New Report Details Growing Housing Crisis In Concord

July 16, 2018 8:00 am · 88 comments

(by Craig Lazzeretti) – Renters in Contra Costa County’s largest city are suffering under the growing burden of a housing crisis that has led to skyrocketing rents, poor living conditions and unjust convictions, according to a report released Thursday by social advocacy groups.

The report, titled “The Housing Crisis Hits Home in Concord,” was based on a survey of nearly 1,000 Concord residents and authored by the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, Central County Regional Group, and First 5 Contra Costa, in collaboration with the Raise the Roof Coalition, which represents thousands of Concord renters, families, workers, faith leaders and tenant advocates.

The report concluded that renters are increasingly being priced out of the city of 127,000, with rents rising 61 percent since 2011. Despite the majority of Concord renters having annual household incomes below $50,000, the vast majority of neighborhoods in Concord are affordable only to families with an income greater than $75,000, the study found.

No Concord neighborhood has a median market rent that is affordable to a family making less than $50,000 annually.

In addition, the authors reported that substandard living conditions are widespread, with nearly half of renter households reporting unhealthy living conditions such as mold or pests. Nearly one-third of families reported experiencing plumbing issues, including lack of water and issues with sewage and leaks.

And 75 percent of Concord residents fear eviction, a leading cause of homelessness.

“This level of housing insecurity is not a recipe for a sustainable city. Increasing access to stable, affordable, quality housing is critical for the health, well-being and economic success of Concord’s
renters, their families, and the city as a whole,” Michael McAfee, president of PolicyLink, a national research and advocacy group, wrote in the foreword to the report.

McAfee called on city leaders “to take bold and creative action commensurate with the scale of the crisis.”

The study proposed several actions to address the crisis, including “just cause” regulations for evictions; the right to counsel for tenants facing eviction; rent control; and stricter code enforcement to reduce hazardous living conditions.

In a statement, the city said it is “acutely aware of the housing crisis that is affecting the entire Bay Area, and we are committed to helping residents access safe and stable housing.”

The city noted several actions it has taken in recent years to address the challenges of renting, including increasing the resources devoted to the city’s rental inspection program and increasing the frequency of
inspections; implementing a rent review program to respond to tenant complaints about rent increases that exceed 10 percent in 12 months; and working to bring more affordable housing and new home construction to the city.

The impacts of the crisis have been particularly severe for older residents, families with young children and people of color and immigrants, according to the study.

About 70 percent of city renters 65 and older pay 30 percent or more of their household income on rent. Seniors make up 13 percent of all Concord renters, and 41 percent of Concord renter households have children under 18 years old.

“The stress that comes with housing insecurity has a profound impact on children, placing them at a higher risk for educational delays, mental health issues, low birth weight and health conditions such as asthma,” Dr. Diane Dooley, a pediatrician at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, said in the report.

In the ethnically diverse Monument Boulevard community, 74 percent of renter households spent 30 percent or more of their income on rent in 2016. Renters make up 82 percent of all residents in the neighborhood.

Anonymous July 16, 2018 at 8:16 AM

Let’s do some math. A 62% rent increase over 7 years works out to 7.2% per year. After inflation that’s about 4% per year in real terms. This doesn’t seem like a crisis to me. Also, why should Concord choose to become the slum of the Bay Area by restricting rents? If you can’t afford to live here, you can move to Pittsburg, Antioch or Stockton.

JazzMan July 16, 2018 at 11:50 AM

Move to Pittsburg, Antioch or Stockton? Seriously?! It’s called living closer to your job. I’m not going to move to the boonies. This probably come from someone who lives in the Northgate area and looks down on anyone who can’t afford a $1 million home.

concord ygnacio July 16, 2018 at 11:57 AM

My Social Security has not increased 62% in 7 years, so why should the rent be allowed to increase that much?

Tsa July 16, 2018 at 12:15 PM

The best solution is to move out of California.

Anon July 16, 2018 at 1:12 PM

Concord is not the slum of the Bay Area. You’ve obviously never stepped outside your mansion into places like San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond, Hayward, Pittsburg, Antioch, Bay Point, Emeryville, etc. Clueless.

Pyrrhus July 16, 2018 at 2:13 PM

It’s that NIMBY attitude that is creating this shortage of housing. Everyone agrees there isn’t enough housing and that is why the prices are going up (Simple economics). Yet, when there is any plan to greatly increase housing you all complain, “Ohhhh that isn’t good for my community.” Yet it is your community that has 4 BART Stations. So Yes, your community should do it’s share in increasing dense housing. Building denser is what is needed, not moving farther away creating more traffic and destroying the environment.

Anonymous July 16, 2018 at 3:40 PM

@phyrrus
Imposing rent control does nothing to build more housing. It just ensures landlords will only have the option of maintaining profits by cutting repairs instead of also having the option of making their properties nicer.

