Public Comment

Ending Redevelopment Hits Not-for-Profit Housing Developers

By Lynda Carson
Sunday January 01, 2012 - 09:44:00 AM

In a significant win for students and schools throughout California, a court ruling in the last week of 2011 gives support to the state's ability to grab funds from local redevelopment agencies to fund the current state budget, with a billion dollars of that funding going towards schools and public safety, according to Governor Jerry Brown.

The unanimous December 29, 2011, California Supreme Court ruling in support of a state law passed last summer to abolish redevelopment agencies throughout California has so-called nonprofit housing developers shedding tears, as more than 400 redevelopment agencies will close their doors after February 1, 2012, as a result of the court ruling.

Wealthy so-called nonprofit affordable housing developers in California promote their projects as being beneficial to the poor while seeking subsidies from redevelopment agencies for their projects. In reality, their projects discriminate against the poor with minimum income requirements. The 501c3 charity nonprofit housers have become very wealthy from their so-called affordable housing schemes, that have exploited the poor.

The demise of California's redevelopment agencies mean that future neighborhood gentrification and urban renewal projects involving nonprofit housing developers in Oakland that would have displaced the poor, may now be placed on hold as a result. Additionally, Oakland's Victory Court plan for an Oakland A's Stadium is no longer a viable option since it also depended on the Oakland Redevelopment Agency for funding, and the threat of displacing many low-income people and small businesses, has been diminished.

As public housing projects for the poor continue to be underfunded resulting in blighted conditions and over 120,000 demolished public housing units in recent years, the so-called affordable housing industry thrives and has developed hundreds of so-called affordable housing projects throughout California that discriminate against the poor with their minimum income requirements, and are funded by local redevelopment agencies (RDAs).

In yesterdays latest headline release to be found on the Affordable Housing Finance website, the affordable housing industry is astounded and shocked that the state Supreme Court ruled that the state can abolish more than 400 RDAs, in a move that could thwart affordable housing development across California. Shamus Roller, executive director of Housing California said, "Today was a huge blow for anyone in California that struggles to pay rent or lives in unsafe conditions."

Shamus Roller failed to mention that many so-called affordable housing projects have been displacing the poor from their housing in California, or that so-called affordable housing developments discriminate against the poor with their minimum income requirements.

For instance, in Oakland several 501c3 charity nonprofit housing developers including Bridge Housing and the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) have already been involved in gentrification projects in Oakland that have displaced hundreds of poor low-income families from their longtime public housing. Future so-called affordable housing gentrification projects that may displace the poor from their public housing, may not be as easy to finance without the assistance of redevelopment agency funding in Oakland, and elsewhere.

Currently in Berkeley, families in 75 public housing town-homes face displacement from their housing in a so-called affordable housing scheme involving some out of state billionaires, that want to buy and privatize Berkeley's public housing.

As another example, in recent years over $60 million in affordable housing funds originally meant to assist the poor, was instead diverted to fund Oakland's Uptown Project as a subsidy to build 2,000 luxury housing units for Forest City Enterprises and it's billionaire owners, including 900 condominiums, and 1,200 luxury apartments as envisioned in the original $500 million development plan.

Forest City Enterprises stands to make a fortune from the wealthy people that are interested in moving to downtown Oakland, as part of Jerry Brown's (old) 10 K Plan that was designed to displace the poor from downtown Oakland, in an effort to replace them with wealthy shoppers living in luxury housing.

The Oakland city deal to subsidize the luxury condo's for Forest City Enterprises with the $60 million in affordable housing funds had the full blessing of the local nonprofit housing developers that belonged to the East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO). Many poor people and local businesses in the area were displaced by the Uptown Project, as a direct result of the nonprofit housing developers that supported the Uptown Project.

Affordable Housing Projects Discriminate Against The Poor

So-called affordable housing projects being run and operated by 501c3 charity nonprofit housing developers have minimum income requirements that discriminate against the poor, unless the poor have a Section 8 voucher or the equivalent kind of subsidy from some other housing program.

When comparing so-called affordable housing with public housing, people with no income at all are allowed to reside in public housing including the elderly and disabled, and most public housing projects do not have minimum income requirements for the poor to reside there.

As the local public housing projects are facing more budget cuts from the federal government and are shutting down, or are being sold off to billionaires and wealthy 501c3 charity nonprofit housing developers, the public housing projects are rapidly being converted into privatized so-called affordable housing projects. Affordable housing projects that discriminate against the poor.

The wealthy 501c3 charity nonprofit housing developers are trying to promote their so-called affordable housing projects as something that is good, and have done a good job at hoodwinking society into believing that affordable housing is good for the poor.

Minimum Income Requirements For The Poor

At Los Medanos Village in Pittsburg, Resources for Community Development (RCD), a local Berkeley 501c3 charity nonprofit housing developer discriminates against the poor at this affordable housing project and others it has developed, but advertises that there are no "minimum income requirements" for the poor people that have Section 8 vouchers.

