Burlingame! Let's start an affordable housing fund with new city revenue from Top Golf.

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Burlingame will be in a unique position to start an affordable housing fund AT NO COST TO TAXPAYERS. The Council’s decision to lease the current Golf Center site, which is PUBLIC land, to Top Golf, an entertainment venue, will generate $1.5 million a year in lease revenue alone.  We urge the City Council to use this revenue from PUBLIC LAND FOR A PUBLIC BENEFIT and fulfill its promises to support and fund affordable housing.

Let’s face it:  Our current affordable housing crisis likely is only going to get worse.  In fact, the council approved a new office space at the old drive in site, which has since been leased to Facebook. and we can expect an additional 3,000 to 4,000 new jobs coming to Burlingame. This is in addition to the estimated 500 new jobs as a result of Top Golf.   Many of our residents who do not own their own homes—some who have lived here a long time, others who have kids in the schools--already fear being forced to leave town, due to escalating rents and down payments well beyond their reach.  And, these new local jobs likely will put even more upward pressure on housing prices, making it even harder for many of those who have already made Burlingame their home stay in our community.

Top Golf will be renting city-owned land, so it is more than fair that the revenue derived from this city resource be used to address one of Burlingame’s most pressing issues.  The money can be used to fund an Affordable Housing Fund, similar to Menlo Park’s Below Market Rate Housing Program, which would enable Burlingame to partner with affordable developers and the County to build more units for low- to moderate-income residents.

We believe this City Council should take a leadership position and seize this amazing opportunity and direct all the new city revenue from Top Golf to start an affordable housing fund in Burlingame.