Readers’ comments: January 13, 2023
City’s ADU allocation a good start, but more is needed
At last night’s city council meeting, our city council members voted unanimously to approve a grant program to allocate $20,000 to build 10 ADUs in Claremont. This is a good start, but with rising costs of construction, it costs between $100,000 to $300,000 to build an ADU. Another serious concern is that the average rental rate in Claremont has risen by 66% since 2020; a one-bedroom ADU that used to rent for around $1,400 a month is renting today for $2,125.
Council member Stark spoke passionately about using funds to bring unpermitted ADUs up to code, as well as ensuring that the distribution of funds was equitable. Meaning that instead of distributing funds using a first-come, first-served structure, we distribute funds to those who otherwise would not have the funds and/or ability to secure funding needed to build an ADU.
Council members Leano and Calaycay spoke of using the funds to provide rent subsidies to ameliorate the rising cost of rental rates.
The overall goal of this grant program is to increase housing units in Claremont. Is $20,000 enough capital to incentivize homeowners to complete their ADU, as only half of the ADU projects approved in 2021 were completed? Why were only half of the approved ADUs completed in 2021? Answers to these questions will help us find a way forward.
Other cities have provided over $80,000 and discounted ADU building plans to their homeowners to help them. There is so much more we can do to help increase housing units in Claremont. This is a good start but we need to do more and do it quickly, as these funds will expire in 2026.
This is just a start as we work to mitigate out of control housing costs in 2023.
Monique H. Ott-Beacham
MAGA House majority a threat to democracy
The new Republican House majority is a collection of election deniers, QAnon conspiracists, and political arsonists hellbent on gaining power at the expense of our democracy. They’ll be in control of the House of Representatives for the next two years and have already shown an inability to govern. They couldn’t even elect House Speaker Kevin McCarthy without historic chaos.
We should all be concerned about their far-right extremist agenda. Already on the chopping block? Our freedom to vote and our right to an abortion.
Rather than focusing on kitchen table issues, these MAGA extremists are pledging to focus on punishing anyone who tried to hold them accountable for their attacks on our democracy, including members and staff of the January 6th Select Committee.
It’s up to us to resist this MAGA House majority to protect our democracy and our freedoms. We must call out their lies and combat their far-right agenda starting now.