Congress Member Sam Farr
Policies for Adoption by FORA
Affordable Housing Is A Policy Priority For FORA
is the policy of the Fort Ord Reuse Authority that the redevelopment
and conversion of the lands of the former Fort Ord shall be
carried out so as to provide significant and permanent affordable
housing opportunities for those persons who live and work
in Monterey County. By insuring that significant and permanent
affordable housing opportunities are provided on the former
Fort Ord, the Fort Ord Reuse Authority is acting to carry
out its statutory responsibilities, to support the local economy,
to balance new housing opportunities with new job creation,
to provide increased individual opportunities and social stability,
and to minimize the adverse environmental impacts associated
with housing supply patterns that lead to long distance commuting.
is completely appropriate for the FORA Board of Directors to establish
the policies that will guide FORAs efforts with
respect to affordable and workforce housing. In fact, the basic
job of any Board of Directors is to establish the policies that
will guide the organization for which they have responsibility.
is absolutely clear from state law that it is FORAs responsibility
to give direction to the local governments on the key issues affecting
the redevelopment and reuse of the former Fort Ord. FORA is
not supposed to let each local government do whatever it wants.
FORA was created for the exact opposite reason. FORA is required
to set the standards to which each local government must adhere.
policy statement I recommend is straightforward. It commits FORA
to ensure that its actions provide significant and permanent
affordable housing opportunities for those persons who live and
work in Monterey County. I hope that all members of the FORA
Board agree with me that this is totally appropriate, that it is
our obligation as public stewards to do so, and that the public
demands no less.
Affordable Housing Defined
the purpose of implementing the FORA Affordable Housing Policy
(contained in recommendation #1) affordable housing
means housing that can be rented or purchased by persons in
the following income ranges, utilizing not more than 30% of
their total income for housing:
Low Income Individuals or families who earn up to 50%
of the median income of individuals or families living in
Income Individuals or families who earn more than 50%
and up to 80% of the median income of individuals or families
living in Monterey County.
Income Individuals or families who earn more than 80%
and up to 120% of the median income of individuals or families
living in Monterey County.
make any policy on affordable housing effective, it is imperative
that we define our terms. FORA needs to have an official
definition of affordable housing, and the definitions
I recommend are consistent with what the members of FORA have been
talking about, and are also consistent with the definitions used
in federal and state housing programs.
defining affordable housing in terms of income ranges,
the actual price of housing will be allowed to fluctuate,
as the economy changes, but housing built for low income
persons, for example, will always be available to persons who earn
more than 50% or up to 80% of the median income in Monterey County,
as that median income may change from time to time. If the median
income goes up, so does the associated income level of persons in
the various income categories. Housing prices will also change,
the median income of a family of four, in Monterey County, is $57,100
per year. That means that the following figures apply under the
definition I recommend:
Estimated Affordable Sales Price
up to 80%
up to 120%
up to 150%
An Additional Commitment To Workforce Housing
addition to its commitment to affordable housing, as set out
in the FORA Affordable Housing Policy, it is the policy of
the Fort Ord Reuse Authority to ensure that the redevelopment
and conversion of the lands of the former Fort Ord provide
significant and permanent workforce housing, which
is housing that can be afforded by individuals or families
who earn more than 120% and up to 150% of the median income
of individuals or families living in Monterey County.
firmly believe that we need to provide for workforce
housing opportunities, as well as for affordable housing
opportunities. This commitment to workforce housing should not substitute
for our commitment to genuinely affordable housing, but we do need
to make a solid commitment to housing for persons who may have above-average
incomes, but who are still not able to obtain adequate housing in
the extremely difficult Monterey County housing market. Policy #3
addresses that need.
Percentage Commitment To Affordable and Workforce Housing
is the policy of the Fort Ord Reuse Authority that the percentages
of affordable and workforce housing specified herein shall
be the minimum percentages provided and included in
every new residential or mixed-use development constructed
on the former Fort Ord, for development projects receiving
approval on or after August 1, 2003. In addition, it is the
policy of the Fort Ord Reuse authority that all of the affordable
and workforce housing units constructed according to this
policy shall be permanently protected for subsequent resale
or rental to persons or families within the specified income
ranges, by deed restrictions or other equivalent and effective
methods. The required minimum percentages are:
Low Income (Up To 50% Median Income) 10%
Income (More Than 50% and Up To 80% Median Income)
Income (More than 80% and Up To 120% Median Income)
Housing (More Than 120% and Up To 150% Median Income)
#4 will not be easy to achieve, but we can achieve it, if we make
affordable and workforce housing the kind of priorities they ought
to be. We need to establish the policy we want, and then make it
work, instead of constantly telling ourselves how hard it is, and
why we cant do it. The public wants performance, not excuses.
