CA Redevelopment Bill: Communist Land Grab or Catalyst for Affordable Housing?

Amid political demagoguery, a bill to help spur infill redevelopment and the creation of affordable housing in California, following the dismantling the state's redevelopment agencies, is advancing through the California legislature.
August 16, 2013, 10am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Frying Pan News follows along with affordable housing advocates as they press the case for passage of SB1 (Steinberg), "a bill that would create a Sustainable Communities Investment Authority in areas near transit hubs," writes Danny Feingold. "Their efforts were rewarded when the Assembly’s Local Government Committee approved the bill with a 6-3 vote, allowing it to move to the Appropriations Committed next week. If the bill gets the green light there and on the Assembly floor, it will go to Governor Brown."

"SB1 would fill the gap left by the dismantling of California’s Community Redevelopment Agencies in 2012," he adds. "And for people like [college student and community activist Jason] López, the legislation can’t come too soon."

Writing in the Los Angeles Times' PolitiCal blog, Patrick McGreevy provides an alternative perspective. "Denounced by one property owner as a 'communist land grab,' a bill is advancing in the California Legislature that would allow local governments to spend tax money to seize land from residents and provide it at a discount to private developers," he writes.

"The establishment of the areas would allow local officials to use money from the growth in property tax revenue, bonded indebtedness and powers of eminent domain to take properties from some and give them to others for economic development. Unlike the old redevelopment areas, government officials would not have to show that an area is blighted to be targeted."

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Published on Thursday, August 15, 2013 in Frying Pan News
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