(21) comments Back to story

Dennis Byrd

William Schuster is the right candidate for District 2. BOI. Lifelong resident of District 2. School teacher giving back to the Community that has given him so much. Schu for 2!

Emilio Nicolas

It's great to see this newspaper covering a little of Galveston's election. Wish they had done much more during the general election, we might not be in several runoffs. Perhaps, some day, this will be a real newspaper!

Ron Shelby

“They’ll just have to live off the island,” Bass said. “It’s just the way it is." Now that's cold. Bass is the wrong candidate. Obviously wouldn't be the one to listen to residents, what they need and what they want.

David Schuler

Affordable Housing is a a fine catch phrase but is mostly a euphemism for federally subsidized housing. Open market housing prices reflect the FACT that Galveston is a desirable community with limited available land and the ONLY way to really reduce housing costs is to have some entity - the landlord or the Federal Government - make up the difference. I don't live in District 2 and don't know either candidate, but believe that Pam Bass is speaking the honest truth in this case.

Don Schlessinger

Well said!

Charlotte O'rourke

“Bass, on the other hand, doesn’t think the city should be working on issues of affordable housing.

Vacation rentals have taken up all the housing that could have been affordable housing, but Galveston is a tourist town, she said. People who can’t afford the island or don’t want to live in an apartment may not be able to buy on the island, she said.”

Bass is operating tourist businesses that takes family housing off the market and increases housing prices, so why would she want affordable housing for residents?

Sounds like self gain, self promotion instead of creating family communities that live and work here.

I live in District 3 and can’t vote .... but I’m with Dennis - Schu for 2!

Carol Langston

Because educators like me just love spending half their take-home pay on rent and utilities because there is no affordable housing on the island. As it is, I am supplementing my income with $1,500 from my savings every month to enjoy the island lifestyle. Vote with your Schus, Galveston!

Raymond Lewis

The statement on affordable housing (and those that need it) by Ms. Bass is mostly uninformed, short sighted and pretty disheartening. Short term rentals and affordable housing can co-exist. Happens all the time. Cheers to GCDN for covering this.

Raymond Lewis

I don't vote in that district by the way.

David Schuler

Please share specific examples that don't involve rent control or federal subsidies.

Dan Freeman

Oil wealthy states like Alaska and Wyoming have set up housing trust funds. Norway, one fifth the size of Texas, has set aside money for housing. It can be done, if the voters want it.

David Schuler

Housing trust fund = government subsidy. There is no way - except rent controls or subsidies - for providing housing at lower than market rates. The fact that people like to hide behind flowery descriptions or 'good intentions' doesn't ever change that.

Debra Criss

I live in D3, but support Schuster for D2. Ms. O’Rourke is correct.

Christy Callahan

Another self-interest seeking candidate who cares only about enriching their bank account from city coffers, also bad-mouthing the very competent current city management. It’s almost like there’s a common playbook!

Jarvis Buckley

Looks like Shu for 2 it will be .

Charlotte O'rourke

David, I would like city council to continue to explore land banking/ acquisition and repurposing, lower building costs through abatement of some fees, first time home ownership loans and grants, low to middle income housing grants, quick processing in planning to minimize delay costs, tax abatement for historical home renovation, CDBG grants, and continuing to lobby for lower costs of insurance.

The goal should be to build safe neighborhoods that families want to live in and can afford. Investment in the community sounds a better path than continuing to lose our middle class due to unaffordable housing.

David Schuler

Great ideas, but who makes up the difference in lower fees (assuming the original fees are set to cover the costs)? Tax-paying market rate residents. Where do the grants and loans come from? The government. Speeding up permits and licensing helps everyone, but will require more employees, so that's more governmental money. This is not rocket science. The open market sets the prices, and if they are not 'affordable' for lower income families, that is a problem, but wishing it away with ever-increasing local, state or federal funds and subsidies is a never-ending black hole that gets larger and larger and deeper and deeper every single day.

Don Schlessinger

[thumbup][thumbup]

Charlotte O'rourke

I agree with most of what you stated .... Tax payers really pay for everything whether it is the federal tax deduction for interest on home ownership or a city paying for curbs and gutters that Pam Bass wants.

Government money is our taxpayer money, and a community must come to a consensus of what it wants to achieve. Affordable housing for middle income families (police, fire, teachers, nurses and health care workers) keeps the money circulating in our community versus going up the road to the mainland to be spent elsewhere.

Today with covid more people need a helping hand with basic food requirements, but affordable home ownership through low interest loans and grants is something the community should investigate and seriously consider.

I disagree that streamlining planning and permitting would take more employees .... it should take less because the procedure is simplified.

David Schuler

Hi Charlotte, I agree that a community should look out for the less fortunate. But consider who you listed- fire, police, teachers, nurses - as deserving of assistance. What if others have a different priority list? It's their tax money, too. Providing any kind of assistance requires that there be winners and losers. My primary issue with this whole topic is not that people need help - that's a fact - but rather the circular arguments and flowery words and descriptive phrases (to wit, "Affordable Housing") that suggests that if supporters just hide it under a thick layer of BS no one will notice. Every house, condo, apartment or townhome on this island is affordable by someone.

Charlotte O'rourke

David, I agree that the terminology of “affordable housing” is confusing, and everyone frequently uses the terms in an interchangeable way. I was listing middle income workers hopefully with families that need the availability of affordable middle income housing. I was not meaning more federally assisted section 8 housing.

Many of these middle income groups used to live here , but can no longer afford to live here. These individuals work here but drive back to the mainland because housing is cheaper and more readily available.

I believe the city should explore ways to help reverse that trend, and actively court middle income families by increasing the availability of middle income housing stock in our older neighborhoods and new housing through land banking and repurposing,

Long term this would increase the tax base.

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