Hillcrest project is an investment in community

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While Councilmember McNamee’s vote against the affordable townhomes project was disappointing, if not surprising, his insensitive and unfair comments about low-income people should not go unchallenged.

Like many other low-income people, I’m hardworking and responsible. I work long hours and live a low-budget, no-frills life.

I’m a penny-pincher who has managed to save a good amount towards a down payment.

I pay all my bills on time and am debt free. My credit score is over 800.

Despite my financial discipline, my dream of homeownership is fading fast as prices for real estate and living expenses increase exponentially while wages remain relatively stagnant.

McNamee said that he believed in giving a hand, but not a handout. This is actually a discount, not a handout, to help low-income families become full participants in our economy.

The townhomes will be paid for by the buyers but at a price that is below market value. He also said that purchasing the property for this project with taxpayer money was a form of charity.

However, this is not a giveaway. The lot might cost $10 million, but the 59 townhomes will be sold for $275,000 to $600,000 each. I don’t know the exact cost of each individual home, but if you simply multiply the average of the high and low price by 59, the home sales would total nearly $26 million.

That should cover the full cost of the project, while creating 59 new property owners who will pay property taxes to the county every year.

Ultimately, this project is an investment in our community that will pay dividends, and I applaud the mayor and council members who made it possible.

Nicole Hanson
Thousand Oaks

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