The Coast News Group
Community Commentary

What price Paradise?

Granted, housing costs and rents have gone up since I last wrote on this subject, but after doing a quick survey along the coast of North County San Diego, two people can rent a nice one bedroom apartment along the coast for about $1,500 to $1,800/month.  Surprisingly, the law allows three occupants per that one bedroom unit! Children or adults, related or not.

Five people can legally occupy a two bedroom at about $2,300/month.  Should life in paradise be cheaper than that?

If I can’t afford to live in Encinitas, what are my options?

What’s wrong with San Marcos, Escondido, Oceanside, and Carlsbad?  Are you aware that plenty of subsidized units already exist here?  Yes, they do.  Depending on income qualification, discounts of 50 percent apply.

How much development and shopping do we need? I’m talking about common sense and quality of life—a commodity in short supply and a phrase we often hear from our elected officials.

Have you driven lately on the parking lot called I-5?!  Is there any hope of mass transit in our future?  Consider the growing controversy over the Carlsbad Strawberry Fields.

Since incorporation in 1987, Encinitas has been accused of being out of compliance with the affordable housing mandate issued by Sacra-Demento.

Have you any idea how many legal accessory units exist here?  Plenty.  How about private homes occupied by two or three families?  Many!  Not to mention short term units and other shared housing.  This is all legal affordable housing.

But the BIA and liberal legislators pushing to pave the planet don’t seem to care. According to Bruce Reznik (June 1, 2015), the homeless and Lady Gaga’s “Little Monsters” are entitled to housing by the beach and the library so they can be comfortable while unemployed or promoting their various schemes and scams.

How about including all the sex offenders, ex-cons, illegal immigrants, and jihadis?

We voted for Prop. 187, but a few activist judges didn’t agree.  Like another famous Sanctuary City, y’all come!

What about the dreaded drought? As California burns and slowly goes dry, the water board officials are enforcing draconian measures raising our rates thus creating less water usage, and the BIA lobbies for building more housing.  Water conservation is a good thing, but are these guys in cahoots?

Who pays for subsidized housing?  We, the tax payers do.

Living on the coast is not a right; it is a privilege that people work hard to earn and it doesn’t happen overnight.

Not everyone can afford to live in beautiful Encinitas and that is as it should be.

Here’s some great news:  There’s a model of assistance for low income and homeless folks found in nearby Vista — a plan of fiscal common sense, efficiency, and principled philanthropy currently succeeding brilliantly in North County.

It’s called Solutions for Change.  If I am ever homeless, this is where I’m going to get my act together, rather than bouncing around from couch to curb, sleeping in a ditch, stuck in addiction, leaning on the government for welfare and food stamps, in and out of rehab, or worse.

The founder knows that these people cannot afford to live on the coast where the jobs available to them will not likely cover the rent or even allow them to apply.

He has a proven method where these folks learn how to overcome their plight long term by working on the campus, learning life skills, and applying smart choices and accountability to their lives.  No more excuses.

This is a compassionate and enlightened enterprise including a two-acre aquaponic (fish) farm that provides fresh organic produce to local schools and farmer’s markets, plus a university of life skills and counseling that fosters good habits and responsibility, not “poor me” enabling psycho-babble and wasteful spending of tax dollars — a model like few others in existence.  And the farm uses less water than I do!

I have a master’s degree in counseling and management experience with local short term homeless shelters that have their place at times, but Solutions for Change has a well-tested track record since the ‘90s with very little government funding.  That’s a very good model. Some subsidies make sense and others don’t.

Celia Kiewit is an Encinitas resident.