Larkin Place – Misinformation vs. truth

 

MISINFORMATION

Larkin Place is for people with the most severe drug addictions and mental illnesses.

TRUTH

Larkin Place is for people who have experienced homelessness for a year or more and have a long-term disability. Disabilities are not limited to substance use disorders and serious mental health conditions; they also include physical or developmental disabilities, chronic health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, seizures, respiratory problems or arthritis, or HIV-related illnesses. Among these, chronic health conditions are the most common for people who meet these requirements in Claremont.

People with physical or behavioral health needs that exceed the scope of the onsite services available will not be candidates for Larkin Place. All residents will complete a thorough vetting process to assess their ability to live safely and independently in a community setting.

Sources: LA County HMIS Database & Jamboree Housing

MISINFORMATION

Larkin Place residents will endanger our community.

TRUTH

Assuming that people experiencing homelessness are dangerous is rooted in stigma rather than credible research. Our unhoused neighbors already live next to schools, parks, and the elderly in retirement villages. Housing these neighbors does not cause an increase in crime; it allows them to stabilize and address any illnesses or disabilities through wrap-around services tailored to meet their needs. In fact, a recent study published by UCI that aggregated crime data with affordable housing projects located in Orange County (including PSH) found that the siting of affordable housing reduces most types of crime, especially violent crime. 

Source: The Impact of Affordable Housing on Housing & Crime in OC, UCI, 2022.

MISINFORMATION

Larkin Place will decrease the property values of the surrounding community.

TRUTH

While it’s understandable that people want to protect their investments, the vast majority of studies have found that affordable housing does not depress neighboring property values and may even raise them in some cases. In the same UCI study mentioned above, researchers found that the siting of affordable housing, including PSH, did not negatively affect housing prices and in fact, surrounding communities saw modest increases in both sales prices and price per square foot.

Source: The Impact of Affordable Housing on Housing & Crime in OC, UCI, 2022.

MISINFORMATION

Residents will not be evicted for illegal activity.

TRUTH

Residents at Larkin Place will have the legal rights and responsibilities that any renter has in the State of California, and eviction may result from lease violations—including

violating the strict visitor policy, non-payment of rent, or any behaviors that threaten the safety and wellbeing of the community.        Source: Jamboree Housing

MISINFORMATION

87 residents will live at Larkin Place.

TRUTH

Larkin Place will house single adults and some couples; no household may include anyone who is not a fully vetted and eligible leaseholder. Larkin Place is not a shared- housing model, so roommates (other than couples who are married or in domestic partnerships) will not be eligible to live there. The anticipated occupancy is 37.

Source: Jamboree Housing

MISINFORMATION

Larkin Place will house criminals.

TRUTH

Thorough criminal background checks will be completed for every tenant to exclude anyone who has been convicted of a serious or violent crime, including violent felonies, sex offenses, arson, and methamphetamine production. Jamboree is required to meet the same Federal and State Fair Housing and non-discrimination law in screening its residents as any other landlord in California.

Source: Jamboree Housing

MISINFORMATION

Larkin Place excludes families and seniors.

TRUTH

Larkin Place will not exclude seniors, and residents may grow their families once they are stably housed at Larkin Place.

Source: Jamboree Housing

MISINFORMATION

Larkin Place won’t house people experiencing homelessness in Claremont.

TRUTH

Residents will be prioritized through LA County’s Coordinated Entry System (CES), which takes into account the places where people call home when determining permanent supportive housing placements. Regardless, homelessness is a regional crisis, and we need to think about this issue on a regional scale if we’re going to make meaningful change. Every city, neighborhood, and neighbor must do their part to bring our unhoused indoors and help end our homelessness crisis. Surrounding cities have done their part; last year alone, 35 people experiencing homelessness in Claremont were permanently housed in projects located in and funded by surrounding communities. Larkin Place is a first step in doing our part to be a part of the solution.

Source: SPA 3 CES Lead & LA County HMIS Database

MISINFORMATION

Jamboree Housing Corporation is an absentee developer without Claremont’s best interest in mind.

