The breeding grounds for Eureka’s excessively high rate

city of eureka

With the all news about the Budget Inn in the media, we’ve got to chime in. Why are slum lords and land lords given such a pass in Eureka? Most of the housing in Eureka is not owner occupied. Most are rentals and many are owned by people living outside of Eureka. In fact, many don’t even live in Humboldt County. Many owners rely on “property mangers”, who should more accurately be called “rental collection managers”.  We’re not saying there’s anything wrong with renting out a house to supplement your income. But let’s face it, it’s a money making business. This type of business should be held to some kind of standards beyond what is currently on the books, or even enforced by the City. We’ve pointed out this situation.  The unchecked/under-regulated housing situation is the breeding grounds for the excessively high crime rates experienced in Eureka.

Back to Budget Inn. We have to say as slum lords go this guy Mr. Ravindra “David” Kushwaha is one of the worst.  He is probably even a cut below Floyd Squires. Thanks to Mr Chiv’d for doing some investigative reporting (he seems to be the only one doing any these days) on this: http://johnchiv.blogspot.com/2016/09/looks-like-kushwaha-didnt-learn-his.html

We would have advocated that instead of kicking poor people out on the street the City or County take action by requiring repairs and upgrades. If the landlord refused, then the City could hire contractors to do the repairs and maintenance.  While the repairs were being done, tenants could be given vouchers to alternative housing and then return when the work was done.  The landlord would be required to pay for these repairs/rehousing.  If the landlord refused to pay, then the city could request that a lien is placed against the property.  If there are liens amounting to more than 50% of the assessed value then the city could seize the property and sell it at auction for the money.

Of course, those suggestions would be forward thinking and actually solve a problem.  The ideas wouldn’t help a well-connected plagiarizing  local developer swoop in, get bottom dollar prices on a dilapidated property facing fines, and then make huge profits building a shopping center or some other such wasteful project that does nothing to help with affordable housing.   However, solving problems in Eureka with regards to housing for lower income residents doesn’t seem to be real priority for the City, just another talking point they have to turn to when the obvious problem of houselessness rears its ugly head.

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10 thoughts on “The breeding grounds for Eureka’s excessively high rate

  1. Interesting that you link to Chiv (Shiv?), who adds nothing to the conversation except a totally gratuitous stab at one of the few local attorneys who has actually tried to do something for those most impacted by Humboldt’s failure to address its housing crisis. If you’re looking for a lawyer you are well advised to visit Chiv’s blog and eliminate those who support that fool.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually he went back and found a story about this slum lord. Ryan or Thad didn’t. Our criticisms of Mr chiv are there for all to read.
      Peter Martin is above reproach.

      Liked by 2 people

      • TE, we agree on slumlords. We disagree on Peter Martin.

        Thanks for highlighting the plight of low income families and rent gouging.

        Measure V needs to pass.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Roy, for all we know you could be Peter Martin’s “staff” or one of his sue happy puppets.

      Peter Martin is even derided by Lost Coast Outpost commenters who don’t often agree with me.

      I pointed out where your champion Peter was, while you are busy keyboarding here, people who wanted to help were on thecscene.

      In this case Kushwaha is the only one to blame. TE and I agree on some issues like slumlords. Most of these people cannot afford to live with the rents in Humboldt which are outrageous. They deserve a decent place to live. So either you or Peter Martin can donate to someone getting off the streets, otherwise keep hatin. You, Roy are a part of the greed in Eureka, both on the left and the right that is the problem.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well, let’s see… I think we are all actually in agreement here… except you mistake Peter Martin. I am an associate of Peter Martin, and I am associated with other NP’s an efforts to collectively solve this homeless problem. I have been working on it almost exclusively since about 1991. I spent 6 year as Sr. construction manager, Mayor’s Office of Housing City and County of SF. I am told we (10 NP Housing Development Corporations and the city and county in partnership, coordinated through the NP community) developed 9,000 units of affordable housing then, several shelters, about 12 multi housing projects with supportive services, Senior housing, Vet housing, all affordable… a dozen SRO’s up and down Eddy Street. Latert I consulted in projects all across US.

