Star Wars creator and billionaire filmmaker George Lucas is planning to build community housing in the wealthy California county he calls home.
The Washington Post reports that several years ago, Lucas wanted to expand his film production studios. But after complaints from the community, Lucas decided to sell the land to a developer who would build community housing.
After continued complaints caused the project to stall, Lucas has decided that he would pay for the entire cost of the community housing himself. His lawyer Gary Giacomini told CBS San Francisco:
“He said ‘we’ve got enough millionaires here. What we need is some houses for regular working people.'”
The housing would include 224 units on the 52 acres that make up Grady Ranch. According to Contra Costa Times, the plan also includes a community center, senior residences, a pool, and even an orchard.
To be eligible for the housing, residents would have to make less than 80% of the area median income of $90,000, and seniors would have to make between 30%-60% of the median income.
Rather than beneficial to the community, some see the project as “vindictive.” According to The New York Times, local homeowners’ association board member Carl Fricke said:
“We got letters saying, ‘You guys are going to get what you deserve. You’re going to bring drug dealers, all this crime and lowlife in here.’”
Meanwhile, Lucas says he just wants to help the community:
“I wouldn’t waste my time or money just to try and upset the neighbors.”
In 2012, following Lucas’ failed attempt to expand his production studios, he sold his company to Disney for $4.05 billion.
Around the same time in late 2012, Lucas also confirmed that he would be signing onto the Gates and Buffett “Giving Pledge,” where he would give over half of his wealth to charity before he died.