HB Tomorrow’s January 2017 Newsletter

Below is HB Tomorrow’s January Newsletter. Become a member and have these newsletters delivered to your inbox!

HB Tomorrow Newsletter
January 2017

Dear HB Tomorrow Members,

Happy New Year! While we await the impacts of the November elections, changes to setback and other building regulations in 2016 help ensure that development in Huntington Beach will be less dense. HB Tomorrow continues our efforts to make the City work within our communities’ expectations — that means the Council needs to follow the rules, and to seek our input before changing them.

Many other issues need our response. How will our City address affordable housing and the growing homeless problem? There are no easy answers but we are here to work together to make a difference.

To that end, each month the Board of HB Tomorrow will highlight a few items affecting our city.

Mobile Home Affordable-Housing Proposal:
Half the nation’s tenants spends more than 30% of their income on rent — the definition of unaffordable housing. Del Mar Estates’ HOA recently asked the Council to amend the City’s Affordable Housing Plan to allow Senior Mobile Home Parks to qualify for low-income housing. Some Del Mar residents’ monthly rents jumped from $695 in 2008 to $1050 in 2016 without a proportionate increase in fixed incomes. Allowing mobilehome parks to qualify as low-income would help the City reach its threshold. This would reduce the City’s need to build new low-income homes or apartments.

HB Tomorrow is watching this issue.

Non-Toxic Huntington Beach Proposal:
In December, HB Tomorrow’s Board urged the City Council to consider supporting a proposal to transition away from toxic pest control to more organic, water-conscious, and cost-saving organic measures. This proven alternative to exposing people and pets to harsh chemicals uses 30% less water, and is less expensive in the long run. Irvine is already employing these methods with success and no known issues.

Currently, Huntington Beach uses a number of toxic chemicals in our parks and public areas where children, adults, and pets are exposed. These include herbicides (e.g., Roundup Promax, Glyphsate 4 Plus, Oryzalin 4 Pro, etc.), insecticides (e.g., Criterior 75, Safari 20, etc.), rodenticides (e.g., Kaput D, Talpirid), and mulluscicides (Deadline T&O). Interactions among these chemicals are largely untested, as confirmed by the EPA, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Our children are most susceptible, and the most likely to come into frequent contact with these chemicals in our parks and playgrounds.

You can view HB Tomorrow’s letter to the City Council at our website here.

Homeless Problem:
As most of us know, the homeless problem is a pronounced one in Huntington Beach. Our City provides public facilities for the many tourists and beach-goers that visit, and these attract the homeless to our public places. To book the facilities at Lake Park, the City now requires residents to hire security after increased reports last year of drug-dealing homeless. But the problem is also severe in neighboring Costa Mesa; there, along the soundwalls of the 55 and 73 freeways, homeless encampments stretch for miles. The common areas at the Central Justice Center and County Building in Santa Ana are almost entirely populated by homeless. The new 200-bed year-round shelter set to open late 2017 in Anaheim, while much needed, will be a drop in the bucket.

The Orange County Commission to End Homelessness notes that only about half of the homeless population is homeless for more than a year, and that almost 40% cite job loss as the precipitating cause. This suggests a substantial share of homelessness happens at the margins, and can be addressed with improving the stock of housing and jobs at the county level. Unfortunately, even if homelessness is decreased, the remaining numbers still are likely to be drawn to Huntington Beach and its attractive public spaces and services.

[Also see this OC Register article: County’s first year-round homeless shelter to open late 2017 in Anaheim.]

If there are any issues affecting Huntington Beach that you would like to see addressed, please send us an email at info@hbtomorrow.org.

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