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Planning First

Why such deceitful attacks on affordable senior housing at the expense of the real needs of very low income Davis seniors?

By William Powell and David Thompson

We have never seen such an exaggerated litany of attacks against needed affordable housing for low income seniors in Davis. This is from the perspective of our combined 60 years of serving the needs of low income seniors in Davis.  The future needs of low income seniors in Davis should not become cannon fodder by the representative of the No campaign in their false war on affordable senior housing. We believe Davis seniors deserve better and that Davis voters deserve an honest debate.

So, as long time Davis senior housing providers, we are taking on two issues of the No on Measure L representative - keeping in mind that Winston Churchill once said: 

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its trousers on.”

Issue I.

Opponents vehemently argue, “there is no guarantee that the required low-income housing will ever be built.”

The statement above is highlighted on an eight foot wide No on Measure L Banner

Why make this untrue and factually unsupported accusation that the senior housing may never be built?  Over a nearly 30 year history 1,100 apartments, housing over 3,000 people, valued at over 200 million dollars have been built on the 33 parcels set aside for affordable housing in Davis. To assert to the Davis voter that affordable housing will never be built on this specific one piece of land is a vacuous example of false electioneering. With 4 acres of donated free land, valued at $4 million, free infrastructure and improvements (valued at $2 million) and substantial state and federal funding sources available to Davis Senior Communities of course this campus will be built.

To claim otherwise is to go against thirty years of proven reality that are real homes to over 3,000 low income Davis residents and neighbors. See our track record at

Issue II.

“this is fundamentally different than every other large development in town in the past 10 years where the developer contributed not only the land but also built the low income housing…No on Measure L representative

We have pointed out that this statement is not even close to being factual. The No campaign keeps repeating massive untruths in an attempt to mislead the Davis voter.  We don’t mind having a debate, but when it comes to building needed housing for low income seniors, the untruths harm those seniors most in need in our community. With the waiting lists for four affordable senior housing communities being now at 441 plus 50 seniors already on the interest list for DSHC at WDAAC and a wait of over three years a number of Davis seniors will be forced to leave town.

The donation of land to be set aside for affordable housing is the most valuable mechanism used by the city. The $4 million value of the land contributed to a non profit allows that land to be leveraged through state and federal programs to provide the highest subsidies and the lowest apartment rents. This category has provided more affordable housing apartments than any other during this past nearly 30 years.

The accusations that the No on Measure L makes are vastly incorrect. Almost every major development in this same category since the policy began is listed below. Over nearly a 30 year history, the developments in the same category as the Delta Davis Senior Housing Communities (DSHC) at West Davis Active Adult Community (WDAAC) are the following;

  • Windmere 1 48 apartments built by a separate local nonprofit on donated land
  • Windmere II 58 apartments built by a separate local nonprofit on donated land
  • Fox Creek 36 apartments built by a separate local nonprofit on donated land
  • Heather Glen 62 apartments built by a separate local nonprofit on donated land
  • Homestead 16 apartments built by a separate local nonprofit on donated land
  • Tuscany Villas 30 apartments built by a separate local nonprofit on donated land
  • Walnut Terrace 31 apartments built by a separate local nonprofit on donated land
  • Twin Pines Community 36 apartments built by a separate local nonprofit on donated land
  • Owendale Community 45 apartments built by a separate local nonprofit on donated land
  • Tremont Green 36 apartments built by a separate local nonprofit on donated land
  • Moore Village 59 apartments built by a separate local nonprofit on donated land
  • Cesar Chavez Plaza 53 apartments built by a separate local nonprofit on donated land
  • Eleanor Roosevelt C 60 apartments built by a separate local nonprofit on donated land
  • DSHC at WDAAC 150 apartments built by a separate local nonprofit on donated land

Those thirteen prior developments donated acres of valuable land, infrastructure and improvements for local non profits to provide 570 affordable apartments available to Davis residents.

Please vote yes on Measure L to add another 150 affordable senior apartments to meet the needs of the 441 (now 491) low-income Davis seniors today on local waiting lists.

