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L.A. Times Editorial Supports Redevelopment 2.0
The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board suggests that the time has come for the state of California to revamp the idea of redevelopment agencies—an idea defunct since former Governor Jerry Brown axed the investment program in the height of the budget austerity of the Great Recession.
The editorial suggests that some of the state's affordable housing shortage could be alleviated by the reintroduction of redevelopment. Instead of the flawed system in place prior to the recession, the editorial calls for a Redevelopment 2.0.
Cities need an ongoing source of money for affordable housing. This is especially important as [Governor Gavin] Newsom and state lawmakers are pushing cities to zone for more homes for Californians at all income levels. Although the need for more market-rate housing can be addressed by lowering regulatory and political barriers, the critical shortage of affordable units is both a political and a financial problem. Simply put, developers can’t produce the amount of affordable housing needed without public subsidies.
Governor Gavin Newsom, in office since the beginning of the year, has spoken in favor of Redevelopment 2.0 before, but he hasn't been consistent on the issue—even as a bill to pursue a new redevelopment program, Assembly Bill 11, died in the Legislature in May. Another attempt at crafting legislation to revive redevelopment is also contained in Senate Bill 5, authored by State Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose).
The editorial concludes with cautious support for the idea of redevelopment: "The idea behind redevelopment — to give local governments the ability to launch community revitalization projects that the private sector wouldn’t do alone — is still worthwhile. And the needs are at least as great."