CASA’s secret New York junket

By Zelda Bronstein : 48hills – excerpt

42 people flew to Manhattan for a three-day event that had no real policy purpose — and MTC is stonewalling on releasing the price tag.

During the final meeting of the CASA Technical Committee on December 12, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf let slip that she and unnamed others had recently taken a trip to New York City. No such trip had appeared on any public agenda.

CASA is the organization that is trying to create a “grand bargain” on housing, although it’s really a developer-friendly coup.

My curiosity pricked, later that day I sent CASA’s sponsor, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, a California Public Records Act Request asking to see documentation of all monies, public and private, that had passed through MTC to fund CASA. I also asked to see all documents concerning the funding of the New York City trip, including those with information about the participants, the itinerary, and any agendas…

CASA’s unpublicized January 25 Sacramento deadline

The CASA Compact is a self-described “legislative package” of ten “Elements,” a bundle of policy recommendations intended to be incorporated into bills by members of the state Legislature.  At numerous public meetings, MTC Executive Director Steve Heminger repeatedly said that all the elements would move forward together.

In fact, as indicated by the chart that Heminger presented at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s January 11 meeting, on December 3, legislators introduced bills incorporating aspects of all the elements in CASA but three: the proposals for a statewide just cause eviction policy, for the statewide privatization of public land, and for a Bay Area-specific “Regional Housing Enterprise.”… (more)

Planners keep pushing the bogus concept of transit-centered housing

By Dick Spotswood : marinij – excerpt

Regional governments tout the benefits of so-called transit-centered housing. The concept is at the heart of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s CASA (Committee to House the Bay Area) compact and San Francisco Democrat Sen. Scott Wiener’s new Senate Bill 50.

Superficially, it appears logical that people living in high-density apartments adjacent to rail, bus or ferry transit stops won’t need an auto to commute to work. Instead, they’ll take transit because it’s more convenient.

The reality isn’t so simple…

Let’s see if transit-centered housing works as promised in Marin. Presume our typical commuter lives at Corte Madera’s Tam Ridge Apartments, aka WinCup. The four-story 180-unit high-density complex is exactly the housing envisioned in SB 50. When approved, WinCup was touted as transit-centered housing next to a Highway 101 trunk line bus stop…

Whether the transit-centered housing theory works in practice is irrelevant to them [MTC]. They’ll be enjoying big profits while average Bay Area citizens pay the price with increased traffic congestion, higher taxes and crowded schools…(more)

Let’s Declare January MTC Awareness Month!

from nine-county-coalition – excerpt

The Bay Area’s MTC (Metropolitan Transportation Commission) looks really good on paper. It has an attractive website rich with information, it has the support of potent organizations such as SPUR and the Bay Area Council, and since its hostile takeover of ABAG (Association of Bay Area Governments) MTC holds the transportation and development purse strings.

However, look closer and the stress lines start coming into focus: persistent gridlock traffic, a transit/biking-for-all policy that seems to have no roots in reality, vanishing parking spaces, gentrification, obliteration of neighborhood character, questionable imposition of region-wide taxes, density appropriate only for neighborhoods boasting more dogs than kids. To be fair, the MTC can always point to state legislation enabling its actions. But legislation provides the skeleton plan, and the MTC gives the plan copious flesh. Also, while we can vote a legislator out of office if we do not like his/her plans, we are stuck with whatever MTC bureaucrats devise.

Where you detect challenges look for opportunities

The MTC has felt to Bay Area residents familiar with it as an entity set in stone, partly because of its nature as a bureaucracy, and partly because the federal government says we must have a Metropolitan Planning Organization (whether we like it or not). However, this New Year brings to those not happy with the MTC a couple of opportunities. Thus, let’s declare January 2019 MTC Awareness Month.

* Steve Heminger, MTC’s Executive Director is retiring on February 28, 2019, and MTC is looking for his replacement. Heminger is the principal architect of MTC’s growth, influence, and consolidation of power. As such, he receives emphatic accolades and criticisms… (more)

If you want to understand how the uses regional agencies such as MTC, comprised of unelected appointees to: control communities, reduce local power, increase taxes fines and fees, and force unwanted changes on society, without public knowledge or consent, you should read this article.

If you want to challenge the appointment process, you should read this article.

If you want to challenge how your taxes are being used against you, you should read this article.

If you think you can escape the crooked development phenomenon by moving awary from it, you have not paid attention to the history of the world, the news, or the prevalent re-occurring theme in most crime novels and films. The first things criminals do with a windfall of cash is invest in property, force occupants out, and wash the cash in construction projects. Fiction follows reality. You can’t escape the greed behind property development. All you can do is change the narrative and inform the public.