TRUTH

Jamboree is a respected, mission-driven non-profit developer with more than 30 years of experience building and operating affordable and permanent supportive housing in Southern California and across the state. Their assets are not an indictment of the agency but rather a reflection of their successful development of supportive housing in wealthier communities amidst vocal opposition. Jamboree has already been a part of the Claremont community for over a decade since its successful affordable housing development, Courier Place, was built in 2011.

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Housing Claremont’s Letter to the Editor on Larkin Place

April 4, 2022

Dear Editor: 

On Thursday night, Jamboree Housing Corporation hosted a community meeting to  share plans for the new permanent supportive housing program, Larkin Place, that  will be built on the vacant lot adjacent to Larkin Park. I listened quietly trying to  identify how the Housing and Homelessness Collaborative of Claremont (Housing  Claremont) can do its best work to support the project, serve as an honest broker of  information, engage in good faith conversations about community concerns, and help  move the discourse away from “how do we stop this” and toward “how do we make  Larkin Place work for the entire community.”  

That night, I heard the frustration many community members feel about decisions  that were made without their input. I heard many questions asked in the spirit of  learning, and I heard the disappointment and hurt from some who have been made  to feel like heartless NIMBYs for expressing their concerns. I heard traumatic stories  of lives impacted by homelessness, doubt about the efficacy of the permanent  supportive housing model, conjecture about the behaviors of people who will  eventually live at Larkin Place, and fear for the safety of our schoolchildren and  seniors. It struck me that what I heard most—and from nearly every person who  spoke—is that helping people who are unhoused is a good thing. That seems like a  good place to start. 

If we can agree that having concerns about the project doesn’t mean that you oppose helping the unhoused, we might also agree that supporting Larkin Place doesn’t mean  that you don’t care about the safety of our community. Maybe we can agree that  Jamboree isn’t trying to pull one over on Claremont and stands behind its  commitment to being a good neighbor. Perhaps we can believe in their tenant vetting  process, staff to tenant ratio, and trained, professional staff. With careful planning  and engaged stakeholders, we can serve the unhoused and maintain safety. We can  engage in a community process to create accountability and safety plans that ease  our misgivings. We might even take ownership and pride in the success of Larkin  Place. 

There are some who will never be convinced that a project like this will work, and I  expect they will oppose the proposed parking easement (resulting in a less  community-oriented design) and $1.5 million city investment (resulting in less  accountability by the City for the project’s success). Both might delay the project, but  neither will derail it because the project is protected under by-right housing law—law  that was enacted to prevent neighborhood opposition to new housing that has  contributed for decades to California’s housing and homelessness crisis. 

Someone on Thursday night worried that the project’s supporters simply “hope” that  it will all work out. In fact, there is ample evidence supporting the efficacy of permanent supportive housing and Jamboree’s success delivering it. But more than that, isn’t hope a good thing? Housing Claremont hopes that the community will come together to show that successful permanent supportive housing is possible in   Claremont, and we look forward to creating opportunities to do so. 

Respectfully, 

Ilsa Lund 

Housing Claremont, Board President

Link to letter

Housing Myths & Facts

MYTH: Supportive housing is another name for drug treatment. 

FACT: Supportive housing (or Permanent Supportive Housing) is an evidence-based housing model used throughout the country that combines housing with voluntary onsite services. Tenants sign leases and have all the rights and responsibilities—including paying rent—under California law. They also have access to onsite counselors to support their long-term housing stability, which may include counseling related to managing substance use or mental health issues. Inpatient and outpatient drug treatment facilities must be licensed by the State of California and operate very differently than supportive housing.

MYTH: Home values go down and crime rates increase when homeless programs move-in. 

FACT: Research on the impact of supportive housing on neighbors and neighborhoods shows that there is a neutral to positive impact on home values and crime rates when small supportive housing developments under 50 units are located in low-concentration neighborhoods.

MYTH: Neighbors can organize to block housing for homeless people.

FACT: For decades, neighborhood opposition blocked much-needed housing in cities like Claremont, directly contributing to California’s homelessness crisis. As a result, new By-Right Housing laws now waive the public process for new 100% affordable and supportive housing.

MYTH: Homeless people are more likely to be criminals.

FACT: Research shows that people who are unhoused are more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violent and serious crime; and the majority of crimes perpetrated by people who are unhoused are the result of laws that criminalize homelessness. These laws are proven to be costly, ineffective, and in some cases, unconstitutional.

