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Monday, May 14, 2012

City of Aurora Prepares to Name Housing Czar to Further Decrease Property Values (aka "Increase Affordable Housing")

Is the City of Aurora really planning to name a housing czar as part of efforts to further DECREASE PROPERTY VALUES for homeowners?

(click video for answer and read on):

Instead of simply saying NO to the Aurora Housing Authority's (AHA) scheme to rebuild Jericho Circle, Mayor Tom Weisner's administration has tried to complicate and confuse the issue by saying they want to continue to DECREASE PROPERTY VALUES (aka "increase affordable housing").

Let's be clear on three key points:
1. You cannot "increase affordable housing" for some without DECREASING PROPERTY VALUES for others.  The affordability of a community is directly related to property values.
2.  In Aurora, while property values have gone down in recent years, taxes have gone up with most homeowners are paying a 25% increase in tax rates, meaning you are paying more for less.
3.  There is no requirement for AFFORDABLE HOUSING.  The requirement instead is for FAIR HOUSING, which involves such things as discrimination, bias and making sure people have EQUAL OPPORTUNITY for housing.
Sources at City Hall confirm there is a plan in the works to name a "housing czar" for the city administration that would be devoted to DECREASING PROPERTY VALUES (or, as they call it "increasing affordable housing").

Rick Guzman, who is being paid over $122,000 in salary and benefits as an "assistant chief of staff" is likely to be given the housing czar throne to implement plans to "further" decrease property values.

The city hired former HUD officials to do a "study" on decreasing property values (aka "increasing affordable housing") and host public forums to say later they included feedback from the public.

Given most taxpayers in Aurora are paying higher taxes, in most cases TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT rate increases on their tax bills at the same time property values have gone down and services are less, what about the "affordability" and ROI (return on investment) for the taxpayers that pay the bills and fund city government?

When asked why the city is spending taxpayers time and resources on efforts to DECREASE PROPERTY VALUES (aka "increase affordable housing") city spokesgirl Carie Anne Ergo (who's salary and benefits exceed $160,000 per year), said that not everyone can afford to live in Aurora and "we" have to come up with "options" to help them.

Who's supposed to help people who can't afford to live here?


And, who's supposed to help taxpayers?



So, where's the plan to increase property values for taxpayers who invested in Aurora?


The City of Aurora, consultants and a "task force" will try to explain why they need to decrease property values (aka "increase affordable housing") instead of boosting property values and insuring FAIR housing at three "open house" public forum from 6:30 to 8:30pm on three dates (see below).

You can ask them yourself one-on-one (they will do a presentation at 7pm, but otherwise don't want a crowd setting to avoid anyone from hearing everyone else's questions).
  • Thursday, May 24 at City's Customer Service Center, 3770 McCoy Drive
  • Tuesday, May 29 at Aurora Public Library West Branch, 233 Constitution Drive
  • Thursday, May 31 at Fred Rodgers Community Center, 501 College Ave
Note:  A copy of the study to DECREASE YOUR PROPERTY VALUES is not available at this time.  According to spokesgirl Carie Anne Ergo, the city will delay posting the study until May 17 to limit the opportunity to review it in advance.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Guzman runs a nonprofit organization promoting affordable housing. Now he is going to be the point man for city's program for the same initiative. Mr. Guzman's organization was head liner when Sen Durbin visited town couple of weeks ago and he was detailing the program per Beacon report. The issues here are real considering the humanitarian grounds. There are several people who cannot afford decent housing in this tough economy and any effort to alleviate those issues must be commendable. He seems to be very articulate and genuinely passionate for the cause. But appointing him to head city's initiatives does this constitute a conflict of interest?

Anonymous said...

Rick Guzman is a crook he hides behind this non profit to benefit himself

Anonymous said...

Seems like an obvious conflict of interest for Guzman, but why is the city trying to decrease property values? They keep raising rates, asking homeowners to pay more while our properties are worth less. The priority of affordable housing should be the people who pay taxes so the mayor can hire useless people like Guzman and the soon-to-be "management analyst."

Anonymous said...

District 129 is out of control! Those who supported the last referendum must feel pretty foolish now!

Anonymous said...

how about a plans to increase property values and decrease taxes???

what the hell is wrong with this city administration?

Anonymous said...

Many have got spoiled by having home equity as a checking account. Homeownership was very easy during the real estate bubble of last decade. Number of people who bought home with a little or no down payment started seeing values of home dropping and no increase in the equity which was next zero to begin with. City administration s is not the only one benefitted with fictitious home valuation. This is time of transmission and like in any other sport everybody can be winners. That does not mean that those who can not keep their homes are at fault. We can only hope real growth is not in speculation but sustainable programs which fuels incremental improvement of economy. It is our country and our neighborhood and we are the stakeholders. Increasing the payroll may not be a solution to affordable housing but conceiving programs to nature all sectors of economy should be top priority for city.