I read with interest a recent letter from Steve Petzold about College of the Canyons’ plans to build “affordable” housing in Valencia. The plan is to build a three-story building that will house 100 students for a very unaffordable price of $62 million. Yes, for $620,000 per bed, COC is going to spend more of our money on “affordable” housing. Some of this cost will inevitably be for things like architecture and for the obligatory California Environmental Quality Act study otherwise known as “Never plan on building anything affordable in California Act.”
It continues to amaze me how money is thrown about by government and by COC specifically. All one has to do is look at the salary and benefits paid to COC employees on Transparent California to see the amount of largesse being doled out. Never forget how easy it is to spend other people’s money!
I have an alternative idea for COC that would be more efficient. It would house more kids, it would be cheaper, you wouldn’t need any architecture plans or a Never Plan on Building Anything Affordable in California study. In fact, my idea would eventually make COC money! Money that they in turn could spend on more high-priced administration officials! Maybe then they won’t come back to us in a couple years for another quarter-billion-dollar bond?
All you have to do is buy 50 houses for a million each! They would be nice houses and they would easily house at least 200 students instead of 100. Since COC is a school, no property taxes would be due. All they would be responsible for is upkeep and various other sundry costs that I’m sure could be absorbed in part by the students paying a very much-below-market rate for renting a room. In addition, the houses would no doubt appreciate over time, putting more money into the COC coffers and they could in turn could do what they do best. My plan saves us $12 million, but even if you bought forty $1-million homes or fifty-three $750,000 homes, you’re still way ahead of the game and you would have a $10-million fund for upkeep or utilities or to subsidize the cost to students.
The only downside I can see from COC’s perspective is that someone wouldn’t get their name on a building that houses 100 kids.