MYTH: It’s not safe for children to be around homeless people. 

FACT: Unhoused people are no more likely than housed people to harm children. Research on physical and sexual abuse of children overwhelmingly proves that children are abused by adults they know. The notion that unhoused people present a greater danger to schoolchildren than anyone else is factually incorrect, stigmatizing, and harmful.

MYTH: Creating more programs only enables homelessness and attracts more homeless people. 

FACT: Research shows that homelessness is a homegrown problem and people experience homelessness in the same communities where they were once housed. People experiencing homelessness want the same things that housed people do: to live in the communities where they have family, job opportunities, and social connections.

MYTH: It’s safer to house homeless people away from families, schools, and parks. 

FACT: People who are unhoused have families, go to school, enjoy outdoor spaces, and want to contribute to their communities to make them safe, livable places.

MYTH: Homelessness is caused by mental illness and substance abuse. 

FACT: Homelessness is caused by income inequality, lack of affordable housing, and systemic racism; mental illness and substance use are symptoms of homelessness, not the cause. Housing is the solution to homelessness, and allows people to manage mental illness or substance use issues exacerbated by homelessness.

Housing Claremont’s Statement on Inclusive Housing Ordinance (ISO) Revision

Leigh Anne Jones, Chair, Planning Commission
City of Claremont, 225 Second Street, Claremont, CA 91711


Dear Commissioner Jones:

The board of Housing Claremont is an advocate for an effective revision to the City of Claremont’s Inclusive Housing Ordinance (ISO) that will have a real effect on increasing the availability of affordable housing in our city. The current ISO has been ineffective both in terms of the number of units constructed and the total lack of low income unit availability. As the staff report for item 2 makes clear on page 3, since the original 2006 ISO was enacted only 46 moderate income units have been constructed and sold in Claremont. That’s an average of only 3 moderate income units per year. No low income units have been sold in this period. These results fall extremely short of the pressing need for housing in our city. The 2021-29 Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) for Claremont indicates the state has assessed 1,163 units to be planned at moderate income or below. That’s nearly 150 units per year for the next eight years. The evidence is clear: we need an ISO that will meet the dire need for affordable housing.

The staff advocates keeping the ISO rate at 15% of new projects, because above this level the state Housing and Community Development (HCD) can review city ISOs. The staff report states that this “can potentially extend and complicate the approval process” for the city’s current RHNA assessment. However, we think this should not preclude some exploration of an increased ratio and a tiered approach to affordability. For example, the city of Pasadena’s ISO is 20% of newly constructed rental units, and offers three levels of affordability: 5% of units set aside for those 50% of area median income (AMI), 5% for 80% AMI, and 10% for 120% of AMI. This approach is more inclusive and makes a larger impact on the overall availability of affordable units.

The staff proposes changing the current ISO in two main ways: shifting rental ISO requirements for housing projects from “moderate” to “low” income renters; and creating a new income category for affordable for-sale units. We agree with the staff recommendation to shift income requirements down for renters. The proposed for-sale unit “low or moderate” category would make city-designated affordable units available for purchase to anyone making 120% of our area’s median income. For a family of four in Los Angeles County, this would mean an annual income as high as $92,760 would qualify. For an income 110% of average, that would

mean qualifying for buying a three-bedroom townhome at a price of $331,700, which is $298,300 below the market price of $600,000 (see Attachment E, Table 2). While this example illustrates the terrible scale of the housing shortage and the extreme price of housing in the city, it also suggests that the new income category proposed will likely create little opportunity for those earning below median income to buy housing in Claremont.

We encourage the Planning Commission to explore ways in which Additional Dwelling Units (ADU) can be incorporated into the city’s revised ISO. Currently ADUs added to a new housing development are “deemed affordable” for purposes of the RHNA. However, there is no income requirement for renting these units and no guarantee that they will even be rented. ADUs can easily be integrated into new home construction, either within floorplans or as detached structures, and if the ISO applied to ADUs it would mean that a percentage could be offered at affordable rates. We believe ADUs represent an excellent opportunity for increasing the stock of affordable housing in areas of Claremont that are traditionally dominated by expensive single family housing.

