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Making Millbrae Affordable for All

Affordable Housing in Millbrae and the Loss of Redevelopment Funds

In an earlier “” Patch post, I used the words Affordable and Sustainable to define a great city.   I submitted the proposition that Sustainability is a short-hand term for viewing the relationship between what actions we do today and their effects on the future.  I suggested sustainability is a broader definition that includes the effect of the economy and whether a community provides adequate services for all of its citizens.  Affordable housing options are one of those vital city services. A great city is measured by whether it fosters programs and policies provide housing options that are attainable for all income segments.

I also mentioned in that that I didn’t intend to proselytize, criticize, or persuade.  These posts are intended to solicit discussion and opinion.  That being said, I do have any opinion that I want to share at this time.  With the recent loss of redevelopment funds, I am concerned about the impact it will have on affordable housing opportunities in our community.  As a resident of the City of Millbrae, I wish to express my interest and concern for continued support of providing affordable housing opportunities for people of all income ranges.

Housing affordability in the City of Millbrae is a significant problem that affects virtually everyone. Jobs, families, transportation, education, and lifestyle are among just a few of the lenses through which people consider housing availability. It is a complex topic that, as you know, not only elicits strong emotions, but also fits into a larger picture of what it means to live, work and play in Millbrae. A lack of affordable housing limits the ability of people of all incomes to live in close proximity to where they work, consequently reducing the availability of qualified workers for local businesses. As a result, local workers may be forced to live outside of Millbrae spending their earned wages in another city. This lack of potential taxable sales income only hurts the economy of Millbrae.

As residents of the City of Millbrae, I hope you all share my enthusiasm to make Millbrae a great city.  I urge you to keep in mind that although there are few mechanisms left to create affordable housing with the elimination of RDA funds, there are still housing options and tools available for our city planners and government representatives to consider.

For our city to stay vital, we must maintain a mix of incomes within our communities. Housing should be available not only for the high tech/corporate workers of Silicon Valley, but also for the postal employee who delivers your mail every day.  As we move forward, please keep in mind the importance of housing for all. Great cities are measured by how it provides services for all its citizens.  Let’s support affordable housing programs and services that will make Millbrae a great city to live in.

Please share your thoughts.

Reginald Duhe’

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kate Holland April 13, 2012 at 11:43 PM
I'm not disagreeing with your points, I won't argue with you. My tone has been consistent...low income doesn't necessarily mean poverty or welfare. Low income can be defined as our city workers, teachers, post office clerks, retail clerks, etc..That's my only point in this discussion. So, I think your original comments were a bit insensitive. I will defend my fellow government workers...some of those blue collar workers choose this field for the security of it, and that's okay too! They don't get rich, but they are raising families on those wages. You may not think about it, but some of those maintenance workers left their families last night during the storm checking to make sure all systems were working and storm drains weren't backing up, or trees weren't falling on those lovely mercedes...imagine that! Don't discount them. I think you should be sitting on our City Council next to Wayne Lee and Gina Papan...we need some changes in our community and great revenue security. People as yourself who have great ideas should be working to implement good solutions!!
Frank Chu April 14, 2012 at 12:22 AM
I'm certainly not looking down on blue collar government workers. It's because of maintenance workers that we're able to have a good well functioning community. I was simply pointing out the fact that they might not be as economically disadvantaged as their private industry counterparts are. City maintenance workers do in fact make very good wages when you consider their education levels. As for siting on the council.. not really for me I'm just some dude with an opinion. As for my tone or insesitivity... the reason for that is because I commute daily 30 mins each way to work everyday, as do most folks I think.. I was quite bemused to hear that someone might consider a 5 min commute from San Bruno to Millbrae as being too much to ask and would rather propose more lower income housing with funds that are probably non existant, as a solution. Sorry if anyone was offended.
Jesse M. April 18, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Rent in Millbrae, as well as most of the Bay Area, is downright insane. I am a 26-year-old, full-time public school teacher. I went to college for six years. Between then and now, I have jumped through so many hoops, being continuously nickel and dimed and told that my out-of-state education degree isn't adequate to teach in CA. I make a laughable income compared to other people with a similar level of education. This month, my wife and I have been trying to figure out how we can continue to afford to live in our 1bdrm apt in Millbrae since our landlady is going to raise our rent by 150. We're even getting our bills payed by a woman, whose Millbrae home was forclosed on, so her children can continue to attend school here.
Reginald Duhe June 12, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Mr. Mathews, Thank You for your comment. You are exactly the type of person that this "make Millbrae Affordable" post is talking about it. You are a Full-time public school teacher. You have a college degree. By all accounts you have doing what you are suppose to be doing to live a comfortable life in a city that you choose to live. According to your post just trying to afford a 1bedroom apt in Millbrae is getting close to impossible. Responsible affordable housing policy oin Millbrae (or in any other city in San Mateo) should allow you to live in Millbrae. AFFORDABLE Housing does not mean "project housing" or Section 8 housing, it simply means affordable. There are policies that each city can enact that will allow public service employees, Teachers, Postal employees,..etc the ablility to live in cities close to thier employmenbt.
Angie June 30, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Jesse: What do you mean by your comment: "We're even getting our bills paid by a woman, whoes Millbrae home was forclosed on, so her children can continute to attend school here."? Do you mean that this family is using your address as an address of residence for Millbrae schools??? This is a big problem, as Millbrae schools, Mills in particular, are becoming overcrowded.

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