NIMBY-ism may have been born in New Hampshire and Michigan, but Northern California has perfected it. Under State law, Hillsborough, California needs to provide a number of "low-income" housing units, where "low-income" is largely based on the average income of the city's taxpayers. In Hillsborough, that identifies a family of four living off $87,000 a year.
Two parents, two kids. $87k/year. Do not want them.
A speaker at their city council meeting identifies these folks as sources of crime and that they'll need parking, he further suggests that his shield of disabled people is the answer. Apparently disabled people don't do crime and do not impact property value.
Then a resident named Gib took the podium. He offered a rather specific plan: building housing for what he called "special needs" adults, whom the National Center on Disability and Journalism refers to as developmentally disabled adults, a group that includes "autism spectrum disorder, spina bifida, cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities."
"Very low- and low-income housing is going to freak out a lot of people in this community, because we all know what it brings with it, right?" Gib began. "But as the father of a special needs son … the very low- and low-income [housing units], a lot of those can be used up here by providing special needs housing for people here."
Gib said he believes that unlike other people who might qualify for low-income housing, developmentally disabled people "don't commit crimes, they don't bring drugs, they don't bring trouble. They don't bring all the lunatic stuff that goes along with it." They also can't drive, Gib claimed, "so you don't have a whole bunch of extra cars and God knows what."
"I'm urging everybody," he continued, "take a step back, and say that maybe, we don't have nearly enough special needs housing. They don't cause any problems, they stay there forever. We're providing a safe place for them here in this town."
After Gib concluded his remarks, Hillsborough Mayor Christine Krolik responded, "Thank you very much, that's a great point." (In an email to SFGATE, Krolik said she was simply "agreeing with the resident that housing for the developmentally disabled is also a need.")