A Different Way to Fix California's Affordable Housing Crisis

To fix California’s housing crisis, a statewide mandate is needed that requires 20 percent of all new housing, rental units, and those for sale be set aside for low-income families, according to affordable housing developer Murtaza H. Baxamusa.
July 17, 2015, 8am PDT | melaniecj
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A lack of oversight by the state needed to regulate the housing market is benefiting developers and landlords and hurting residents in need of an affordable place to live.

The biggest bump in housing costs is related to land value, a plus for landlords and speculative investors, according to Murtaza H. Baxamusa, a San Diego-based developer of affordable housing. A decade of decline in apartment construction and the push by developers to build pricier housing rather than needed entry-level homes also has benefitted developers and landlords at the expense of California renters and homebuyers, he writes.

A statewide inclusionary mandate that 20 percent of all new housing, rental units and those for sale, be affordable to low-income families is needed to improve the crunch.

Enforcement of regional housing mandates, a state intervention for federally subsidized at-risk housing, and rent stabilization and housing assistance programs are some of the measures needed to achieve this mandate, Baxamusa writes.

"Inclusionary housing creates balanced communities with enhanced economic opportunity for lower-income families to escape a cycle of poverty. There is no more compelling economic interest for the state today, than the fact that it is too expensive for our workforce to live here."

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Published on Tuesday, July 7, 2015 in UrbDeZine
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