        I retired to HC and volunteered in government here, including a year on the Grand Jury. Of all the areas I have worked in, including SF, (which still cannot keep ahead of the demand), I have never seen a jurisdiction that would not apply for available (shrinking) funds, support a NP CHDO (Community Housing Development Organization) or create any affordable housing at all… The insignificant projects that were developed, are incredibly inflated… anyone can request the records, all public docs.. I reviewed them… had to get Peter Martin to help… CPRA needed to be enacted, always….Despite transparency, all is a secret here HUMPRC also had to sue, we all have to sue to get access to the PUBLIC record So applaud Peter Martin and others.

        This is a community with the highest homeless population on record, although under counted. This is a community with really about 4-6% “homeless” and under housed, children, women, men, mentally ill, seniors, disabled…vets…(34%) and about 50% were born and raised in Eureka. Some folk spent 20 years living in the PALCO Marsh. It’s mind boggling that the local governments don’t get it together and create all the housing they possibly can, because it’s a crisis here, statewide, and nationally. If local communities don’t solve this problem, no one will. Mainly the local officials get to decide to do that, or not do that. Here they choose not to solve the problem smartly. Shoveling citizens around using the police is the least smart idea The police hate ite, the citizens hate it and it does nothing to solve the problem.

        There is something the elected officials and the community may not understand…The odd thing about, low-income and affordable housing programs, CA State, and Federal Funded is that they are set up to mostly benefit the developers and suppliers of construction…. All of those dollars for capital improvement, and 25- 75% of all services money goes to the employed community… Ronald Reagan instituted these programs. Look at any project done with Redevelopment, HUD, HCD, CDBG, USDA -RD or even private foundation money. The overwhelming majority of the money goes not to the under housed, but to the hosed, employed, workers of this community. What percent of this community works for the government… 15% would be low, 50% would be high.

        Right now Eureka, and about every city in HC is doing it’s best to ensure not another penny get’s devoted to capital improvement projects… all eligible for state, and federal funds. It’s either stupidity, or ignorance or both. Our elected officials are passing up Tax Credit Fund.. entitlements…, and Cof C money…. by the bucket. They are also keeping citizens in the cold and rain to die.

        Rather than develop SRO’s through the NP community, and build capacity of these organizations, and provide supportive housing, senior housing, affordable housing, special needs housing, they are funding the law enforcement agencies, with additional funds through measure Z et al to manage the homeless!!!!
        Exactly what the paid consultants said don’t do, (I would have advised to not hire them to tell us the obvious), the county pays now to deliver services to scattered homeless. If 25% of the constituents were homeless, would this community change attitude and demand that there be housing as a right? Because it could come to that.

        Instead, in the midst of a housing crisis, Eureka, on short order closes down another of the only places serving homeless, and under housed folk.
        Since the PALCO Marsh debacle, my community has enjoyed, migrants wandering about, break-ins, people sleeping in fields and we have the good part of this. There are citizens, be they homeless or not, long time residents of Eureka, sleeping on couches, sharing housing, sleeping in cars, sleeping in city designate revolving locations, none of this is sustainable and all of it is managed by the most incompetent , most expensive, least interested in the job social workers possible, on overtime…. the police. The fact that every single person with any knowledge or involvement has begged the power that be to do much better, this community continues downhill… “Hell in and hand basket” is the correct phrase.

        The Budget, the Pine, and any other now closed residential facility should be propped up and opened tomorrow. All of the sites proposed for extended stay encampments (no, its not camping when you don’t have a choice, and there are no marshmallows) proposed should be approved, Marina, T street, Airport, Wash/Koster and a few more. Because all of them are needed. Betty Chinn cannot house 3% of Eureka’s population, we all have to… and that means that the other cities in HC have to also develop parallel facilities, or there will be the perception of all costs on Eureka. All or HC communities were to establish zones for emergency shelter use. That was a state mandate, but an obvious need for all communities.

