Northern News

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A publication of the American Planning Association, California Chapter, Northern Section

Making great communities happen

California’s approach to housing crisis is ineffective, Auditor says

By Jared Brey, Next City, November 20, 2020 

California State Auditor Elaine Howle issued a report  saying that the state has failed to create a comprehensive approach to ad­dressing hous­ing issues and has left $2.7 billion in potential hous­ing funding on the table, according to a report in Bloomberg. The audit says that the state’s four agencies that issue funding for housing pro­grams are “mis­aligned,” and that the state fails to compel cities to provide their own share of affordable housing, according to the report. According to Bloomberg, the report recommends eliminating the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee, which is chaired by the state treasurer, and is responsible for allocating debt and bond authority for various projects with a public benefit. The committee could do more to address the housing crisis if it would dedicate more bond funding to affordable-housing projects, rather than to other projects like proposed rail lines and waste and recycling plants, the report found, according to Bloomberg. 

“California is failing to build enough affordable homes for lower income residents in part because the state lacks an effective approach to planning and financing development of affordable housing at both the state and local levels,” the auditor found, according to the report. “The state needs to improve its statewide housing plan, harmonize its funding programs, and strengthen its oversight of cities and counties.” 

Read the full column here. 

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