Almanac

Viewpoint - June 1, 2011

Letter: Ad for Saltworks could mislead on housing

The ad recently put out by Cargill and DMB about their City in the Bay is designed to make us think that a senior who has trouble affording the basics would be able to afford Below Market Rate (BMR) housing there. Here's a little reality check.

Those of us who have looked into it know that when developers build BMR units they price them at the top of the legal formula for "Below Market Rate." Such units are never "affordable" on a small income. Not without a subsidy.

Now, it is a worthy thing for a city to subsidize low-income housing. I am all for it. But it is extremely deceptive and downright cruel to create an ad to make it seem that the developer will actually provide housing "affordable" to low-income seniors.

In fact, if the project is approved, Cargill and DMB can sell out and build nothing at all. Ah well, that's Cargill and DMB empty promises for you. They will be laughing all the way to the bank while local taxpayers are left holding the bag.

Gail Sredanovic, Ashton Avenue, Menlo Park

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