New plan

The Buffalo News - - NATIONAL NEWS -

It is now the sub­ject of ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween Gov. Jerry Brown and leg­isla­tive lead­ers as part of a broader hous­ing pack­age in­tended to en­cour­age the con­struc­tion of hous­ing for mid­dle­and lower-in­come fam­i­lies that is also likely to in­clude the more tra­di­tional rem­edy of di­rect spend­ing to build more hous­ing units.

This is not the first time this state has sought to prod re­cal­ci­trant lo­cal govern­ments to build hous­ing. Brown tried to push through a mea­sure to force com­mu­ni­ties to build more af­ford­able hous­ing around a year ago.

That ef­fort, like most in re­cent years, fal­tered in the face of op­po­si­tion from lo­cal of­fi­cials, home­own­ers and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists, who of­ten see these kinds of mea­sures as en­rich­ing de­vel­op­ers while threat­en­ing the char­ac­ter of some of the most vis­ually strik­ing parts of this state, along the coast and in the moun­tains.

“It’s giv­ing de­vel­op­ers a great gift and not giv­ing res­i­dents and vot­ers a chance to cast their opin­ions about what hap­pens in their own neigh­bor­hood,” He­lene Sch­nei­der, the mayor of Santa Bar­bara, said of Wiener’s new bill.

But the wors­en­ing hous­ing cri­sis here has cre­ated a po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment where prospects for a state hous­ing in­ter­ven­tion ap­pear more likely than ever.

“There is a con­sen­sus that there is a cri­sis and we have to ad­dress it,” said David Chiu, a San Fran­cisco Demo­crat who leads the Assem­bly Hous­ing and Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee. Wiener com­pared the po­lit­i­cal at­mos­phere now to how Cal­i­for­ni­ans em­braced manda­tory wa­ter-ra­tioning in re­sponse to the five-year drought here.

“We’re at a break­ing point in Cal­i­for­nia,” Wiener said. “The drought cre­ated op­por­tu­ni­ties to push for­ward wa­ter pol­icy that would have been im­pos­si­ble be­fore. Given the breadth and depth of the hous­ing cri­sis in many parts of Cal­i­for­nia, it cre­ates op­por­tu­ni­ties in the Leg­is­la­ture that didn’t ex­ist be­fore.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.