As another example on how the poor are discriminated against in so-called affordable housing projects, local Oakland 501c3 charity nonprofit housing developer EBALDC demands that poor people on a fixed income such as social security or a pension, must earn at least 1.6 times the amount of monthly rent being charged in their so-called affordable housing projects. Those with other income must earn 2 times the monthly rent, and there is no minimum income requirement for those with Section 8 vouchers or similiar subsidies.

Another 501c3 charity nonprofit housing developer called "EAH" in Marin County, demands that a single person that wants to move into it's so-called affordable housing development called Farley Place, must earn a minimum of $31,000, but advertises that there is no minimum income requirement for poor people with Section 8 vouchers.

Bridge Housing Corporation, is one of California's largest so-called nonprofit housing developers. During 2010, at their housing development project called Ironhorse Central Station, Bridge Housing demanded that a single tenant must have a minimum income stretching between $15,326 - $18,750 annually, and in another instance in Tier 5 of the same project, Bridge Housing was demanding that an individual must have a minimum income of $26,091 - $31,250.

During 2008, the John Stewart Company was involved in a major lawsuit filed by the residents of the California Hotel in Oakland, after the John Stewart Company and Oakland Community Housing, Inc. (OCHI), threatened to unlawfully cut off their water and utilities in an attempt to unlawfully evict the poor from the historic hotel, and force them from their housing.

A judge had to grant a restraining order to stop these two so-called 501c3 charity nonprofit housing organizations from unlawfully dumping the poor onto the cold streets of Oakland. At the time, OCHI wanted to dump the poor from their housing in the California Hotel, so that OCHI could replace them with higher income tenants that would be subsidized by the City of Oakland, and some homeless programs.

As the wealthy so-called 501c3 charity nonprofit housing developers are shedding crocodile tears at the loss of local redevelopment funding to finance their so-called affordable housing schemes, the executives in the nonprofit housing industry continue to grab excessive salaries and wage compensation for themselves. They are living in luxury, despite all the major budget cuts occurring in the federal housing programs during recent years, including the latest loss of funding for their projects from local redevelopment agencies.

The Poverty Industry In The East Bay...A few 501c3 Charity, Nonprofit Developers' Salaries & Compensation

As the federal and state budget cuts devastate programs that are meant to assist the poor, it should be noted that as the income for the poor, elderly, and disabled drastically decreases due to budget cuts, at the same time the salaries and wage compensation for the executives in the so-called 501c3 Charity nonprofit housing sector, have skyrocketed to obscene levels.

The more that the housing programs being operated by the nonprofit housing sector are being shredded by federal and state budget cuts, the more in salaries and wage compensation that the executives have been grabbing for themselves, and the higher the rents are becoming for the low-income renters.

It is an obscene situation, and the executives in the so-called 501c3 charity nonprofit housing industry should all roll back their salaries and wage compensation to levels below $80,000 a year, as a way to compensate for all the budget cuts taking place in the housing programs, in an effort to lower the rents being charged to the poor.

Salaries & Wage Compensation

In Oakland, 990 tax filings reveal that the salaries and compensation have been steadily rising at a rapid pace for the non profit affordable housing sector, including key staff employees working for the Oakland based non profit housing organization, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC).

EBALDC claims that it's mission is to develop affordable housing and community facilities, including integrated services focused on tenants and neighborhood residents, with an emphasis on Asian and Pacific Islander communities and the diverse low income populations of the East Bay.

Records show that in 2009, Executive Director of EBALDC, Lynette Jung Lee, earned as much $140,536 that year, including an additional $5,942 in other compensation from EBALDC.

In contrast, records also reveal that during FY 2007 - 2008, EBALDC only paid Lynette Jung Lee $87,265 plus other compensation of $3,055, meaning that in 2009 Lynette Jung Lee's compensation from EBALDC skyrocketed by more than $50,000 in a single year. Since then, Lynette Jung Lee has retired and been replaced by Jeremy Liu, as the Executive Director of EBALDC.

To have increased the salary of Lynette Jung Lee by $50,000 or more in a single year during FY 2009, that means that at least 1,000 poor low-income households in the EBALDC Empire may have had to contribute a minimum of $50 out of their rent payments, just to cover the cost of a $50,000 salary increase.

During 2009, La Netha Oliver, Director of Human Resources for EBALDC earned $80,221, plus an additional $8,184 in other compensation, but in FY 2007 - 2008 she only earned $68,547 plus $1,227 in other compensation, meaning that her compensation increased by around $18,000 in a year.

The records also reveal that in 2009, Carlos Castellanos, Director of Real Estate Development for EBALDC, had earned $91,280, plus $11,228 in other compensation, but in FY 2007-2008 Castellanos only earned $71,865 plus $2,415 in other compensation, meaning that his wages jumped by around $28,000 in around a year.