This is our joint effort to provide reliable factual information to the Davis resident and voter so you can make an informed decision. We will try to write a rebuttal each time a false claim is made about affordable senior housing in Davis. Please vote Yes on Measure L.

William Powell, President Delta Davis Senior Communities (DSHC) and David J Thompson of Neighborhood Partners LLC (NP). Between us we have been Davis residents for over 80 years. Powell has been President of DSHC since 2000 and also serves on the Davis Senior Commission. Thompson financed his first affordable senior housing community in California in 1981. See more information at


Rik Keller

David Thompson: your characterization of opponents of Measure L/WDAAC as being "against needed affordable housing for low income seniors in Davis" is fundamentally dishonest.

Critics of the project point out that the affordable housing component is not guaranteed (true) and that the project developers are not even close to meeting the actual affordable housing obligations required by City regulations. We estimate that the project is only meeting its obligation for about 50% of the affordable housing component that it should, and your team has privately admitted as much to us. You also provide no evidence of the land valuation figures you cite that overstate the contribution the project developers are making.

You should be advocating and lobbying the project developers to meet their fair share of affordable housing requirements rather than pushing this Trojan Horse of a proposal wherein the 5% of the project site area for the affordable component is being touted in an attempt to push through a primarily low-density high-cost luxury housing development on the vast majority of the site.

Colin Walsh

I have not taken a position on Measure L. I see both sides of it and have friends on both sides of the issue. I have avoided commenting on it any way thus far, but I feel that I have to point something out about this article.

I found the omission of the massive change to the City of Davis affordable housing policy to be a very dishonest aspect of this article. Every project listed in the article is from before the City Council voted to gut the affordable housing policy and dry up City funds for new affordable housing. Under the City's new affordable housing policy, I see no reasonable way to expect there will be City money to build the Affordable housing at WDAAC.

Steven Kahn

I know that William and David are committed to affordable housing, but this disingenuous, self-serving article is a bridge too far.

They use nice words to call the No on L proponents liars, pure and simple, and they site the past to prove their point. The is a reason that the suit against Measure L was not thrown out of court. That reason is because the No on L has merit enough to warrant an investigation.

This coupled with the developer's bombastic performance at a recent forum, accusing and posturing without citing any facts, takes a page out of the old developer's playbook I've seen since 1984 when I moved here. The lies, delusions and deceits of the pro-growth community are legion. I know, because some of been directed at Measures I worked on.

And, if you think they truly care about diversity, think again. I remember when the Covell Village development looked as if it were going down to defeat. A number of leading proponents gathered in front of the Nugget Market and sang "We Shall Overcome." Of folks don't see the hypocrisy in that performance, let's take a look at the recent comment by a proponent of Measure L, a lawyer, calling the No on L advocates, "carpetbaggers," a term used in the old South. An unfortunate slip of the tongue? I doubt it.

To date, the pro Measure L forces site need, but provide no statistics. They'll promise you anything and then laugh all the way to the bank.

David Thompson

Answer to Rik Keller
You were at the CivWnergy Forum where I explained
How NP worked with city and the developers on a PIP project individualized plan that must create more units than required to be adopted as meeting affordable requirements. The plan does that by 150 units
To the 56 units city staff required. NP DSHC have alway stated we are grateful for gettting double the requirement. None of our have ever said pulically or privately that the 150 apartments is less than we should be getting.That accusation is patently false.

To Colin Walsh call me for details on your claim 530 400 9765 I am at a series of memorial events so have only limited times.

If incorrect claims are made about affordable housing to stop affordable housing then the poor among us pay a price.
Kevin the new Davis policies are directed at multi family projects and do not impact either Creekside to the tune of $34 million raised or DSHC at wdaac
We just raised $20 million for a DSHC community in Dixon
There is more funding available today than all my years in affordable housing

David thompson

Sorry I also called you Kevin in the last post please hard to type and keep scrolling back sitting in the back seat of a car
Call me at+15304009765

I can obtain documents showing land value and if I do will you apologize for the attack?

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