Building suppliers were down. the list goes on and on.

The big reason for all of this of course is a faltering housing market. After his story, another part of the show involved a mortgage broker addressing the problems of people unable to afford their payments.The show is produced in the BA, so I naturally figured the report would be tilted towards a positive light. Nope. The mortgage guy had nothing good to say really. He mentioned he had numerous clients in Oakland and Richmond who'd already lost 30% or more of their home's value. Woah. That's huge. It's just that we don't hear about it since these are in economically depressed areas with high crime rates.But this is going to eventually have a big impact in pricey areas as well. When the bad areas drop in price, the borderline transitioning areas next to them will also drop, and from there the nicer areas and so on.

The domino effect has started and whether people in Marin want to think they are insulated or not, it will come here as well.

The report ended with the mention that a rise in interest rates to 7-8% would essentially totally crash the RE market. Those rates aren't that far off from where we sit now.

Jun 8, 2007, 8:36:00 AM  

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