The Council on Tuesday voted to fund repairs to the home of Jerry Ruff, the cognitively impaired 70something who’s lived in his car for a year after code enforcers put him out of his home.
The city will funnel a $110,000 CalHome loan — state money — “provided as a 30- year, one percent (1%) interest loan, with payments deferred until the end of the loan term,” the staff report says. The money will ” correct deferred maintenance issues, water damage, and building code violations.”
That last proviso, payments deferred for 30 years, effectively means Ruff will never have to repay the loan. It’ll be repaid when the house changes hands.
In addition, “energy and water saving features will be installed in the home to reduce on-going costs,” the staff report adds.
Turns out the same code people who unhomed Jerry notified housing staff that he was a perfect candidate for the housing program. So there’s a slim chance for City of Stockton staffers to pass through the Pearly Gates after all.
The city’s solution is just. Boarding Ruff’s home because it was filthy and not up to code, forcing him to live in a car that was worse in every respect, was the pretzel logic of bureaucracy. But this action is both good news and good government, with a happy ending in prospect. City Hall deserves credit.