Additionally, in 2009, Don Piyathaisere, EBALDC's Chief Financial Officer earned $98,265, plus an additional $8,472 in other compensation. However, records show that in FY 2007 -2008, Piyathaisere earned $91,138 annually plus an additional $2,236 in other compensation, meaning that in one year his compensation leaped more than $12,000. Since then, Piyathaisere has been replaced by Peter Sopka as the Chief Financial Officer for EBALDC.

Records also reveal that Mary Hennessy, Chief Operations Officer for EBALDC is raking in $129,220 annually, plus $8,134 in other compensation, and that the wages of Charise Fong, Director of Economic Development for EBALDC, have risen in 2009 to $81,828, plus $308 in other compensation, from $69,751 annually plus $2,099 in other compensation, during FY 2007 - 2008, meaning her compensation jumped to around an extra $10,000 in a year.

In total contrast to the huge leaps in salaries and compensation for the top staff at EBALDC, records reveal that during FY 2006 - 2007, Lynette Jung Lee was the top wage earner at EBALDC, pulling in a mere $87,156 annually, with no extra compensation.

The Poverty Industry & Some More Local & So-Called East Bay Affordable Housing Developers

Eden Housing, Inc.: Salaries & Compensation

From 7/1/2008 through 6/30/2009, Linda Mandolini, Executive Director, was paid $162,393 plus $14,368 in other compensation and works only around 28 hours per week. Jan E. Peters, Chief Operating Officer, was paid $136,500 plus $13,177 in other compensation. Terese Mcnamee, CFO, was paid $133,743 plus $6,167 in other compensation. Andrea Papanastassiou, Director of Development, was paid $131,455 plus $6,618 in other compensation.

Satellite Housing

From 10/1/2008 through 9/30/2009, Ryan Chao, Executive Director, was paid $163,893 plus $6,377 in other compensation. During 10/1/2007 through 9/30/2008, Arion Chao, Executive Director, was paid $167,000, and Joyce Boyd, Director of Finance, was paid $81,760, and Miriam Benavides, was paid $85,000, and Analisa Anthony, Director of Property Management, was paid $87,550, and Dori Kojima, Director of Housing Development, was paid $92,000, and Patricia Osage, Dir. Res. SVCS, was paid $80,000.

Resources for Community Development (RCD)

From 7/1/2008 through 6/30/2009, Dan Sawsilak - Executive Director, was paid $112,900 plus $9,814 in other compensation, and Peter Poon, Finance Director, was paid $69,505 plus $1,362 in other compensation. From 7/1/2007 through 6/30/2008, Deni Adaniya, Senior Project Manager was paid $90,000, and Eric Knect, Asset Manager was paid $73,438, and Kate Mckean, Controller, was paid $70,825, and Elizabeth Eckstein, Director of Fund Development was paid $68,542, and Peter Poon, Finance Director, was paid $65,840.

Affordable Housing Associates (AHA)

From 7/1/2009 - 6/30/2010, Susan Friedland, Executive Director of AHA, was paid $133,731, and a year earlier was paid $130,393. From 7/1/2007 through 6/30/2008, Susan Friedland was paid $116,660, and Leland Chin, Finance Manager was paid $76,514, and Teresa Clarke, Construction Manager was paid $84,413, and Kevin Zwick, Director of Development was paid $84,460, and Eve Stewart, Project Manager was paid $67,000, and Angela Cavanaugh, Director of Property Management was paid $68,000.

EAH Inc. (EAH Housing) (Marin County)

From 7/1/09 through 6/30/2010, Stephen Lucas, was paid $182,197 plus $6,951 in other compensation, and Peggy Franklin was paid $331,371 plus $12,460 in other compensation, and Matt Steinle was paid $162,410 plus $9,453, and Mary Murtagh was paid $254,030 plus $10,733 in other compensation, and Laura Hall was paid $186,136 plus $6,951 in other compensation, and Kevin Carney was paid $135,667 plus $6,951 in other compensation, and Cathy Macy was paid $132,931 plus $6,951 in other compensation, and Alvin Bonnet was paid $122,471 plus $8,669 in other compensation.

Bridge Housing (San Francisco)

From 1/1/2008 through 12/31/2009, Carol Galante was paid $203,860, and Lydia Tan was paid $316,611, and Susan Johnson was paid $255,001, and D. Valentine was paid $231,615, and Ann Silverberg was paid $173,319, and Rebecca Hiebasko was paid $271,683, and Brad Wiblin was paid $212,823, and Tom Earley was paid $224,432, and Corinne Morrison was paid $178,312, and Thomas Casey was paid $163,939, and James Valva was paid $165,097 (Husband of Officer, Susan Johnson), and Kim Nash-Patchen was paid $157,054, and Elizabeth Nahas-Wilson (The daughter of Director Ron Nahas) was paid $127,979 plus $29,075 in other compensation.

Lynda Carson may be reached at