PRESS RELEASE CONTACT
December 29, 2011 Paul Zimmerman (213) 480-1249 ext 224
Funding for Affordable Homes Vanishes with Redevelopment
Support for People on Modest Means Loses $1 Billion Yearly
(Los Angeles, CA) The California Supreme Court’s ruling, issued today, effectively abolishes redevelopment agencies and with them the largest local funding sources for affordable homes and rental housing. Over the coming years the loss of this funding will mean thousands more Californians living on the streets and tens of thousands more living in overcrowded and substandard conditions.
In September the California legislature passed two convoluted bills in an attempt to pull money away from redevelopment agencies, in order to try and plug the state’s budget deficit. The two bills were passed in one day with virtually no time for analysis or debate.
As drafted, AB 26x abolished redevelopment agencies while AB 27x allowed them to resurrect themselves if they made a ransom payment to the state.
By ruling that AB 26x was constitutional and AB 27x unconstitutional, the Court sanctioned the abolition while preventing any chance for the agencies to reform.
While the political and legal debate over the necessity of maintaining redevelopment agencies has raged for well over a year, what’s been lost in the din of charges and counter charges is the fact that an important source of funding for affordable housing comes from redevelopment agencies. California has one of the most effective and efficient methods for funding public-private partnerships to construct affordable places to live for Californians of modest means. Governor Brown has said that state government needs to focus on “essential services” and we agree. Other than food and water, there’s nothing more “essential’ than shelter. California can not only meet that basic need, but at the same time create new construction jobs and invigorate local economies.
“Today was a huge blow for all of us in Southern California whether we are developers, employers, or working families,” said Paul Zimmerman, Executive Director of SCANPH. “The legislature must now find a new way to address our housing needs. We know this isn’t what the legislature intended, and but for the sake of our working families - they need to fix it.”