 We hope to be a part of the conversation as the new ISO design works through your Commission and on to the City Council, so please do reach out with your own thoughts and ideas.

Sincerely,
Zachary Courser
President, Housing Claremont

Housing Claremont’s Statement on Affordable Housing in Village South

Dear Friends,

The Board of Housing Claremont is advocating for affordable housing to be a priority in the Village South development. As an organization, we are particularly focused on Village South because it has most of the elements that make it ideal for the inclusion of affordable housing: as a transit-oriented development it has ample transportation connections to serve the needs of low-income families; its proximity to shopping, education, and employment opportunities likewise makes it very suitable for affordable housing; and its scale and density also allows for many more affordable units than low-density housing developments could.

Therefore, we are disappointed to see that affordable housing was not made a priority in Village South. Please find attached a letter we sent to the City Council asking that they demonstrate leadership on this issue, live up to our city’s values of sustainability and inclusion, and meet the demands of the housing crisis by making affordable housing a priority in the Village South.

If you agree, please consider adding your voice during the public comment period during the Tuesday, June 22nd council meeting that begins at 6:30p. You may attend via Zoom at this link: https://zoom.us/j/256208090. You can also email your comments to the city clerk, Shelley Desautels, at sdesautels@ci.claremont.ca.us.

Thank you for your support of housing in Claremont and for your consideration of this important issue.

Sincerely,

Zach Courser
President, Housing Claremont

Housing Claremont’s Statement on Village South

Leigh Anne Jones, Chair
Planning Commission
City of Claremont
225 Second Street
Claremont, CA 91711

Dear Commissioner Jones:

Housing Claremont has been a consistent advocate for alleviating housing shortages for low and very low-income residents in our community. The Village  South development presents a rare opportunity for the city to make significant progress in doing just this. The scale of the project allows for the inclusion of a  significant number of affordable housing units, which could help meet the city’s state-mandated obligations for developing low-income housing. Therefore, we are disappointed to see that affordable housing has not made a priority in this development. While other community development values, such as historic preservation, have been well-attended in the final environmental impact study (FEIR), we find no specific or explicit reference to affordable housing being a project objective. The city contends that this development will contribute generally to meeting its 2020 Regional Housing Needs Assessment, and that its current inclusive housing ordinance is sufficient to meet affordable housing needs. We disagree. The current market is very unlikely to meet the housing needs of low income families, and the city should be making an effort beyond current policy to meet this critical need. Affordable housing should be an objective of this project, and we ask the Planning Commission to explore ways in which the city can commit to this goal.

We are particularly focused on the Village South development because it has most of the elements that make it ideal for the inclusion of affordable housing. As a transit-oriented development, it has ample transportation connections to serve the needs of low-income families. Its proximity to shopping, education, and employment opportunities likewise makes it very suitable for affordable housing. Its scale and density also allow for many more affordable units than low-density housing developments could.

We have been a consistent advocate for affordable housing in the Village South development, but we do not see it as a project objective in the FEIR. In our February 2020 letter to then-Mayor Larry Schroeder, we asked that in the “Village South Environmental Impact Report, the city should keep foremost in their deliberations how this particular site can be a key to meeting our obligations for building low and very low income housing.” In May 2020 we built a coalition with Sustainable Claremont and Inclusive Claremont to advocate for Village South Specific Plan to contain sufficient scale and density to allow for a more sustainable development. Our particular concern in doing so, of course, was making inclusion of affordable housing a project objective. We were gratified to see the outpouring of community support for our petition, and the City Council voting unanimously in favor of sufficient density. However, we are disappointed that the current FEIR doesn’t rise above current policy in making affordable housing a project objective.

We feel there is still time to make affordable housing a priority in Village South, and that failing to do so would be missing a rare opportunity. Few projects like Village South, which has nearly all the elements necessary to support affordable housing, are possible in the city. Simply doing the minimum isn’t doing enough. We ask that Commissioners explore concrete ways in which the city can live up to its values of sustainability and inclusion by making affordable housing an objective of the Village South development.

