Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Seriously, CA shouldn't cut redevelopment

It's been fun, all this slanging of California redevelopment programs. The State Controller's report released last week (full PDF here) found some lovely boondoggles that did have more to do with Chamber of Commerce pipe dreams than reknitting neighborhoods for the residents' benefit. As when the city of Palm Desert used $16.7 million in redevelopment money on a golf course, an event noted under "FINDING 8 -- Under current legal standards, virtually any condition could be construed to be blight."

Nevertheless, the Jerry Brown proposal to kill Redevelopment outright, well, talking seriously, can we please not do that? The Mercury News explains some of the potential hell this morning. Some cities, including San Jose, use their redevelopment powers for good, building subsidized housing with the money that otherwise would not get built.
"Brown's proposed budget doesn't include a plan to fund low-income housing in the future, and that worries people like 65-year-old Mary Gilbert of San Jose, who lives in an affordable senior-housing complex on South Bascom Avenue, where she pays $845 monthly in rent.

"I think it would be a drastic mistake," said the retired public employee, whose two pensions and Social Security add up to $23,000 a year. "If they don't help senior citizens find a good place to live, they'll end up with a lot of homeless people.""
Maybe Mr. Brown could compromise on more apartments and less golf?

Is it too much to hope that was his game to begin with?

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