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Thoughts on California's Housing Strategy

Balance between state and local control and between private and public solutions are necessary for meaningful improvement in housing affordability, according to planning activist and affordable housing developer Murtaza Baxamusa.
December 9, 2018, 11am PST | wadams92101
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In this op-ed derived from testimony given for a panel on affordable housing solutions, affordable housing advocate and developer Murtaza Baxamusa argues in favor of a broad spectrum and balanced strategy. Among other things, in the op-ed, Baxamusa: 

  • Surveys new legislation – state and local, passed and proposed, e.g.,
    • Senate Bills 1 & 2, Measure JJJ in LA, SB 1505, SB 35.
  • Cautions against blaming CEQA for housing shortages and notes its importance for community involvement and acceptance, and for improving projects. 
  • Notes importance of preserving existing housing.
  • Argues that many of the existing strategies merely fuel speculation and replace more affordable housing stock with luxury housing.
  • Cautions against use of the vague terminology of “workforce housing” and “middle income housing” as watering down affordability requirements.
  • Cautions that incentive based strategies must be paired with firm exactions.

Overall, Baxamusa cautions that one sided supply-side solutions fuel “rent seeking” opportunism by speculators, that depletes rather than creates affordable housing. Incentives to private developers must be paired with firm requirements and exactions. For more detail, please see the source article.

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Published on Wednesday, December 5, 2018 in UrbDeZine
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