Fu­ture at risk

The Buffalo News - - NATIONAL NEWS -

The ex­treme rise in hous­ing costs has emerged as a threat to the state’s fu­ture econ­omy and its qual­ity of life. It has pushed the de­bate over hous­ing to the cen­ter of state and lo­cal pol­i­tics, fu­el­ing a resur­gent rent con­trol move­ment and the growth of neigh­bor­hood “Yes in My Back Yard” or­ga­ni­za­tions, bat­tling long-es­tab­lished neigh­bor­hood groups and lo­cal elected of­fi­cials as they de­mand an end to strict zon­ing and plan­ning reg­u­la­tions.

Now here in Sacra­mento, law­mak­ers are con­sid­er­ing ex­tra­or­di­nary leg­is­la­tion to, in ef­fect, crack down on com­mu­ni­ties that have, in their view, sys­tem­at­i­cally de­layed or de­railed hous­ing con­struc­tion pro­pos­als, of­ten at the be­hest of lo­cal neigh­bor­hood groups. The bill was passed by the State Se­nate last month and could be acted on as soon as this week.

“The ex­plo­sive costs of hous­ing have spread like wild­fire around the state,” said State Sen. Scott Wiener, DSan Fran­cisco, who spon­sored the bill. “This is no longer a coastal, elite hous­ing prob­lem. This is a prob­lem in big swaths of the state. It is dam­ag­ing the econ­omy. It is dam­ag­ing the en­vi­ron­ment, as peo­ple get pushed into longer com­mutes.”

For Cal­i­for­nia, this cri­sis is a price of this state’s eco­nomic boom. Tax rev­enue

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