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Week 1 Discussion / Respose to another Student - A Brawl in Mickey's Backyard

RESPOND to Post; in first person and use Reference from Week 1 post as needed

1. If you were on the city council, how would you vote on the issue?

If I were a member of the city council, I would vote against the SunCal development project. Based on the discussion case, out of 1,500 units, SunCal plans to have 15% or 225 units set aside for “below market rate” apartments.  

At the time, the Disney theme park located in Anaheim employed 20,000 workers. Of the 20,000 workers, only 18% or 3,600 employees lived in Anaheim while the other 16,400 employees lived outside of Anaheim. If SunCal were to develop the condominiums with only 225 units dedicated to be priced at “below market rates,” then they’re development of the condominiums will not solve the major issue of having affordable housing for the Disney employees. Instead, 1,275 of the units will go to buyers that can afford to live in them (assuming these buyers are going to pay a minimum of at least $1,400 per month). While the other 225 units are going to first-come-first-serve tenants (assuming there is no clause stating that the 225 units are only designated to Disney park workers.) If these affordable housing units are designed for Disney workers, 225 units could only house 1.125% of the 20,000 Disney workforce. The risk is greater than the reward.

Overall, I would vote against having SunCal develop the 1,500 condominiums because the 1,500 units would not be enough help resolve this matter in a significant way. On the other hand, if Disney or another agency were to use this space for more tourist-related ventures, then that will increase the amount of tax revenue for Anaheim.

2. Does Disney have an obligation to support initiatives that include nearby affordable housing for its employees?

Disney does have an obligation for initiatives such as providing nearby affordable housing for its employees. Based on the compensation of $23,000 for custodians and $14,000 for restaurant attendants, support staff such as the previously mentioned positions will greatly benefit from lower cost in monthly rent payments as well as lower travel expenses. Unaffordable cost of living expenses for employees, especially for non-management or non-supervisory positions, is a huge factor that Disney should have considered when they built their theme park in a high-cost-of-living city such as Anaheim.

3.Does Anaheim and Orange County have an obligation provide affordable housing for its residents?

Anaheim does not have an obligation to provide affordable housing based on the data for living expenses and job opportunities/availabilities. The fact is Anaheim’s cost of living expenses are higher than other cities in the county. Orange County does have an obligation to provide affordable housing depending on areas of the county that may have less job opportunities/availabilities and overall revenues/expenses produced in that area.

4. Step into the shoes of Disneyland CEO. How do you solve this problem?

As the CEO of Disneyland, I would have our company research for available land that’s outside of the resort/tourist area and create affordable housing for Disney employees only. If there’s isn’t available land outside of the resort/tourist area, then we’ll consider developing these units on the plots of land across the street from Disneyland.  

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