Sincerely,
Zachary Courser
President, Housing Claremont

 

Housing Claremont’s Statement on The Commons

the Commons Claremont
the Commons Claremont

May 2021

Housing and Homelessness Collaborative of Claremont (Housing Claremont) works to educate, advocate, and connect Claremont on issues that impact our neighbors struggling with housing affordability and homelessness.

On May 11, the City Council will make a final decision on appeals submitted by Clare Properties, LLC regarding a development known as The Commons. Like most housing developments in our city, it’s become a divisive project. Councilmembers must assess the limits and reach of LA County’s Airport Land Use Compatibility plan and the California Aeronautics Act, as well as weigh the risks and rewards of building much-needed housing near Cable airport. Few would envy City Council for the decision before them, as there are passionate arguments on both sides.

In an effort to simplify the arguments, Housing Claremont offers the following: Claremont cannot kick the can down the road when it comes to improving the affordability of our city. The Commons is an imperfect site to be sure, yet the urgency of the local housing crisis is extreme. If not now, when?

This is an unprecedented opportunity and the first time in Claremont’s history that a for-profit developer has made a commitment to low-income affordability as part of its inclusionary housing requirement. With so few suitable sites available for new housing in Claremont, and opportunities for affordable housing so vanishingly rare, the value of The Commons must not be underestimated.

Claremont has a legal and moral obligation to meet State Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) targets, and we are woefully behind. In total, Claremont is obligated to add 1,707 new housing units as part of our Housing Element; 1,160 are meant to be affordable for very low (554), low (309), and moderate (297) income households. How many units are in the current pipeline with an expressed commitment to affordability? A mere 34, most of which are for moderate-income households in the Colby Circle and Old School House developments. The Commons will not solve our affordability crisis, but it will help, and we cannot afford to let these opportunities pass.

Any increase in housing stock moves the needle on the local housing market, and The Commons would add 62 new single family homes, town homes, and flats suitable for many different types of households. Importantly, it would put homeownership within reach for six moderate income Claremont households and four low-income households. The City Council heard from several of our neighbors who would welcome this life-changing opportunity despite the limits of the location. The voices of those whom these decisions impact most must be central to the City Council’s difficult decision-making.

Recognizing the trade-offs, Housing Claremont supports The Commons because it aligns with our mission and represents the hard choices we must make to meet the challenge of our local housing crisis.

Affordable Housing

Low income apartment complex

1730 N Towne Ave Claremont, CA , 91711
909-624-1787

The Real Estate and Housing office provides a broad range of professional support necessary for the acquisition and disposition of real estate, campus development efforts, faculty mortgage loan programs, and management of real estate assets. We strive to address the housing needs of students, staff and faculty of The Claremont Colleges by offering personalized housing referrals and connecting potential tenants with local landlords and roommates. We seek to provide a culture of ownership, accountability, collaboration and teamwork around all services offered.

Eligibility: Limited to students, staff and faculty of The Claremont Colleges

Address: Administrative Campus Center – 101 South Mills Avenue Claremont, CA 91711
Phone: (909) 621-8039 – Katie Timmerman
Email: katieh@cuc.claremont.edu
Link

Claremont Village Commons is a family low income housing apartment subsidized by the federal governments HUD (Housing and Urban Development Division).

Address: 957 W Arrow Hwy, Claremont, CA, 91711
Phone: 909-621-2810

Courier Place is one of only a few affordable, multigenerational, multifamily housing developments in California. Located in Claremont, it is also Jamboree’s first multigenerational property and the first affordable, multigenerational project developed by the Los Angeles County Housing Authority.

Address: 111 S College Ave, Claremont, CA 91711
Phone: Leasing Information: 909-624-8589
Website: Jamboree Housing Corporation

48 bedroom affordable housing units. Since this property has received funding in part through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, a certain number of units are set aside for lower income households.

Eligibility: LIHTC Households must earn either less than 50% or 60% of the area median income (depending on the set-aside option chosen by the property owner) to qualify for these units. Rents in these units are capped at a maximum of 30% of the set-aside area median income (adjusted for unit size). Some rental units in this property may not be subject to LIHTC and therefore have higher rents and no maximum household income requirement.

Address: 670 W San Jose Ave, Claremont, California 91711
Phone: 909-399-5978
Website: Vista Valley Townhomes