Pyrrhus July 16, 2018 at 3:55 PM

I never said rent control was the answer. Rent control is only a bandaid on keeping affordable housing, and it only helps long time residents while hurting everyone else. The answer is build more and build it dense, especially around transportation hubs.

chuckie the troll July 16, 2018 at 8:34 AM

Monument Corridor, otherwise known as Illegal Alley, has low median incomes for a very obvious reason. People seem to forget the costs property owners incur every year. Property taxes, utilities, insurance, wear and tear, vandalism, and management costs have risen faster than the cost of inflation as well. And when renters fail to pay, then what? It takes 3-4 months to get them out.

Punish apartment owners too much and you will see them converted into condos. Think they will be any cheaper? Cities and the state make it difficult and expensive to build new housing. So of course prices rise. And comparing prices to 2011, in the depth of the recession, is just plain dishonest.

Erin July 16, 2018 at 11:03 AM

2 bedroom apt on monument $1800 and is infested with roaches, bed bugs and run down. These property owners are not doing their part. I had a friend renting an apartment on Frisbie court and the ceiling was caving in. It was winter time and is was raining in the apartment, buckets every where. You could see the black mold. The apartment owner did not fix it after several complaints. It took the city to come and force them to make fixes. Not just this apartment but all had major issues.

Sam July 16, 2018 at 4:43 PM

Erin– your freind should have moved out plain and simple. Frisbee court is not a nice area and I realize the rent is cheap there but you gets what you pay for. If your freind wants a better apartment they have to rent in a better area.

Erin July 16, 2018 at 9:02 PM

Sam—- $1,800 for a 2 bedroom apt on Frisbe is not cheap. Property owners have a obligation to maintain and keep their apts livable.

Sam July 17, 2018 at 6:18 AM

Erin – 1800$ a month in Concord is fairly cheap. I know someone who pays 4 grand a month. If your friend can’t afford to live here then he needs to find a place he can. I myself would like to live in Danville but I can’t afford it. Should I receive a handout from the taxpayers so that I can live in Danville? I agree with you about the leaking apt. That landlord is a slum landlord and should be jailed.

Nica July 19, 2018 at 1:59 PM

We have owned but have been renting since 2012 in North Concord near Pt. Chicago Hwy and Sixth Street. We are GREAT renters. I can count the times we’ve called for repairs on one hand. We treat the home and property like we own it. Often make our own minor repairs, pay all utilities, no vandalism whatsoever, the house is always super clean on any given day, rent has ALWAYS been pain on time in full, we even pay our own maintenance guy $110/month.

The owners increase rent EVERY YEAR. They have never replaced carpet or re-painted inside (did not have new carpet or fresh paint when we moved in). Our rent has increased a few hundred in 6 years.

WHEN OWNERS HAVE GREAT RENTERS, WHY DO THEY CONTINUE TO RAISE RENT??? ITS LIKE THEY DONT CARE ABOUT KEEPING GREAT RENTERS OVER BEING ABLE TO INCREASE THE RENT. I feel like it doesn’t matter how great of a renter you are, if owners can increase rent up to market then they will.

I’ve lived in Concord since birth, 40 years. It’s insulting for people to say, well just move. This is my home and I never want to leave. To people who think our rent is “cheap” in Concord, please read the MANY recent articles that have been written on income and rents in our area.

My husband and I have always been the type to “climb the corporate ladder” for management positions (even without a college education) so we make decent money andcwe are doing okay but many people are not and owning a home again in Concord is definitely getting out of reach for us.

Anon July 16, 2018 at 8:41 AM

I never knew that cities had an obligation to provide “affordable” housing.
The whole point of living in squalor is to better yourself and Move out of that squalor.
Are you going to do a report next that a certain percentage of people cannot afford to shop at Whole Foods and that the City needs to provide assistance so these people can shop there?

Usually if you cannot afford to live somewhere = YOU MOVE TO A CITY WHERE YOU CAN AFFORD TO LIVE!!!

JazzMan July 16, 2018 at 11:43 AM

Big difference between owning property and being greedy.

concord ygnacio July 16, 2018 at 12:00 PM

No one should have to live in squalor. The landlord is responsible for providing a habitable living space, per law.

The argument you make of simply moving to a less expensive place is not valid. If you live in SF, do you expect your housekeeper, waiter, and lawn maintenance person to live in Stockton and have to commute 3 hours each way each day to serve you??

SF oh July 16, 2018 at 12:56 PM

Hey, here’s a crazy thought: maybe people could get an education so they could get a better job and they don’t end up working at McDonalds at 40 years old. The Community Colleges offer all kinds of vocational courses and all kinds of programs and grants to help people get through the courses. The high schools are really getting into Career Training courses also. They’re good classes too: construction, 3-D printing, etc…. I have no objection to helping disabled people, seniors, veterans, or anyone who is in a bad situation through an unfortunate circumstance. But when people choose to have 3 kids, they can’t afford, by the time they’re 21 – or use drugs – or otherwise refuse to grow up – No. I took care of myself – I took care of my kids – now my kids are old enough to take care of themselves ….. And I’m still out there working! It’s is not my responsibility to subsidize people who will not manage their own lives.

