Mad River Union
ARCATA – The Arcata Citizens for Responsible Housing group which opposes construction of The Village student housing project has issued a press release with links to documents it has obtained from Humboldt State University. The Village's developers have responded with their own statement.
ACRH press release
Public Records Request Reveals Five Million in Income A Year for AMCAL and HSU
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
While Los Angeles Developer AMCAL’s representatives spent last week publicly smearing a grassroots group of Arcata citizens, new documents reveal a multimillion dollar profit motive for AMCAL's private dorm project at the Craftsman's Mall site. With the latest round of attachments finally released after a public records request by ACRH, financial projections and detailed funding agreements are now public. By being able to avoid the hiring of local construction trades, driving down wages and cutting corners on state required environmental and student safety standards, AMCAL’s project will bring in five million dollars a year according to the previously hidden communications between AMCAL and Humboldt State University.
We are making the documents released to us available here:https://www.dropbox.com/s/xah6ui8vkzclv4u/06-28-18%20HSU%20RT%20PRA.zip?dl=0
While ACRH is attempting to go over the documents in full, including the financial spreadsheets, we are releasing them to media in the hopes that they can be explored fully. Additionally, communications from February to June are to be made available by HSU using the below email. See page four of the attached PDF for clarification.
ACRH believes that Arcata is an inclusive community. This privatized dorm project, by a Los Angeles developer, will permanently divide our community. Removing students from the community and concentrating them in one location is the opposite of how Arcata should grow.
AMCAL is against paying prevailing wages that protect construction workers and their families, against hiring locally and against building to the building code meant for student housing.
Amcal CEO Percy Vaz: "Amcal is ...advocating to remove expensive but unnecessary costs that even market-rate developers do not have to meet, such as the following: paying prevailing wages, having project labor agreements in place, hiring locally, adding social services to affordable housing projects and building to above-code standards."
Statement from David Moon of Coleraine Capital Group
We stand firmly behind all of the information and positions we highlighted in our recent letter to the Arcata City Council.
A City Council vote in favor of The Village student housing community will support HSU students and their families, the University, and the City of Arcata’s 2014 Housing Element, by providing much needed quality, inclusive, safe, professionally managed and programmed housing, on a currently blighted property.
A negative vote will exacerbate housing insecurity for HSU students and Arcata community members, put HSU enrollment and jobs at risk and in turn, have an adverse effect on the local economy.
The fact of the matter is, even after The Village and all of the on-campus housing is 100% leased, approximately 70% of HSU students will still be competing for housing of all kinds in Arcata and the surrounding communities.
Regardless, ACRH and their developer/landlord backers do not want students and their families to have more housing options. The question is, why? I believe the answer is, these large developer/landlords and even many of the individual backers of ACRH that have their own rental properties they lease to students, are concerned that giving students more and better housing options may force them to provide more inclusive and better housing themselves and force them to lower their rents. These folks at ACRH are spending a lot of time and capital to keep that from happening.
We think this opposition is very short-sighted. We believe, ACRH should be focused on supporting more and better housing options like The Village, that will in turn benefit students and their families and help stem the tide of the recent decline in enrollment at HSU. We believe, this will in turn have a positive effect on the City of Arcata and its economy, which will benefit all Arcata citizens and businesses, including the local developer/landlords.