A room with a view

It was supposed to be “affordable” housing for CSUF faculty. Well affordable to them – not to the taxpayers who paid for it, we presume. Last winter we ran a post about the “University Heights” boondoggle, and noted that the place was a ghost town. It was already open to any government worker who wanted a house and we wondered aloud when it would be open to anybody.

Living here could stunt your intellectual growth. Not to mention your equity.

The story took another turn last week when it came out that nine of the units were just going to be leased out, perhaps ending any hope of ever establishing a permanent egghead foothold on Elk Hill. The architect of this disaster, one Bill Dickerson of the CSUF Housing Authority, came out from under cover long enough to put his finger on the problem: in a declining real estate market nobody wanted to commit to a cracker box of sticks and stucco on a ground lease. Seems the academics had enough faith in capitalism to shun the slings and arrows of outrageous socialism themselves; and the educrats are left holding their own bag. The Heights sales agent also seems to be pinning his hopes on the next real estate boom.

That's not very good, is it?

As an amusing aside we note that the author of this story was our own beloved stuffed toy and Wurlitzer prize winner, Barbara Giasone, whose paper got the headline wrong – indicating that the units were to go on sale . Not that it really matters. Also, Fullerton Councilman Dick Jones who admitted that he “worked very hard” to bring about this debacle hasn’t said much about it lately.

Jones performs Shakespeare before an appreciative audience...

There is an object lesson here of course that will no doubt be lost on educrats and befuddled local electeds: stay out of the housing business and kill policies that encourage tax-payer purchased housing subsidies for public employees.


  1. CSUF and the City Score Card:
    1. Football Stadium with no team.
    2. Housing with no buyers.
    3. Former Hope University with new CSUF student housing with no hope.
    What’s next?

  2. Q: Why is the campus building a housing community rather than giving employees financial assistance to buy in the outside marketplace, as some universities do?

    A: Unlike some other universities, CSUF does not have a large endowment or other source of discretionary funds to invest in marketplace assistance programs. And as home prices in the outside market escalate, an ever-greater investment would be required to bridge the affordability gap. A housing community has the advantage of being self-supporting and remaining affordable and available over time to future employees. Such communities also foster collegiality and can help with transportation, traffic and air quality issues by being close to the workplace and facilitating techniques such as carpooling.

    1. That “answer” is totally bogus. It assumed that housing prices would escalate forever; that egg heads would want to live together in tract house development; that in a declining market anybody would tie themselves down with the necessary deed restrictions (warning Richman developers, aka, Redevelopment Agency).

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