By Nancy and Don Price
In October 2002, the City Council appointed a subcommittee to study housing needs in Davis. In particular, the Council wanted to consider providing housing opportunities for the local workforce as the primary reason for city residential growth.
In this context, the phrase “internal housing need” was incorporated in City policy framework, documents, and studies to refer primarily to low and moderate income workforce housing. Indeed, work force housing is the only category of housing specifically mentioned as “internal needs” in the City’s General Plan and for which specific policies have been crafted to meet the need.
For instance, Measure J (voter approved in 2000) and Measure R (voter approved in 2010) as an update of Measure J was intended to “further” and “implement” meeting this “internal housing need” based on local employment growth, UCD growth, and “natural” growth. Indeed, meeting this “internal housing need” is the only justification provided in Measures J/R for converting agricultural lands on the periphery of the city.
Unfortunately, the Yes on Measure L campaign has erroneously misappropriated the term, “internal housing needs,” to otherwise claim the WDAAC project, providing low-income subsidized senior housing and much larger and expensive homes for senior purchase, meets these needs and thus should be approved by voters. This is a false claim and is not supported anywhere in City documents.