Almanac

Viewpoint - June 1, 2011

Letter: No requirement to provide senior housing at Saltworks

DMB, the developer of the Saltworks in Redwood City, is running full-page ads titled, "Affordable housing for our seniors," and promises the development "will provide hundreds of new affordable homes for Redwood City's seniors."

Their website claims that 15 percent of the homes will be sold below market rate. Seniors — and all residents — should be skeptical for a number of reasons:

• While Redwood City encourages developers to include 15 percent affordable units, there is no requirement that they do so.

• Developers can build fewer affordable units if they offer in-lieu fees or so-called "public benefits" like plazas, benches or community rooms.

• No one has defined "affordable." In fact, Saltworks has not provided prices for any of their homes.

• Affordable units would be available to anyone who qualifies, not just seniors, and not just Redwood City residents.

Don't fall for DMB's warm and fuzzy ads. Housing seniors is not their top priority.

Pat Marriott, Los Altos

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