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Public sector professionals & housing affordability

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,945
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40
Interesting. I know I would have fell into the category they were "seeking." ;-)
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
When house shopping 4 years ago, we naively made the mistake of thinking "Gee, Franklin is kinda nice - lets see how much houses run." 8-!
 

GeogPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,433
Points
25
sounds like a cruel game show...show a commitment to the public and on your measly salary, you *may* win a new house (or rather a chance to buy one). affordable housing problem? try CRISIS!
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
Ouch. Who can afford to live there? And to have everyone know what your salary is, if you apply to buy a home?
 

Gedunker

Moderating
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11,485
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41
When Mrs. G and I pre-qualified for a mortgage 10 years ago ( 8-! ) we were told by the loan orginator that we qualified for up to $190,000. We were there to finance *just* $80k. There is no doubt in my mind that she was trying to get us to take on more debt than we could really afford. Talk about predatory lending.

ZG our salaries were published on the web a few years ago. I had people coming into the office arguing that they paid my exact salary and they deserved the land use variance I was insisting they needed. It didn't help to argue that I was paying my salary too. (Everybody knows that city workers don't have to pay property taxes, right |-) ?)
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
Gedunker said:
ZG our salaries were published on the web a few years ago. I had people coming into the office arguing that they paid my exact salary and they deserved the land use variance I was insisting they needed. It didn't help to argue that I was paying my salary too. (Everybody knows that city workers don't have to pay property taxes, right |-) ?)
That's ugly. Our salaries are public record, of course, but not thrown out for the public to see.
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
Points
22
I am considering a program to target our affordable housing to police (at the least) and maybe toward a consortium of local employees (public and private).

I'm not sure I can target planners or other city employees, but I am pretty sure I can target police. We allow our police to take cars home if they live within 15 minutes. Costs have gone up so fast in the past 4 years that they are starting to move 30-60 minutes north to cheaper housing.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,313
Points
44
I worked for a jurisdiction that had an inclusionary housing ordinance. But planning department staff were ineligable to participate in the program due to the potential for a conflict of interest.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
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Moderator
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18,699
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69
GeogPlanner said:
sounds like a cruel game show...show a commitment to the public and on your measly salary, you *may* win a new house (or rather a chance to buy one).
That's the big thing that kept me from considering jobs in Colorado's ski country. The salaries weren't more than what you would see outside of ki country, the average priices of even small townhouses near Vail, Aspen, Breckenridge and similar communities was frightening, and there simply was no affordable housing within commuting distance -- often considered an hour to an hour and a half of driving over scary mountain passes. The numbers don't work with $45,000 to $50,000 salaries and $500,000 for condos larger than a walk-in closet.
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
My being able to buy a home or broom closet sized condo in NoVa is a joke. Its find a good husband or rent the rest of my life. You see ads in the paper here for folks looking to marry so they can buy a house.

Sad, average run of the mill planner makes 50 but houses go for 350,000 on the cheap end (read needs new everything and bars on the windows).
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,443
Points
34
Zoning Goddess said:
That's ugly. Our salaries are public record, of course, but not thrown out for the public to see.
It's the law in Iowa that they be published in the newspaper. Fun times.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
25,786
Points
61
In my fair city they too are published in the legal notices in the newspaper.
They are in slighthly obscure way - in about 6 pt. type, alphabetically.
Glad it is not done by department listings.
 
Messages
1,264
Points
22
There was an article In The Baltimore Sun recently about public sector employees such as police and firemen not being able to afford to buy homes in the same jurisdiction as their jobsite. For example, median housing prices are approaching $400K in Anne Arundel County (south of Baltimore) which are forcing some of the police and firemen to move to Washington County (beginning of Western MD) or even Pennsylvania. Rather than finding comparable jobs in those locations, some of those people are now facing 90 min. to 2 hour one-way commutes on a good day, let alone rainy, snowy or accidents to keep their jobs. I'm grateful for my 10-minute commute.
 

Elisabeth

Cyburbian
Messages
157
Points
7
the north omaha star said:
There was an article In The Baltimore Sun recently about public sector employees such as police and firemen not being able to afford to buy homes in the same jurisdiction as their jobsite.
This is a big problem in and around New York City too. As of now, sanitation workers are only allowed to live one county away from where they work. So, if you're a garbage person working anywhere in New York City, you can't really find any affordable housing because every surrounding county is so expensive! We're working on legislation that would ammend this law for the sanitationmen and extend this to two or three counties, I'm pretty sure that fireman and policeman have at least two counties. Regardless, it's a shame that those who devote their lives to "protect and serve" can rarely afford to live a reasonable distance from work.
 

GeogPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,433
Points
25
Elisabeth said:
This is a big problem in and around New York City too. As of now, sanitation workers are only allowed to live one county away from where they work.
FDNY and NYPD has the same problem. I know someone who lives in Albany and commutes. I guess that they are cracking down on this in these departments b/c you have to live in the city or neighboring counties.
 