lack of adequate water supplies is sometimes listed as one of the
major problems in providing affordable housing. In fact, the
lack of adequate water supplies affects all development. Policy
#4 sets aside a share of whatever housing we can produce. If we
are not able to solve water supply problems, and if housing development
is curtailed on Fort Ord as a consequence, then that will obviously
affect the provision of affordable and workforce housing, but no
more than it will affect the provision of so-called market
rate housing. The point of policy #4 is to ensure that
affordable and workforce housing is a significant percentage of
whatever new housing is produced on the former Fort Ord. Again,
this is what the public is looking for, in term of policy leadership.
youll note, these recommended policies only apply only to
development projects approved after August 1, 2003. We are not trying
to go back and rewrite history. This is a policy that
looks forward, and puts FORA on record about whats going to
happen from here on out.
youll also note, Policy #4 ensures that when affordable and
workforce housing is produced, it will continue to be available
at the affordable and workforce income levels. Its important
that later resales dont put such housing out of the reach
of individuals and families in the affordable and workforce categories.
Housing For Local Workers and Residents First
is the policy of the Fort Ord Reuse Authority that all residential
units constructed on the lands of the former Fort Ord, in
any development project approved on or after August 1, 2003,
shall first be offered for rental or sale to individuals who
currently live in or work in Monterey County, and that if
any such residential unit is resold or rented subsequently,
such residential unit shall again be offered first to individuals
who then currently live in or work in Monterey County.
#5, like that recently adopted by the City of Marina, is not exclusionary.
It says that the first opportunity for new housing ought
to go to local residents, and to local workers. If local residents
and workers want to rent or purchase housing on Fort Ord, theyll
get the first chance to do so, but if such local residents and workers
dont come forward, then developers will have every right to
look for renters and purchasers from anywhere else. The point of
policy #5 is to help support our local economy and meet the jobs
housing balance on the former Fort Ord by making sure that local
workers have the best possible chance to find housing opportunities
near to the place they work.
Community Housing Trust Fund
is the policy of the Fort Ord Reuse Authority that a Community
Housing Trust Fund shall be created, and that this Community
Housing Trust Fund will utilize its financial resources to
support and assist first time homebuyers who live in or work
in Monterey County.
key issue in the creation of a housing trust fund is to specify
how it will be administered, and how it will be funded. Policy #6
doesnt attempt to answer those key questions, because it is
framed as a genuine policy. As with most of the other
policies, the details on how to do it will be part of
the implementation program called for in recommendation #8.
key thing, here, is for the FORA Board to give policy
level direction on what it wants done, and then to direct its staff
to recommend implementation actions that will achieve the policy
We cant go directly from discussion about what we want to
do to an effective implementation program. We need to make the policy
decisions first. This set of recommendations (including the recommendation
that we implement a housing trust fund) is intended to establish
a policy for staff for staff to implement, with the implementation
program to be provided to the Board within the next couple of months.
Affordable Housing Administrative Oversight
is the policy of the Fort Ord Reuse Authority that a publicly
accountable administrative agency shall be designated or created
to supervise and oversee the equitable and efficient implementation
of the FORA Affordable Housing Policy, and all programs created
to implement the FORA Affordable Housing Policy.
in the case of Policy #6, this policy statement doesnt attempt
to outline exactly how to establish the necessary administrative
oversight. As with most of the other policies, the details on how
to do it will be part of the implementation program called
for in recommendation #8.
Board of Directors of the Fort Ord Reuse Authority hereby
directs the FORA staff to return to the FORA Board of Directors
on or before September 15, 2003 with any and all actions necessary
to implement and carry out the policies established in recommendations
#1- #7. The future staffing, budgetary, and other actions
of the Fort Ord Reuse Authority shall be consistent with,
and shall implement, these policies.
#8 tells the staff to provide the FORA Board with an implementation
program to achieve the policy directions that the Board will give
by adopting recommendations #1 through #7. That means, specifically,
implementation actions that will:
place the policy statements into the governing documents that
guide FORAs official actions, to make sure that the policies
are effectively implemented over the long term.
the staff to recommend whatever budgetary changes may be necessary
(if any) to implement the Boards policy directions.
an administrative mechanism to implement the policy that local
workers and residents will get the first opportunity
to rent or purchase housing on the former Fort Ord.
an administrative mechanism to implement the permanent protection
policy, to ensure the long term availability of affordable and
workforce housing built on the former Fort Ord.
a mechanism to administer the Housing Trust Fund (which could
be a fund that is operated by FORA independently, or a joint fund,
in which all the local jurisdictions are involved).
one or more funding streams to fund the activities of the Housing
is clear, from the legal authorities cited below, that the recommended
policies can be implemented through an amendment to the FORA Plan.
There may be other ways to implement them, as well. When a Board
of Directors sets policies, it gives its staff direction
on what the Board of Directors wants to accomplish.
Recommendation #8 allows staff to provide the FORA Board with the
staffs recommendation on how best to carry out
the policy directives given by the Board. The basic idea is simple:
give staff clear policy direction on what the Board wants to do,
and then let the professional staff recommend how best to do it.
is worth noting, if an amendment to the FORA Plan is needed, that
this can probably be accomplished with a minimum of procedural difficulty.