Pyrrhus July 16, 2018 at 2:24 PM

@SF Oh – So what happens when everyone has a college education and nobody can find a job? Also, who is going to work all the service jobs that you and I rely on? You like eating out? Well, those people serving you food can’t afford to live here so they all have to close.

Also, college educated people are struggling. The median home price in the Bay Area is $820k. The Average rent in the Bay Area is $2,602. There is a reason why high paid tech workers are having to room share. For tech workers working in the Peninsula, moving further out is not an option. You would be looking at 6+ hour commutes (round trip) if you are telling them to move to Stockton or other cheaper areas.

The solution to affordable housing is to practice basic economics. Build more Supply to meet the Demand. It’s not rocket science. The problem is there are too many selfish people that care more about their property value than what is good for the community and for their children. Heck, your kids can become doctors and dentists and they’ll still struggle paying off 300k+ of loans. (That number is only going to go up).

SF oh July 16, 2018 at 3:01 PM

@Pyrrhus – If you read more than the first sentence of my post, you would know that I did not suggest a college education for everyone. I suggested vocational programs through high school and community colleges. Some schools are now offering programs in construction technology in which a student can graduate with the skills for an entry level job in construction. Those jobs pay pretty well and have opportunity for growth. There are many other vocational programs out there in which a person can learn a skill and make a decent living. Yep, my kids have student loans. We took a second mortgage on our house to help my son with half of his loans. He’s in his 30s now and all of us are still paying on those loans. Was it worth it? Hell ya, it was. He started his own business – works his butt off – but he’s successful. And he’s never expected anyone to hand him a job or build him a house or subsidize his rent. It’s called self-reliance and self-respect.

Anon July 16, 2018 at 3:50 PM

http://www.fotolibra.com/gallery/1295277/russian-housing/

Lolz, you people Need to STOP begging government to do things that you should be doing.
If you are struggling and living off of Top Ramen (most of us have been there) your goals should be to better yourself.

It’s not Brain surgery, but some of you crybabies are going to remain in your condition the longer that you sit around Blaming
others. PATHETIC.

Pyrrhus July 16, 2018 at 4:26 PM

@SF oh – Count yourself blessed that you can be so generous to your children. Many people are living paycheck to paycheck and aren’t able to do such a thing. This is going to be especially true of the younger generation that can’t afford to purchase a home. How will they help their children get through schooling? Also, the type of job a person has does nothing to solve the housing crisis. You are telling me it’s okay that it’s okay that software engineers are living 2 to 3 people to a room because they can’t afford the rent? Those guys are making 125k+ Also, suggesting they move further out will only drive up the rent for everyone else and make traffic worse. You really expect them to commute 6 hours a day to get to the peninsula from places like Antioch and Stockton?

Also, let’s take a look at the average income of some skilled labor jobs in the bay.
Journeyman Electrician: $67,000
Plumber: $57,000
Mechanic: $76,000
Heavy Equipment Operator: $78,000
Journeyman Carpenter: $85,800

The average needed income to purchase a house in the Bay Area? $171,330. So, even if you have two adults working you still can’t buy a home. The average rent in Concord for a 1 bedroom apartment is $2,100. That means you will need to make $84,000 a year (30% should go to housing).

The fact is, we need housing and it doesn’t matter what kind of housing it is. It would be more ideal to build dense housing around transportation hubs. Once demand is met you will see housing prices go down.

SF oh July 16, 2018 at 6:12 PM

@Pyrrhus – I disagree with you but you are entitled to your opinion.

Kenji July 17, 2018 at 8:34 AM

Pyrrhus, where are you seeing a figure of $2,100 average 1-br rent in Concord? I’m seeing $1,643 here.

Thank you for making the point that increased traffic congestion is a consequence of “move farther out to find affordable housing”. People sometimes seem to think of traffic congestion as a fixed amount generated per person, when in fact a person generates more or less traffic congestion depending on how far they have to travel and how much space they take getting there.

Pyrrhus July 17, 2018 at 1:50 PM

@SF Oh – Discussion is always welcome as long as it civil. I appreciate the conversation and even though we don’t agree I think we’ve both made valid points for our arguments. I’ll leave it at that, and I sincerely do wish you and your family continued success and happiness.

@Kenji, I used this source: https://www.rentjungle.com/average-rent-in-concord-ca-rent-trends/. However, You are right I used the wrong number, it should have been $1,939, I quoted the average overall for all apartments. However, you stated the gist of my premise. Suburban sprawl is not the answer. It’s about building denser closer to the places of work and the places of major transportation hubs.

The other point that needs to be addressed is that by increasing the number of housing we also need to heavily invest in infrastructure, especially forms of mass transportation.

