Council Looks at Protecting Affordable Housing

Barnwell Names Redevelopment Agency as Integral

Some members of the City Council discussed extending the life of the city’s Redevelopment Agency in order to generate the funds needed to subsidize affordable housing. Councilmember Brian Barnwell predicted that an “utter disaster” would befall the city’s affordable housing market when the Redevelopment Agency expires in 2015. At least 20 percent of the agency budget is allocated for affordable housing.

Councilmember Iya Falcone expressed amazement that 13 percent of the city’s housing stock is affordable and has resale restrictions attached, but credited the Redevelopment Agency for this accomplishment. The comments were made as part of a council response to a Grand Jury Report on affordable housing. In its response, the mayor and council disputed that the housing mandates-imposed on local jurisdictions to accommodate projected growth-are simply not reasonable. They also pointed out that the grand jury undercounted the number of affordable units City Hall has provided by 42 units.

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