Redevelopment and Housing April 27, 2011

There is a lot of worry that getting rid of redevelopment will get rid of the one affordable housing program we seem to have in California.  A quota of 20% of redevelopment land to be used for “affordable” housing was, given the nature of redevelopment, a good law that was forced on the agencies.  But there are other ways of doing this.  I would require cities, and counties, to zone 20 per cent of their land area permissive of high density housing open to families with children.  I say “permissive of,” because if the market doesn’t justify, you can build other things there.  Banks probably won’t finance single family where there are not zoning protections against density, but one could put in trailer parks.  I don’t know if we could actually eliminate subsidized housing altogether, but I would prefer density and market rate [thereby diluting the high land value among more units] to subsidies, wherever possible.  And there should only be a handful of subsidized units on every block, so the subsidizees don’t dominate but get “integrated.”

Also, while I’m on the NIMBY subject, one of my favorites:  Group homes and halfway houses, when larger than six persons, can be put in an industrial area, as churches generally are now.  And for group homes of six or under, which cannot be discriminated against, I would favor a requirement that every person entering a group home had to be a resident of that community in a non-group-home residence for at least a year before he or she got to move into the group home.  That would mean that group homes would be serving the people of the community and not outsiders.  For example: Newport Beach complains that there are too many group homes on the Balboa Peninsula.  Well, there may be.  If group homes on the Peninsula were limited to Newport residents, well, Newport produces plenty of its own alcoholics without having to import them from other cities!

Related: “Brown’s plan to eliminate redevelopment agencies could kill affordable housing program” by Tracy Seipel at MercuryNews.com

Also Related: “REGION: Axing redevelopment would stifle low-income housing” by David Garrick at NCTimes.com

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