        Tomorrow, the city of Eureka will hear about extending and funding the shelter crisis. IF a permanent camp can be established it can then be orderly, clean, sanitary, humane, dry, warm, safe. Community members and paid safe can find the people to deliver services to, churches and individuals can help. An if the county and cities start funding Betty Chinn and all other organizations there will be a decrease in the need for emergency services and the police to manage the homeless, petty crime will go down, health will improve, the community and county as a whole will be more efficiently dealing with the never ending condition of homeless individuals.

        I don’t think this county can do it, I don’t think the community has asked for a humane and compassionate solution, even when it is far less expensive and far more beneficial to the development and service delivery businesses locally.

        Motivating government action through litigation is the very last step. We are well past the very last step. If HC housed think that the unhoused will evaporate, they are wrong. If the HC citizens, housed and unhoused don’t demand local elected officials to aggressively go after every dollar the state or feds offer, to take care of the impacts of the national housing crisis locally, then there will be greater costs, and greater losses, and greater problems.

        That’s for certain. Why could the Budget not be rehabed room by room? No reason, that’s what a responsible government would have done during a shelter crisis.

        People should turnup at the next Eureka CC meeting and tell the CC to house everyone.

        Like

  2. It seems this topic comes up way too often. The city and the county are really the only ones who can enforce the regs currently on the books. I know of a couple of restaurants that were forced to clean up their food prep or be closed down by the health department, why don’t they enforce the neglect in public housing. It’s time to put the pressure on them to do their job. Eureka has a nuisance abatement ordinance that is seldom used. An action can be started by residents in the city, using this ordinance. It does have teeth and I have seen it work. Look into it.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. hummm, found this….: load um up run em out
    Load ’em up, run ’em out!

    http://www.northcoastjournal.com/022703/cover0227.html

    Eureka has a atrocious and very shameful history of dealing with unwanted members of the community, are we witnessing history repeating itself?

    Well the holiday season is over and time for all of the so called good Christians in Eureka to join with Rob Arkley and his ilk, in hatin’ on the homeless again.

    Police Chief Mills and City manager Greg Sparks holy war on the homeless is ramping back up again. The staff’s report has come out against declaring a “very” justified “shelter emergency”. No doubt at the insistence of their boss Greg Sparks.

    According to the City report: “The plain reading of the (Shelter emergency) statute is that a governing body, such as the City, may declare a shelter emergency when there is a significant number of person’s within the city who cannot obtain shelter.” So far so good, but then the city follows up with this outright lie, “This means that there are no available beds at the shelters within the city”. That isn’t what the statute reads, that there are “no available beds”. It reads that an emergency can be declared if there are a significant number of people who can’t obtain shelter.

    The report goes even further into unreality when the City makes the claim that there are enough shelters and housing opportunities in Eureka to house all of the homeless. This assertion is based off of………take a deep breath……statistics provided by EPD. You know, the same statistics that show violent crime is down and that driving in Eureka has never been safer. What a bunch of BS! The report provides a list of these housing options, but you need to read the fine print to see why the options aren’t workable for a large percent of the houseless. For instance, the report reads that the following locations accept homeless; Broadway Motel, Chins Motel, Christie’s Motel, and the list of flea bag motels goes on. What’s the catch? You need to have funds for a month’s rent and a deposit! That deposit should be easily achieved by the houseless just pulling up their bootstraps. Also available for families is a months worth of free rent provided by Betty Chin. After that month’s over….you better have found a job and money for next month’s rent, or you’re out on the street.

