The Deal About "Inclusionary" Housing

Natomas residents who have taken issue with the City of Sacramento’s “inclusionary” and/or low-income housing policy and who read Brandy’s guest column below about upcoming workshops on the topic, but were yet undecided whether to attend might just be interested in this exclusive sneak peek of documents slated to be unveiled to the public later this month:


  1. Can someone explain the importance of attending, I will probably attend, but have concern the city will approve any plan they like, regardless of what residents object to. The apartments on Blackrock Rd. near the charter school were rezoned without any community input, an appeal was made, but denied because of a technicality. SHRA, Tretheway and the developer did not care of our views. My point again, how effective can we be, the plan calls for 50% more affordable units in N. Natomas. I did read some great comments in the BAE study, hopefully the council will follow some of the findings. The biggest one being why are all the units being built just rental apartments?? Can they build more ownership units. Can the PUD’s be spread around the city more, why cluster them in N. Natomas? I am sure some ardent residents will show up, I am just hoping they can convince the policy makers that better planning is needed than what has happened in N nNtomas.

  2. Did anybody attend the meeting at SHRA on Wed. Any news!!!

  3. Several Natomas residents were there and spoke to the commission. They were very receptive and one board member wrote up five things that were important to him and the rest agreed and they will forward to City Council as their “recommendation”. I think the only good solid to come from the workshop was that everyone seemed in favor of making the inclusionary housing CITYWIDE. However, they didn’t share our enthusiasm for a inclusionary moratorium for Natomas until we are no longer a “weak market” (housing, retail, commerical, office, food, etc).

    Many of them spoke about how sorry they felt for us and agreed it appears to have been done incorrectly…BUT, it felt like SO WHAT. Too bad for you, we will have to just learn from our (council’s) mistakes.

    Others who attended can agree or not with this summary and post as well.


  4. Natomas not East Sacramento…

    Action Alert: Sign Loaves & Fishes Open Letter to the Mayor and City Council
    by Dan Bacher
    Wednesday Feb 4th, 2009 3:59 PM
    Please take a moment to sign the letter from Loaves and Fishes to Sacramento’s Mayor and City Council. Attend the Feb 10th City Council meeting as well if you can. Details are below.

    From: Joan Burke, Loaves & Fishes

    Dear Friend and Supporter,

    It’s been a tough winter on North C Street . We’ve all felt the chill of many below freezing nights and the sadness of realizing that the number of homeless people who must come to Loaves & Fishes for survival services continues to rise. It’s been a tough winter everywhere with widespread unemployment, economic uncertainty and fear.

    The saving grace has been our ability to care about those less fortunate than ourselves. We are very grateful that your financial support for our ministry has not diminished in these tough times. May God bless you for your ongoing generosity to all those who are homeless and suffering. We wish you could hear first-hand the grateful words of our guests as they receive a bus ticket to get to a doctor’s appointment or a warm hat and gloves. We wish you could see the tears of relief when a Maryhouse staff member helps a woman find space in a shelter so that she needn’t sleep in her car for one more night. We wish you could get to know the very real and delightful people buried under layers of street smarts and bad luck.

    With your help, Loaves & Fishes will continue to meet the practical needs of our guests. But our mission statement reminds us we must do more: “We are called not only to respond to the material and spiritual needs of the individuals who turn to Loaves & Fishes, but also to advocate with them and for them. Therefore, we call upon the community to be aware of its responsibility in both the causes and solutions of hunger and homelessness, the absence of basic health care, unemployment, and attitudes which rob our sisters and brothers of dignity, self-respect and self-confidence.

    Will you help us advocate for our guests? We want them each to enjoy the safety and dignity of a simple home of their own. For a number of years, Loaves & Fishes has asked the city to adopt a more just housing policy. However, despite repeated studies and staff reports, it has been placed on a back burner and no action has been taken. But the winds of change are stronger now. We have an energetic new mayor and the economic crisis has heightened everyone’s awareness of the need for sound housing policies. Currently, Sacramento does require that some newly built new homes and apartments be sold or rented at prices that lower income people can afford.

    But the law only applies to a fraction of the city. It includes the Railyards, but not downtown or the Richards Boulevard areas right next door. It applies to Natomas but not to East Sacramento . This patchwork approach is unjust and squanders opportunities for poorer families to live in all neighborhoods. The law also does not require that some of the new homes and apartments be reserved specifically for the poorest of the poor. And so the number of families forced into homelessness by the lack of housing increases and we see more and more people sleeping in doorways and homeless camps.

    If you agree that the best homelessness prevention program is providing safe, decent, housing for everyone,

    Please do these two things. They matter a lot.

    1. Go to and sign our on-line Open Letter to Mayor Kevin Johnson and the City Council. Ask that the City of Sacramento change its Mixed Income Housing Ordinance to apply everywhere in the city and to include homes for the poorest of the poor. Ask that the City of Sacramento adopt a 15% Mixed Income Housing Ordinance that applies to all areas of the city and requires that 5% of all new housing be reserved for housing for families and individuals with extremely low incomes (30% of Area Median Income).

    2. Come to the Sacramento City Council Meeting on Tuesday February 10th at 6 PM , Sacramento City Hall , 925 I Street. Our combined presence will show that our community cares deeply about homelessness and that the cure for homelessness is enough safe, decent, affordable housing for every family and person in the City of Sacramento . Please come to support the two changes to the ordinance if you possibly can.

    Thank you for standing up for our guests! We will need all our combined voices to create change. If you have any questions or suggestions, please call or email.

    Joan Burke
    Director of Advocacy
    Loaves & Fishes
    P O Box 2161
    Sacramento, CA 96812
    (916) 446-0874
    advocate4loaves [at]

  5. THE BUZZ posed some of our readers’ questions about these workshops to Councilmember Ray Tretheway. Here is his response:

    I really hope you will attend the inclusionary housing workshop. Your experiences and ideas are very important for us to hear. I met with staff last week, and they are proposing a special community task force to take on this issue. As you are aware (and have pointed out) the current ordinance is very difficult and challenging in terms of every aspect – community integration, size of units, ownership versus rental, services and the whole financing system (that seems to loom very large on the challenge scale).
    Every issue and suggestion really needs to be put on the table at this workshop so that the working group (if empowered) will understand the depth and complexity of the issues we face in Natomas and throughout the city.
    I honestly hope the ‘ardent’ residents do show up; it will really make more job easier in giving staff and the working group direction.
    – ray

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