CASA Steering Committee approves CASA compact

By Save Marinwood

The CASA Steering committee approves the CASA Compact. An aggressive housing scheme that will mean $1.5 Billion dollars in new taxes to pay for affordable housing. The biggest cities will get the most money and all of the 101 Bay Area cities will sacrifice the ability to manage development. It is the most ambitious power and money grab in our lifetimes…(more)

A new housing ‘compact’ looks a lot like a developer’s dream

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Nonprofit leaders seeking consensus come up with a deal: Modest tenant protections in exchange for more market-rate housing and displacement.

With State Sen. Scott Wiener’s new housing bill now pending, a group convened by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission has released a draft plan to solve the region’s housing crisis – and some of its key conclusions are linked to Wiener’s vision.

The group is called CASA, and MTC calls it the Committee to House the Bay Area. It’s led by philanthropic, nonprofit, and private-sector people and some of its members are elected officials… (more)

We appreciate the attempt Tim has made to link Scott Wiener’s new housing bill, SB 50 with the CASA funding options being developed by MTC. There is a strong corellation that many are concerned about. There are a number of tapes of the Technical Committee’s public meetings where they tried to convince the “stakeholders” who are NOT developers, that it is a good idea to support programs that tax the residents for future growth that many do not want or appreciate.

Read the rest of the article and comment if you like, then, watch this tape of Zelda Bronstein’s explanation on how the CASA funding for affordable housing is going to be unrolled and how which vulnerable groups of citizens may be most effected by it.  Already we are seeing a stand-off between those concerned about education funds being shifted to housing. Stay tuned for more details and links as we get them… (more)


Housing Advocate Realizes that MTC CASA is about Profits

Housing Advocate from Urban Habitat speaks during public time at the  November 14, 2018 meeting of CASA technical committee.  Despite her years long advocacy of housing issues as an observer, she realizes that CASA committee members are more concerned with profit and political power than helping the people… (more)

It is pretty shocking when you realize that how important the profit motive is to government. Maybe establishing a pubic bank can help by eliminating the need for such high returns. This would especially important as the interest rate are rising.

MTC CASA technical committee hopes to raise billions from Bay Area taxpayers

Report on CASA meeting from a taxpayer perspective (includes three videos) full meeting  CASA Technical Committee ( 2. 5 hours)  MTC Director Steve Heminger’s opening remarks (4 min.) MTC CASA New Tax Revenue Concepts for housing (30 min.)   Bay Area Housing trust fund (5 minutes)

Here is the full meeting and excerpts from the full meeting of the MTC Casa meeting of 9/19/18 for your reference (including the last one sent earlier today)

This meeting should shock the average Bay Area resident . It is a brazen attempt to bypass the normal democratic channels of government.  They even discuss ways to avoid a public vote on the taxes.  I consider this very serious attack on the public’s right to self governance by the very individuals who stand to collectively make billions of dollars in funding for real estate development.

Did anyone ask you to vote on this?  This is the most ambitious cash and power grab I have seen in my lifetime. What is the point of democracy when this can happen?

Yes, it is time to wake up.

Please watch and draw your conclusion. Some notes below. Post comments if your like.

Notes: from the CASA Technical Committee video: For some of these fees we may need enabling legislation, and we may even need voter approval. Some may need both.

There is mention of a Regional Infrastructure Bank to finance infrastructure need to build more housing. A regioanl housing trust fund is envisioned as a place to pool the money.

Some thoughts of preservation: Some types of housing ie, Mobile homes and SROs should not be targetted for upzoning because you will never get them back and you need to protect that level of affordability. ADUs should be allowed everywhere. Housing overlay and minimum density overlay should be along Transit rich areas within a half mile radius. But, communities of concern would be able to opt out, but not 100% affordable.

MTC Pledges $10 Million for New Fund to Preserve Affordable Housing

mtc – excerpt

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) today committed $10 million to establish a new revolving loan fund known as the Bay Area Preservation Pilot Fund to help nonprofit developers finance the acquisition and preservation of existing multifamily housing properties that are located in areas with high-frequency transit service and are considered affordable for lower- and moderate-income renters. The Commission’s stake will be supplemented by an additional $39 million from Preservation Pilot managers Enterprise Community Loan Fund (ECLF) and Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF) to make a total of $49 million available for new loans…

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 Contact: John Goodwin, (415) 778-5262… (more)

Who is not involved in real estate? How does financing housing relate to the mission of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission? Please comment at the source if you can.


Plan Bay Area 2040 Open House This Week in San Francisco

satprnews – excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO, May 15, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) invite the public to an open house in San Francisco (Bay Area Metro Center, Yerba Buena Conference Room, 375 Beale Street) on Wednesday, May 17, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. to learn about an update to the region’s long-range transportation and housing roadmap known as Plan Bay Area 2040. This meeting in San Francisco is one in a series to be held in all nine Bay Area counties between May 4 and May 22. For more information about upcoming meeting times, dates and locations in all nine counties, please visit the Plan Bay Area website:

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