Letter to the editor: Let’s use the mayor’s bond to help people buy homes
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To the editor:
I was in chambers when Santa Cruz Mayor Fred Keeley and the city attorney had a dialogue about how to “get the community” to sponsor an affordable-housing bond so that the vote would be 50% plus 1 in lieu of two-thirds should the city council put it on the ballot.
I thought that that conversation should have been between the mayor and the city attorney, but I’m glad it was public.
Since the city and staff have done the majority of the work on the bond and “handed it off,” I suspect it is open to challenge as not really “by the people,” but that is not my point.
This bond is a cash giveaway to developers and their profit margin; promotes profit over people.
I would suggest that the bond could be structured to assist future homeowners afford the X% down required to buy a house. That would truly help more folks afford to buy into the community.
The bond “participation” could be structured such that the city’s bond investment is listed on the deed. The requirement to pay the city back at the first refinancing could be part of the contract. The investment could be 50% matching funds for the percent down. Obviously, the language would allow only one home purchase in a lifetime, not available to investors or any other organizations … just people.
The bond could also be structured to help renters afford the security deposit, due when vacating the rental, or sooner.
There are lots of ways to structure this so that 100% of the funds raised go to current residents of Santa Cruz who wish to buy a home in our community.
Let’s put people over profit.