In particular, since no change of land uses is called for, nor any
change in the number or location of houses to be constructed on
the former Fort Ord, a Negative Declaration, rather than a full
EIR, will probably be sufficient to comply with the California Environmental
is also worth noting that the policies I recommend are consistent
with the settlement in the Sierra Club lawsuit. Again, no new
amount of housing is called for, simply a commitment to ensure that
the housing specified in the Plan will have a significant share
of truly affordable housing.
is no question that FORA has the legal authority to adopt and implement
the recommended policies. The basic authority for all of FORAs
land use powers is Government Code Section 67675, which I have highlighted
and annotated below:
(a) The board shall prepare, adopt, review, revise from time
to time, and maintain a plan for the future use and development
of the territory occupied by Fort Ord as of January 1, 1993.
The adopted plan shall be the official local plan for the reuse
of the base for all public purposes, including all discussions
with the Army and other federal agencies, and for purposes of
planning, design, and funding by all state agencies.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, the board
may adopt the "Final Base Reuse Plan" prepared by the
Fort Ord Reuse Group as the Fort Ord Reuse Plan for purposes of
this title. The plan adopted pursuant to this subdivision may
serve as the Fort Ord Reuse Plan until July 1, 1996. The board
may prepare elements described in subdivision (c) that are generally
consistent with the adopted plan. After July 1, 1996, only a plan
containing the required elements and fully satisfying the requirements
of this title shall serve as the Fort Ord Reuse Plan.
The Fort Ord Reuse Plan shall include all of the following
A land use plan for the integrated arrangement and general
location and extent of, and the criteria and standards for,
the uses of land, water, air, space, and other natural resources
within the area of the base. The land use plan shall
designate areas of the base for residential, commercial, industrial,
and other uses, and may specify maximum development
intensities and other standards and criteria. The land use
plan shall provide for public safety.
A transportation plan for the integrated development of a system
of roadways, transit facilities, air transportation facilities,
and appurtenant terminals and other facilities for the movement
of people and goods to, from, and within the area of the base.
A conservation plan for the preservation, development, use,
and management of natural resources within the area of the base,
including, but not limited to, soils, shoreline, scenic corridors
along transportation routes, open spaces, wetlands, recreational
facilities, historical facilities, and habitat of, or for, exceptional
flora and fauna.
A recreation plan for the development, use, and management of
the recreational resources within the area of the base.
A five-year capital improvement program that complies with the
requirements of Section 65403. The program shall include an
allocation of the available water supply, sewage treatment capacity,
solid waste disposal capability, and other limited public service
capabilities among the potential developments within the area
of the base. The program shall also identify both of the following:
Base-wide facilities identified pursuant to Section 67679.
Local facilities that are in the county or a city with territory
occupied by Fort Ord and that primarily serve residents of
the county or that city.
In addition to the plan elements required pursuant to subdivision
(c), the plan may also include any element or subject specified
in Section 65302. [Section 65302 specifically references the
housing element of a local general plan, which can
specify housing affordability requirements.]
The Fort Ord Reuse Plan may provide for development to occur in
phases, with criteria concerning public facility development and
other factors that must be satisfied within each time phase.
In preparing, adopting, reviewing, and revising the reuse plan,
the board shall be consistent with approved coastal plans, air
quality plans, water quality plans, spheres of influence, and
other county-wide or regional plans required by federal or state
law, other than local general plans, including any amendments
subsequent to the enactment of this title, and shall consider
all of the following:
Monterey Bay regional plans.
County and city plans and proposed projects covering the territory
occupied by Fort Ord or otherwise likely to be affected by the
future uses of the base.
Other public and nongovernmental entity plans and proposed projects
affecting the planning and development of the territory occupied
by Fort Ord.
has a great opportunity to do something truly meaningful and significant
about the most important public policy problem confronting our local
way a business or governmental organization acts, to achieve any
specific objective, is by first establishing a set of policies
that state, clearly, what those objectives are. The Board
of Directors sets those policies. The next step is to direct
the staff of the organization to develop a set of recommended actions
to implement the policies adopted by the Board.
letter recommends both a set of policies on affordable and workforce
housing, and a direction to the FORA staff to bring back the implementation
program that will achieve them.
is the time for the FORA Board of Directors to set a policy direction
to ensure that the redevelopment and conversion of the lands
of the former Fort Ord shall be carried out so as to provide significant
and permanent affordable housing opportunities for those persons
who live and work in Monterey County.
public wants our local governments to do something, now, to make
a real difference for affordable and workforce housing, and FORA
has the ability to do that, if it chooses to do so. I believe, in
fact, that FORA must take these actions to be true to its mission
to help stimulate economic recovery and economic growth through
the redevelopment and reuse of the former Fort Ord.
economy cannot survive, in the long run, without an effective and
strengthened commitment to affordable and workforce housing.
hope members of the FORA Board of Directors will adopt the recommendations
presented in this memo, to respond to the need for affordable and
workforce housing in Monterey County.
to Fort Ord Issues and Actions]
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