    Now, just to be clear, we are glad that there are a few, and we mean a very few, options currently provided to get houseless people into housing. However, is it fair or even realistic to expect a person who has lived on the streets, sometimes for years, to be able to get enough money together in a short period of time to pay for a month’s rent? Ridiculous!

    Let’s be real fellow Eurekans; the unfortunate homeless are just an easy target and a diversion from talking about the serious “hellhole” that is our little hometown Eureka has become.

    How on earth did it get so bad here? We think you just need to look back to the election of Marian Brady, the firing in 2011 of Garr Nielsen and subsequent purge at the Eureka Police Department. Previous to that some real progress was being made in addressing the core dysfunction in our little town. The POP team was seriously going after the drug houses and gang bangers (there were biweekly reports to the City Council), the City Attorney was aggressive prosecuting slum lords for inhumane living conditions. There was a real attempt to find legal campsites for the houseless.

    Fast forward to 2016 you have a covert and continuing crime wave. We say covert because the Police Chief has directed his officers to avoid taking reports, reduced patrols, and reclassified crimes; basically cooking the books.

    The City Attorney is incompetent and has moved the City backwards.

    The City Council has a supposed progressive majority but has proven to be timid and unresponsive to a host of important issues.

    At this point it is clear that the City has been taking steps backward for many years. Now is the time to look forward and do something positive. The council can’t be so incompetent as to actually believe the staff report claiming there are enough beds in Eureka to house ALL of the houseless in Eureka. If they do believe that obvious lie, and fail to recognize that there is in fact a “shelter emergency”, then the City’s least fortunate will continue to be Eureka’s “Public Enemy Number 1” and will be subject to even further harassment and abuse.

    Unfortunately, we won’t be surprised if the City Council fails again to protect and help the houseless of Eureka. This city has a long history of abusing, deporting and murdering “outsiders” who weren’t white, Christian, and well heeled. Now, instead of using race the City seems to have declared war on a group of our neighbors who are at the lowest rung of the local socioeconomic ladder. Developments over the last few years have been heartbreaking, but alas, not surprising in the least.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thanks for all the info Marc.

    Yes, a large part of the housing crisis is obviously political, witness all our elected and appointed officials and “professional staff” that understand many of the problems and potential solutions but keep their traps shut.

    Like most bureaucracies, fear and favor still controls county government and it’s the development industry that’s been expanding their control, shared with Big Timber, the other largest private landholder.

    Local “do-gooders” are already loathed, and need to start learning from their opponents by also generating fear if they want officials to actually do something for the common good.

    Catalysts for a movement grow by the day in the U.S. Just look how Sanders immediately filled stadiums with 20,000. But, until a movement is ready to occupy the inside of the courthouse, tenuous reforms from lawsuits, ballot measures, and an occasional progressive representative are all we have.

    Eureka’s Measure “P” has the right-wing’s shorts in a knot and they will spend thousands saturating media in the weeks before the election to defeat it. There was a time in Eureka that the right-wing could preempt anything remotely progressive from happening. Their ranks are aging and their spawn have mostly left.

    However, it will take many successive non-right wing board of supervisors and Eureka city council majorities fearing and loathing the effective movement that elected them before we see progressive changes to policies.

    John Chiv provided the best idea:

    A rent control initiative for Eureka in 2018 will retain Eureka’s non-right wing majority, just like Measure “R” did in 2014 and Measure “P” will do this November.

    Thank you John!!

    Pray they spend a lot to defeat “P” and “V”.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. After the election the progressives need to get some big hitters to come and influence local thinking, i.e. a Sanders, or Biden, or someone like them with draw power. The equation can be changed. Think big!

    Like

    • It doesn’t have to be a celebrity as we saw in the successful Larry Glass campaign. All it took was a keynote presentation by a lettered, professional planner from Oregon State University to fill the Warfinger in Eureka…(We ain’t gots many of thems here).

      A video documenting the event called, “Imagine the Possibilities” aired several times on KEET public TV before the election.

      Not sure how they swung that.

      Like

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