Straight Talk on the Dissolution of California Redevelopment Agencies
The Planning Report has published excerpts from a frank conversation organized last month by the Los Angeles Westside Urban Forum. Moderated by Renata Simril of Jones Lang LaSalle, the panel, "Life After the CRA: A New Paradigm for Affordable Housing and Economic Development," featured LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, LAANE co-founder Madeline Janis, and Community Corporation of Santa Monica Executive Director Sarah Letts.
The panelists agreed that tax increment financing may remain a useful tool to address the original charge of redevelopment: alleviating urban blight and providing affordable housing. But, as was pointed out, community redevelopment agencies had appeared increasingly to reflect cronyism, channeling public money toward museums and downtowns rather than the most desperate urban areas.
The panelists attempted to answer two crucial questions: Where did things go wrong? And what steps are municipalities taking to replace these structural sources of public funds?
Thanks to Kevin Madden