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The End of Redevelopment Worsened California's Housing Crisis

Anthony York performs an autopsy of how decisions made by Governor Jerry Brown and the California Legislature during the Great Recession are influencing the housing market, nearly a decade later.
August 28, 2017, 1pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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There's a "tragic irony" to the California Legislature's ongoing efforts to approve new policies intended to spur housing construction, according to an article by Anthony York: "In trying to come up with a plan to address the state's housing shortage, Governor Jerry Brown and the other lawmakers are working to fix a problem that Sacramento actually helped create in an effort to balance the state budget six years ago."

The infamous decision to eliminate redevelopment funding exacerbated the state's housing crisis, according to York.

Since 2012, the elimination of re-development has meant about $6 billion less for affordable housing. The money instead has been used to help counties offset rising Medicaid costs, and to fund local schools, while helping the state reduce its obligations to backfill local governments.

York is careful to explain that the elimination of redevelopment did not cause the housing crisis in the state of California, and that there have been other contributing factors, including local resistance to housing density and infill development.

In addition to building the case that the scope of the state's housing crisis can be seen as a consequence of the demise of redevelopment, York also reports that Governor Brown and the State Legislature are pushing for a general obligation bond in the realm of $6 billion to $9 billion, for consideration by voters. York also surveys the other bills under consideration by the California State Legislature intended to ease the state's housing shortages.

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Published on Thursday, August 24, 2017 in Pacific Standard
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