Gedunker

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11,485
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41
GeogPlanner said:
FDNY and NYPD has the same problem. I know someone who lives in Albany and commutes. I guess that they are cracking down on this in these departments b/c you have to live in the city or neighboring counties.
I knew many, many FDNY and NYPD guys when I was growing up in Somerset County, NJ -- not an adjacent county. I think they all had addresses in Jersey City but were truly domiciled elsewhere.

Hosuing affordability is not an issue here in Metro Louky. However, local fire and police negotiated a contract that does not require residency, so they are scattered about, in their take-home cars.

I'm not going to say how this makes me feel B-)
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,898
Points
27
Gedunker, I think those FDNY and NYPD guys (and gals) must be living in Pennsylvania now. A good friend of mine lives in Somerset County, NJ, and the cost of housing there has gone WAY up.
 

Gedunker

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11,485
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41
Mud Princess said:
Gedunker, I think those FDNY and NYPD guys (and gals) must be living in Pennsylvania now. A good friend of mine lives in Somerset County, NJ, and the cost of housing there has gone WAY up.
Well, I was NOT from the part of Somerset County where Jackie O used to go fox hunting, that's fer sure ;-) But even the poorer parts have gone way up. Mom and dad owned a duplex that they occupied. When Mom sold it '01 to move to NH, she got several thousand more than she asked for and she was quite ready to come down from her initial asking price (we thought it too high). So my experience would be that you are correct. But I can't imagine the commute on I-78 from Bethlehem each day, or on I-80 from Stroudsburg. Yikes! 8-!
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
Come on, why can't he just commute 1.5 hours each way from Maine or Connecticut like everybody else? ;-)
 

Plannerbabs

Cyburbian
Messages
1,037
Points
23
My husband and I were looking at cities to consider moving to in a few years--with the requirements that they be large, cosmopolitan, and on a large body of water. After much research, we concluded that it would be cheaper to move out of the country. B-)
So we're staying put. For now.
 

The One

Cyburbian
Messages
8,289
Points
30
Hurricane Alley

You could try moving to Miami-Dade County, they're building houses where the eye of Hurricane Andrew passed over just a few years ago for under 200k 8-! Oh and its still a 1+ hour drive to your office in downtown :-c

I used to live in Northern Virginia 14 years ago and had a 2+ hour trip to work each way, but at least it was multi-modal:

1. Drive to Train in Maryland
2. Take Train to metro rail station
3. Metro rail to Work Stop
4. Walk to office.

I knew people that drove or took the train from West Virginia and or Haggerstown Md!!!! 2.5+ hours each way!
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,169
Points
51
I pay $570 a month for rent for a 700 sqft apt with a fireplace and a balcony. For that, I live 2 miles from work, no water bill, lake access (lake in the middle of a state game land), pool, tennis courts, basket ball courts, volley ball courts, and a covered car port.

I am content with what I have at this moment, but next fall I am going to start looking at buying a condo / loft in downtown K-ZOO because I do not think that I could afford many of the homes in a decent neighborhood in this city with my income.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
I know FL is the subject of many going to Hell threads, but it is, for the most part, still very affordable on a planner's salary.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,313
Points
44
Zoning Goddess said:
I know FL is the subject of many going to Hell threads, but it is, for the most part, still very affordable on a planner's salary.
You don't know how happy that makes me feel. :)
 

plankton

Cyburbian
Messages
750
Points
21
Very good thread.

I concur with Dan. A ridiculous housing market in the CO ski country has kept me outta there too (mmmm.....steamboat springs.......).

I paid $115,000 for my house (3 bd. 1 ba, 1400 sq. ft.) last year. The city's great (about 10,000 people), the house is solid, neighborhood's fine, and there's even views of the surrounding mtn.'s & the bay. Best of all, my wife gets to be a stay at home mom with our 1-year old boy.

$500,000 starter homes?!? Ouch! I am grateful everyday to be an Oregon resident.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
I have been paying attention to housing in this city again. Here is an example of an "upper-end" house to consider, an 1860's brick house on four acres, for $237,900.


Too bad the picture sucks and you can't see the rest of this $224,900 beauty from the 1850's, a block from my office.


Then again, something cheaper might not be so bad, with lake or creek frontage to boot.

$161,000 fo 1860 square feet in a nice neighborhood, on a creek a quarter mile from the office.


$174,900 is the asking price for this uninteresting ranch on over a half acre on a lake, a half mile from the office.
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
Points
22
Sonoma County draft circulation element has an interesting policy. In addition to jobs/housing balance, it is encouraging jobs/housing location nexus. It responds to cities like Petaluma that has a (numeric) jobs housing balance but all the residents drive out of town for jobs and all the employees drive in from out of town cities. If there are going to be housing programs, and there are traffic problems, each jobs housing nexus unit saves a batch of trips.
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
I just got my tax assessor estimated property value... and I wouldn't be able to afford it on my salary if I was to purchase it today... and I have only lived here 4 years. The house value has doubled....it is just insane. I know people that commute from PA... to the NY Metro area... just crazy,, but understandable.
 
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