Concord Landlord July 16, 2018 at 9:06 AM

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Lena July 16, 2018 at 1:54 PM

Birsan comes from New York where rent control was invented. He is trying to make California into something it isn’t and something it never wanted to be … another New York

SF oh July 16, 2018 at 9:15 AM

Often, I work over in the South Bay. It would be much easier and convenient for me to live in that area, but there is no way that I could afford it. So, I live in an area that I can afford. Why is this concept so hard for people to grasp? Do they all have some type of job (ya,right – a job) that is Concord-Specific? Can’t imagine what that would be. If the stress of “housing-insecurity” is causing health problems, then find a place that is affordable and live there. The oldest joke in the book is: Problem: “It hurts when I do this.” Solution: “Then don’t do that.” The middle-class cannot keep subsidizing everyone who cannot manage their own lives.

george July 16, 2018 at 10:12 AM

Excellent point!

Guy July 16, 2018 at 12:54 PM

sf and bay area pay more in wages. it’s easy to say “move somewhere cheap” when the jobs/pay just aren’t there for many occupations. beyond that, i don’t think anyone is jumping for joy over the thought of a 3+ hour commute every single day, complete with exorbitant bridge toll. people should be able to live where they work, not hundreds of miles away.

Lena July 16, 2018 at 2:21 PM

In the 1960s, I commuted to Hayward from Concord to attend college for two years and from Concord and Lafayette to work in Hayward, Berkeley and San Francisco for many years. My father commuted to San Francisco from Concord for many years in the 1950s when there was no BART. He took a bus and carpooled. He left at the crack of dawn and got home in the dark … we pretty much only saw him for dinner and on weekends. It is the nature of the suburbs, worldwide, that you will be commuting to work in a nearby big city.

ZZ July 16, 2018 at 9:22 AM

Once again, an American (Dr. Dooley) worried and concerned for immmigrants and NOT their fellow Americans. She works with the Spanish community.

By the way, did you know that 30% is the normal amount that is spent on rent or house payments? Yes, rent is getting higher in this area. It’s out of control due to greed. It’s happening all over the country, look at the Bronx and Brooklyn.

So where are all the lower income Americans going to go? We all know immigrants will be taken care of.

Willis July 16, 2018 at 2:51 PM

Illegal immigrants should be deported to their country of origin. There would be a larger supply than demand which will eventually bring down the rental costs.

BagsFlyFree July 16, 2018 at 9:31 AM

Meanwhile in the Monument corridor….. a lot big enough to house thousands sits with tumble weeds and a “No Trespassing” sign. Why hasn’t the city setup plans to purchase and/or parcel this lot out for accommodating this need? Adjacent HOA’s don’t have the reserves to fund a drawn out fight with the city, so what is stopping the building?

BFF Out!

NoMoreFreeRide July 16, 2018 at 11:35 AM

Concord Doesn’t need more apartments! They’re just keep adding people to the existing apartments to make rent. Putting stress on the infrastructure and outlaying streets.

Anonymous July 16, 2018 at 3:23 PM

Concord just voted to spend millions to subsidize low income housing at a cost of over half a million dollars per apartment. Subsidized housing is very expensive to build here.

TheYellowRanger July 16, 2018 at 9:51 AM

I agree that Housing cost is a huge issue for the region. I do take exception at the notation:

“74 percent of renter households spent 30 percent or more of their income on rent in 2016.”

Which makes it sound like renters are unfairly leveraged; I spend 40% of my income on just my mortgage. Considering that renters usually have some utilities like water and garbage included, by percentage i’m paying way more. Now in reality, I pay about the same to own as to rent my house (vs current neighborhood rents) but this is because i’ve entered the housing market over 10 years ago.

Jojo Potato July 16, 2018 at 9:53 AM

I’ve wondered where that 30% threshold came from. When I was first starting out we paid more like 50% for rent and then mortgage. I didn’t consider it a hardship, just the cost of living. This article sets the standard low to make the situation a crisis for their own purposes. I’m not buying it.

Hope Johnson July 16, 2018 at 12:00 PM

Federal guidelines are where the recommendation comes from for spending no more than 30% of one’s income on housing (rent or mortgage).

Because, according to HUD:
“Families who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care. An estimated 12 million renter and homeowner households now pay more than 50 percent of their annual incomes for housing. A family with one full-time worker earning the minimum wage cannot afford the local fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States.”

concord ygnacio July 16, 2018 at 12:09 PM

The 30% benchmark has long been the standard of the US government, mortgage lenders, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. For more info, see:

https://www.census.gov/housing/census/publications/who-can-afford.pdf

Always Right July 16, 2018 at 9:55 AM

Concord has been bearing the burden of low income housing for decades. Tim3 for Walnut Creek, Danville, Pleasant Hill, Lafayette , etc. to step up and build housing for the working poor.

