Assemblymember Todd Gloria is co-authoring a bill to bring back redevelopment agencies in California in an effort to build more affordable housing.
Assembly Bill 11 would allow cities and counties to create agencies that could use property-tax financing to fund affordable housing and infrastructure projects. The bill would allow financing similar to that used by the former redevelopment agencies dissolved by Gov. Jerry Brown during the Great Recession.
“California’s housing crisis is the most pressing issue facing our state. It is interconnected with every challenge facing California today — income inequality, traffic congestion, climate change and more. We need a more robust funding source to construct more affordable homes, and AB 11 is that source,” said Gloria, a Democrat who represents the 78th District in central San Diego County.
“We know the redevelopment model of years past was successful in producing needed housing units and reducing blight in our communities. A modern form with strong oversight, coupled with local commitments can make tangible progress in building more homes for Californians and creating more vibrant communities,” Gloria added.
Redevelopment agencies were originally created after World War II as a way to address blight and fund massive “urban renewal” initiatives. Redevelopment was credited with revitalizing San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter and other areas, but Brown argued in 2011 that there were widespread abuses and the state could no longer afford the projects.
Proponents of the new bill said it puts a number of safeguards in place, including strong anti-displacement policies, detailed record-keeping requirements, independent annual audits, and harsh financial penalties for record-keeping or audit violations.
Under AB 11, new agencies would have some of the same goals of funding housing and infrastructure projects, but with affordable housing prioritized.
Other supporters of the bill — all Democrats — are Assemblymembers Cecilia Aguiar-Curry of Winters, Richard Bloom of Santa Monica, Rob Bonta of Oakland, Eduardo Garcia of Cachella, Chris Holden of Pasadena, Jacqui Irwin of Thousand Oaks, Kevin Mullin of San Mateo, Miguel Santiago of Los Angeles, Phil Ting of San Francisco and Buffy Wicks of Oakland.
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: