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What Do YOU Think About Anaheim’s Affordable Housing Problem?

“This is to show our strength, to give us a voice so the council will listen to us,” said Jaime Ramirez, an unemployed auto parts distributor from Anaheim who joined the march [for affordable housing].

There was a rally near Angel Stadium yesterday organized by a coalition of community groups, churches and unions, aimed to pressure the city Anaheim to include a “community benefits agreement” in its plans to develop a 51.4-acre city-owned plot north of the stadium. Anaheim plans to sell this plot to developer Archstone-Smith, so they can build hotels, offices and retail space. The community groups want the agreement to include child care facilities, park space, adequate wages and low-cost housing.

Archstone-Smith, which is in an exclusive negotiating agreement with the city to buy the property, has met with members of these community groups, but the developer has not promised to follow their criteria. And meanwhile, the city has said that it’s better for them to use some of the revenue earned from the sale of this land to develop affordable housing elsewhere. Besides, they say, Angels team owner Arte Moreno refuses to consider any housing project on stadium property.

So what do you think about this new conflict over affordable housing in Anaheim? Are these community groups asking for too much? Or is the city not dealing with this real problem by saying that housing will be developed “elsewhere” at a “future time” whenever a major developer wants to step in and build more “luxury development”?

I want to hear what you have to say about this dilemma. Where can Anaheim develop affordable housing? Should the city be required to demand “community benefits agreements” that include parks, community centers, and affordable housing when developers want to build on available property? What can be done to ensure everyone benefits from all this new growth in Anaheim?

Go ahead and have your say.