Rent control in Concord will solve nothing. Just make Concord more of a slum.

Fred July 16, 2018 at 9:55 AM

According to Zillow, there are 196 houses for sale, 11 are new construction, the cheapest is $90,000 and it’s in a trailer park. The first house that is not a condo is $430,000 Of course it goes up from there and it ripples down to everyone who pays rent.

IvanTheTrollible July 16, 2018 at 10:09 AM

I think the author might appreciate an edit “poor living conditions and unjust convictions” I think that is supposed to read “evictions”.

And the rest of you people posting in here may want to consider leaving the area yourselves. I feel like you would all be happier in landfills with the rest of the garbage. At least you would be with your own kind.

Sam July 16, 2018 at 10:21 AM

Im so tired if the whining frpm the have nots and the greed of politicians willing to use poor people as a means to line their pockets and further their political careers. Concord doesn’t need rent control it needs leaders with common sense. If someone is paying too much to rent a dive apartment theyll eventually move. If they can’t afford to pay the rent being asked to live in a nice city then theyll have to find a city they can afford to live in. Catering to illegal immigrants instead of doing the right thing by the legal, tax paying, citizens of Concord is criminal.

Ricardoh July 16, 2018 at 10:28 AM

The same people who support illegal aliens now complain the rent is too high. Get rid of the illegal aliens and the rent will nose dive. Democrats are such a joke.

NoMoreFreeRide July 16, 2018 at 11:38 AM

Quite the contrary rents will increase because the area will become more to the taste of young families.

Nature Lover July 16, 2018 at 10:42 AM

I feel that I am entitled to live in Orinda, and will spend the same for a home there as the value of my current Claycord home. What are you going to do for me City Governments? (FYI, I prefer the Sleepy Hollow area of Orinda)

Preep July 16, 2018 at 12:10 PM

Quite so. I grew up in Menlo Park. My home town kind of went upscale. Me, not so much. So I live in Concord. Whenever I see reports of “natives” protesting about getting priced out of SF or Oakland , I’m like, “am I supposed to go live in my car in Menlo Park and try and get on the news? “

Anon7 July 16, 2018 at 12:33 PM

It’s pretty F’ING SAD when your hometown of 53 years prices you and your children out.

Lena July 16, 2018 at 2:06 PM

Same here. I was born in San Francisco and I think I should be living in one of those Pacific Heights mansions by now. What are you going to do for me liberal wacko leaders? I pay property taxes, you know?

Really? July 16, 2018 at 11:03 AM

A cause and effect that is often over looked is the infusion of government money into the housing/rental market. It is a major cause of the last housing price collapse and is working its way back into it again. The Concord rental market is predominately compiled of illegal aliens. A large portion of them are collecting housing subsidies in the form of section 8 money. This money is collected from the tax payers and then is pitted against them in the form of competition for rentals which naturally wouldn’t be there. I’m not usually anti-business, but please don’t feel too sorry for landlords in this environment because they are literally raking in the dough that these over inflated prices bring.

concord ygnacio July 16, 2018 at 12:13 PM

Do you have any sources to back up your claims? These are entirely anecdotal and some are downright false. You must be a citizen to get “Section 8” benefits via HUD.

Really? July 16, 2018 at 2:27 PM

concord ygnacio, my comments are not “anecdotal “, they are personal experiences past and present. I was an apartment manager in concord working for a medium sized property management company in the mid-90’s. I saw firsthand the demographic of the renters in our town then and saw how it was changing towards illegal immigrants mostly from South America. You said that you must be a citizen to collect “section 8” benefits. I won’t pretend that I know all the ins and outs of section 8 qualifications but I’ve seen many people apply for and receive section 8 that even the most optimistic would find hard to believe were citizens.

concord ygnacio July 16, 2018 at 3:36 PM

They might have had green cards then.

Here is the requirement from HUD that you have to be either a US citizen or permanent resident (green card–eligible for US citizenship and allowed to stay in the US permanently) for a Housing Choice Voucher (commonlly known as “Section 8”):

https://www.hud.gov/program_offices/public_indian_housing/programs/hcv/about/fact_sheet

“Am I eligible?

Eligibility for a housing voucher is determined by the PHA based on the total annual gross income and family size and is limited to US citizens and specified categories of non-citizens who have eligible immigration status. ”

And all the final applications I have seen from individual housing authorities have requested proof of US citizenship (birth certificate or passport) or permanent residence, as well as a copy of your Social Security Card.

Really? July 16, 2018 at 7:13 PM

I’ll grant you that some may have green cards but not most. I understand the requirements for HUD and section 8, but obviously there is a way around it that is being exploited.
I have a brother in-law that is the lead site supervisor for a rather large real estate developer and here’s his experience.Their work crews are predominantly Hispanic, when there’s an job opening one of his lead workers will bring a young Hispanic male usually late teens to early thirty’s to him to hire. He gives them a list of requirements one of which is a Soc. Sec. number. Often the very next day they return with everything including a Soc. Sec. number. He turns the number into the office and with very few exceptions the numbers returns what I believe he said was a “clear” status which allows them to hire them. It boggles his mind as to how they get Soc Sec number that don’t red flag the system. Its so prevalent that many of them openly admit to being here illegally. It’s a very sad state of affairs.

