Legislator says she has an answer to state’s housing crunch by Steve Lopez

9 Aug

Jill and I were impressed with the Steve Lopez’ article on Assembly Bill 1335, which could help ease the housing crunch in California. Yesterday Jill attended a block party for State Assemblyman Chris Holden and spoke to him about this bill, which he supports and which has met with fierce opposition from real estate interests. The bill, which mandates a $75 recording fee which you sell or refinance your property, requires a two-thirds majority to pass. Please contact your elected official and let him or her know that you support this bill, which would generate $300-500 million per year to help fund and rehabilitate affordable housing.

Legislator says she has an answer to state’s housing crunch

by Steve Lopez

You can’t pass an apartment building or drive through a neighborhood here without hearing a story from Toni Atkins about what she calls the “foundation for every piece of our lives.”

The places we call home.

“This here is called Ten Fifty B,” the Democratic speaker of the California Assembly said as we pulled over to take in a 220-unit downtown high-rise.

I thought it looked like a sleek condo project for professionals and urban hipsters, and initially, that’s what it was going to be. But the deal fell apart and the building was reconstituted as an apartment house for low-income families, some of whom are able to walk to jobs at hotels and restaurants.

“Why shouldn’t they be able to live right here?” Atkins asked, and avoid a long commute that makes traffic all the worse for everyone?”
The problem is that when a building like that opens its doors, as this one did five years ago, there’s nowhere near enough room at the inn to handle the clamor.

“You can have up to 10 times as many applicants as you have slots,” said Jennifer LeSar, an affordable-housing developer who is Atkins’ spouse.

But it’s not just low-income families that are locked out of adequate housing in California, where rental rates and home prices continue to rise even as income remains flat or even dip for millions of working folks, there’s nowhere near enough room at the inn to handle the clamor.

For the rest of article, see

Steve Lopez on Toni Atkin’s bill to ease housing crunch

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