If you were on the city council, how would you vote on the issue? As a city councilor, I would be reminded that I am entrusted with the duty to provide the ways and means to ensure the safety and security of citizens of Anaheim and work to maintain and/or enhance a high quality of life. I would absolutely support affordable housing for the citizens of Anaheim who need a reasonable housing solution but I would search out alternative locations where a larger affordable housing development might better serve the needs of the stakeholders involved. The proposed development would serve only 15% of citizens in need which seems like a meager attempt to satisfy the real needs of the community. SunCal’s possible development of condominiums mixed with affordable rentals in a resort district is an interesting experiment, and I would caution any of their stakeholders that this might not be a prudent investment.
Does Disney have an obligation to support initiatives that include nearby affordable housing for its employees? Disney has a obligation to maintain a stable place of employment, compensate employees fairly, and create a safe working environment, but is under no obligation to support these initiatives. For the benefit of their shareholders they should support initiatives that could lower employee stress due to extensive commuting times and travel, resulting in healthier employees, lower absenteeism, and reduce employee turnover. Does Anaheim and Orange County have an obligation provide affordable housing for its residents? All communities have an obligation to provide for the safety and security of their citizens and work to maintain a quality of life, especially those citizens who would be considered at risk and in need of affordable housing.
To the extent that Anaheim and Orange County have the resources available they should develop and promote existing programs which help to provide housing for residents that are employed locally and paying taxes into the local economy. Then step into the shoes of Disneyland CEO. How do you solve this problem? Disney is a large economic force and has extensive resources at its disposal. As CEO I would coordinate with Anaheim and Orange County in discovering a suitable locations for employee housing. As part of Disney’s community relations and corporate giving, employee housing and possible employee housing ownership can be developed. Anaheim would benefit economically with increased property taxes, Disney can benefit from tax incentives, tax deductions for corporate donations into a community housing program, and would maintain their reputation as a respected business and employer in the community, with little capital expense.