ChuckStir July 16, 2018 at 11:35 AM

One word sums this up-Greed

Kirkwood July 16, 2018 at 11:43 AM

Our Treehaven home was 1000 or less sq. ft. and occupied by the working class. Holbrook Heights houses were 1100- 1200 sq. ft. w/2 baths and catered to professional and middle management folks. Families in the 50’s had 3-4 kids. Part of the problem is that developers only build “luxury homes” because of the greater profit, and today’s residents want homes 2500 sq ft or larger. What some people call greed is actually market force.

AnonZ July 16, 2018 at 11:43 AM

I guess I’m the only one who can relate. We are LUCKY to have bought a long time ago and not gotten turned upside down. My mortgage for a 3/2 on the good side of Concord with a pool is $1200. A friend is renting in the neighborhood across the street from me, 3/2 house and pays $3400 a month in rent. WTF????? Do you people really think that’s affordable? Are you out of your ever loving minds??

Barbosa July 16, 2018 at 11:48 AM

Highly desirable cities like San Francisco, Palo Alto, Mill Valley, Walnut Creek, and Concord are going to be expensive. Nothing wrong with that. Can’t afford to live in these places, then find some crap hole community that you can afford.

WC Resident July 16, 2018 at 12:19 PM

The report itself is available http://workingeastbay.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Housing-Crisis-Hits-Home-in-Concord-7-2018.pdf

One item of interest is “44% of Concord households are renters.” I don’t know if that’s true but if so then it’s excellent news as 56% of Concord households own their own homes.

Jojo Potato July 16, 2018 at 12:44 PM

I know that 30% is a government number. I just don’t think it’s reasonable and is being used to inflate the “crisis”. BTW, I looked up the background of Mr. McAfee. Classic post government official (HUD) cashing in at a non-profit. Too bad their web site doesn’t list his salary but I doubt the 30% is a problem for him.

xamdam July 16, 2018 at 12:59 PM

Seems to be plenty of vacant government housing available on Olivera rd.
Oh wait, it’s fenced off with ‘no trespassing’ signs everywhere.
Why is no one bringing this up??

New Concord Owner July 16, 2018 at 1:15 PM

I purchased a home at the end of last year in Concord because its what I could afford. Would I rather lives in San Ramon down the street from my work and excellent schools heck yes but I cannot afford it. The reality prices have risen so much people are getting squeezed, children staying with parents longer etc… In this area I see I got mine attitude of people who makes less then me but had timing on their side… These same people who benefited simply by having timing on their side who could never afford it now rally against anything that might improve the situation there is no new affordable housing being built the Got Mine wont ever allow it and all that is being is Luxury Homes for the rich or their children. The difference between rich and poor is at astronomical levels and just out spite to the got mines id like to Prop 19 get overturned and watch you all poop your pants cause the area no longer affordable to you

Kirkwood July 16, 2018 at 2:02 PM

I think it’s always been true that the dwelling you bought a few years ago is unaffordable to you today.

Neil July 16, 2018 at 1:35 PM

I live in bel air Apt and they charge me 1900 month for 1 bedroom crazy expensive don’t live there

Lena July 16, 2018 at 1:44 PM

Stop voting to approve every bond measure or tax increase that comes along which shows up on your landlord’s property taxes and are passed on to you as a rent increase.

Jojo Potato July 16, 2018 at 2:43 PM

Gee Lena, I hate to agree with you but you are right on this point. My house in WC has a tax bill with several entries on it. Three bonds for the elementary school district + a parcel tax. Two bonds for the Acalanes high school district + a parcel tax, Three bonds for the community college district. Two things for the EBRPD, BART + a BART bond. And all the other things that have happened over the years. And BTW I own a townhouse and rent it out and guess where these taxes go, straight to the tenants. Go to the CC county assessors site and you can look all this up for any property.

BagsFlyFree July 16, 2018 at 1:55 PM

Another side topic of the current housing market which affects renters, is the byproduct of home sale/purchases. In my neighborhood alone, you see updates being made to 1950’s stock housing (new owners) that hadn’t been touched in years. While these SFH’s get a makeover, the local adjacent apartments now have wiggle room to nudge rates as condos and home rental rates rise due to appreciation. Apples n oranges, but this all trends to rental companies benefitting off the surrounding area while offering a fraction of improvements the higher rent collects (pure profit). Actual unit improvements should be the basis of any rent increase over 5% annual.

BFF Out!

wesley mouch July 16, 2018 at 1:58 PM

Kirkwood: Something to add to your post about Mc Mansions is the high cost of permits for new construction. Since it’s exorbitant, the developers will naturally build dense, large, and vertical to recoup their investment.

