Dennis Backlund spends most nights lying awake wondering where he’s going to live. Soon the day will come when he must leave his longtime home at the President Hotel Apartments as part of a mass eviction of every tenant of the historic, 75-unit building in downtown Palo Alto.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do. I never, ever dreamed that something like this could happen. This was going to be the place where I spent the rest of my life. That is what I thought,” said the 76-year-old, who has lived in his 300-square-foot apartment at the President for the past 37 years. Now he faces leaving not only his home but possibly the community where he was born.
Backlund said he can’t move just anywhere. He lives on a fixed income, doesn’t drive and has to use a walker to get around, so he needs a place that’s affordable and within short walking distance to food and other amenities.
But the real lede is buried many paragraphs into this Palo Alto Online article:
Palo Alto continues to rank close to the bottom in Santa Clara County for housing production: The city is 14th out 15 cities in the county when it comes to meeting its state-mandated Regional Housing Needs Allocation, according to a report the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury issued in June. At the start of this year, the city adopted a plan to produce 300 housing units annually to address its housing shortage. So far, it has only approved one major development with 57 units. The loss of the 75 units at the President will more than offset that project.
As Thomas Sowell has written, it’s “The Housing Price of Liberalism.”
(Found via Virginia Postrel’s Twitter feed.)
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