If we want a new Gregory Gardens out by the Concord Naval Weapons Station, the permit fees will have to drop as a first step.

Kirkwood July 16, 2018 at 2:08 PM

@WM – Good point!

Ed W July 16, 2018 at 2:19 PM

As a long term landlord in Concord, I 2nd Lena’s comment on my expenses going up regularly….sewer, bonds, etc. I have a 3/1 Concord single family house that I rent for just under < $2k/mo to long term renters. My increases have been small in the five years they have lived there and I do plan to increase the rent some next year, probably closer to 2,100. However, if Concord implements rent control I'm selling and investing elsewhere.

If Concord wants to address this issue, CHANGE the plans to designate over 90% of the Concord Naval Weapons station open space and instead use it for more housing, JOBS (employment), and other things to enhance Concord. Drop permit fees and encourage people to add housing, in-law units, etc.

At one time, I thought of adding on a second unit, but realized it would cost more than what I paid for the house 20 years ago…..no thanks. We have a lot of open space, but not a lot of jobs or housing IN Concord. Encourage development, not more open space.

wesley mouch July 16, 2018 at 2:31 PM

Ed W: Excellent ideas to help alleviate a real world issue. Government is getting pretty expensive, isn’t it?

Ummm July 16, 2018 at 4:11 PM

I have a college degree, a job that doesn’t make minimum wage and still can’t afford to live in Concord. I also can’t afford the gas and maintenance on my car to commute to work every day.

To those of you suggesting we move if we can’t afford it, can you please provide a justifiable solution?

Asking for myself. Thanks.

Sam July 16, 2018 at 5:02 PM

Ummmmm- I hear apartments are cheaper in the Monument corridor. Maybe you could try there? I undetstand that California is expensive to live in but there are other states where they have jobs and a lower cost of living. You could try moving somewhere you can afford to live rather than expecting the rest of the middle class to give you a handout simply because you chose a profession that doesn’t pay as much as you need to live in the comfort that you think you are entitled too.

Trying to help July 17, 2018 at 8:09 AM

To Ummm,
Why are you not making at least minimum wage? That’s illegal to not be paid at least minimum wage if you are working a legit job.
Get a 2nd or even a 3rd job if you have to to make ends meet.
Continue your education. Go to school part time or full time if you can to improve your skills and ability to earn higher income.
If your car expenses are too much, take public transportation. Become a lyft or uber driver and make money when you are commuting.
Move to a town that has less expensive housing available.
Lots of options!!! Sometimes we have to give to gain in life.
Where there is a will, there is a way!
You can be anything you want and have anything you want in life…you just have to want it bad enough to do what it takes to get it!
Good luck!

Jojo Potato July 16, 2018 at 4:59 PM

What’s your degree in? Not all are the same, you know. I don’t really have to tell you this but some degrees pay a lot more than others. I didn’t say they are “worth more”. And it’s not always “fair”. But I think you know all that. I hope you at least got some satisfaction from your degree. Maybe you can add/modify it to increase your pay or find a different industry. I have some sympathy in this regard, an anthropology degree seemed pretty useless for a while until I spun it into “organizational behavior” and increased my pay quite a bit. Good luck.

Martin July 16, 2018 at 7:01 PM

If mortgages were allowed to qualify only on one income, instead of two (or more!), demand for overpriced housing would fall and housing would become more affordable for everyone. The same would happen if fewer people bought more than they could afford, subsequently defaulting on their loans,

Martin July 16, 2018 at 7:04 PM

Sorry about the misplaced modifier. The point is that double-income mortgages and easy credit have helped drive up the price of housing.

George July 16, 2018 at 7:09 PM

Fix the illegal immigration issue in California and this will help resolve the housing crisis In Concord.

Nunya July 16, 2018 at 8:46 PM

“unjust convictions”?

so the landlords are being unfairly targeted for the slums?

Melyinda July 17, 2018 at 7:49 AM

There needs to be a balance and rent control is NOT the answer. All rent control does is provide golden handcuffs to those under it and creates rising rents for those outside of it. I have a few friends that were under rent control in SF and when they had their first kid and couldn’t squeeze into their tiny one bedroom apartment they quickly realized they were priced out of not only SF but the Bay Area for the most part. That is the reality of rent control…it provides this false sense of security but the minute you have to move or are forced to move because the owner sells the property the reality is startling.

The flip side is we need people of all income backgrounds to live in the bay area. Lets get real, someone needs to serve you those $10 lattes every morning and they certainly aren’t going to drive 3 hours round trip to do that job. Yes we need to build more housing but building alone won’t solve the issue. The biggest issue with the Bay Area in general is overcrowding. There are too many people here and therefore those that aren’t making a sizable income per year are forced out to the fringes. You want to live close to transportation like BART, that will cost you an extra $50-100k on the property. You want to have freeway access? That’s going to cost you. You want to actually have shopping and a vibrant downtown near you? That’s going to cost you.

Even if we build more housing the housing costs are not going to magically go down to a level where people can afford to buy. Two years ago we looked at buying a house in Concord near Clayton–the deal feel through because the seller was very shady and lied to us about the remodel, but I am thankful in some ways it did. The house was tiny, just under 1,100 sqft but it was under 575k. Now houses in that same area are going for $675k+. We held off from buying because the prices are just too high. We are renting a house in Walnut Creek now and while the rent is expensive its not much more than our apartment was in Walnut Creek and we got an extra bedroom and 600sqft more.

Justifiable anger July 17, 2018 at 7:52 AM

Out and about this morning around 7:00am. The homeless population in Concord were out and about.

Many with two shopping carts, Couples with dogs.

Kamala diverts BILLIONS towards illegal aliens when we have our own citizens roaming homeless and without toilet facilities.

Doh July 17, 2018 at 10:44 AM

While that is high it pales when compared to PG&E rate hikes.

SF oh July 17, 2018 at 11:00 AM

I am so “over it” when it comes to Liberal’s ideas for California. San Francisco is the classic example of Liberal Democrats gone wild. The result is a once beautiful city that is now a dump. Catering to drug addicts and illegals while ignoring their citizens was a bad experiment that has gone terribly wrong. I grew up here, and always considered myself a Liberal, but my thinking has changed. Their policies have made SF a crime-ridden, health hazard on a garbage heap. Now they’re trying to do the same thing to the suburbs. I’m saying, No! Not in my back yard? Yep, that’s right! Over the decades of living in the Bay Area, I’ve seen the results.

Justifiable anger July 17, 2018 at 11:24 AM

Of course you were a Liberal, SF oh. Most of us were. When I was a teen I was easily swayed by the glamour of ‘the revolution’. That was a very popular theme in the 60’s and 70’s. Coupled with youth, hormones and social events, heh, parties as it were,.

Then I hooked up to the job wagon. I liked working and did well as a youth. As the cost of living escalated I slowly slipped into a middle class lifestyle. Which was fine as I never wanted to live at the country club with those that aspired to alot more. I did well with frugality and lost potential friends because of my unwillingness to spend wrecklessly. I even advanced in my career and now have a small home business.

Fast forward to 2008. I thought, well I think Obama is an empty suit but I will go along with the crowd because, the crowd voted him in, right? Then I found out that I was a white privileged racist and that my husband was worse than me, being a misogynist as well.

I thought that was bad, now I found out that I am to pay for the hoards invading my country. Even to the point of losing my house. I am not that far off from being homeless, even though I do not imbibe in drugs or even alcohol (rarely). I certainly could not afford to live in the Bay Area, anywhere in the Bay Area.

You know the drill. I tromped all over SF in the 80’s, now, I would not even BART there in the afternoon. Chances are I would meet up with an Accuser and get bludgeoned before I even disembarked.

SF oh July 17, 2018 at 12:25 PM

@Justifiable anger – Thanks – you’re post made me laugh because it’s all true. I remember living here and my friends and I were getting our first full-time jobs – which paid about $2.50/ hour. We would all swear that we would NEVER work for Chevron, or any other corporation…. until the reality set in of paying bills and trying to make ends meet. Housing was high back then too – in relation to wages. But we did it — lived in some crummy places and worked some crummy jobs along the way. Never thought to demand any special housing or lowered rent for us. But seeing the difference in the Bay Area from then to now is just sad. This experiment has only worked for our Dem politicians. Nancy is worth about $60 million; DiFi lives in Pacific Heights; Brown is retiring to a 2,700 acre ranch; Breed is now collecting a $300,000+ salary… Yet middle class people are being pushed out; young people are struggling to get started; seniors can’t pay for medical care …… This system isn’t working for most of us, but people keep defending it.

Dan July 18, 2018 at 1:20 PM

here the truth (sad one but..) Mortgage, Property taxes, utilities, insurance, wear and tear, vandalism, and management costs have risen faster than the cost of inflation as well. And when renters fail to pay, then what? It takes 3-4 months to get them out. We’re losing money on rent & almost ready to give up that sucker.

THE BLACK KNIGHT July 19, 2018 at 3:12 PM

It’s NOT Concord’s responsibility to provide housing for the entire Bay Area!!! When other cities aren’t providing housing, don’t dump it on Concord just because we have open land available for development. Let’s remember there is “affordable housing” and then there is “affordable housing.” A speaker from one of these “Affordable Housing Groups” gave a presentation to the Concord Planning Commission last year and said that “affordable housing” is “low income housing,” but we no longer say “low income housing” because it’s now considered “offensive.” So we have “low income housing” masquerading as “affordable housing” and then we have “affordable housing” which is “affordable” based on ones earnings above the “low income/affordable housing” mark.

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