Litigation isn’t the answer for more affordable housing, Mr. Governor, overhauling CEQA is

By Tyler Diep : ocregister – excerpt

In one of his first official acts as Governor, Gavin Newsom has declared hostility against one of the cities that I have the honor of representing in the Legislature: Huntington Beach. Governor Newsom announced the lawsuit this past Friday, along with Attorney General Xavier Becerra, to litigate high density housing into our neighborhoods.

Like many other immigrants, I still believe that owning a home is part of living the American Dream. However, for the Governor to exclusively file suit against Huntington Beach is not only unfair but he also fails to recognize the true impediment to more affordable housing – the California Environmental Quality Act, known as CEQA…

According to Joel Kotkin and Marshall Toplansky’s California Feudalism, the Squeeze on the Middle Class, “Barely 5 percent of the state is developed, including all the suburbs and exurbs, and California has the highest urban densities in the nation, even higher than New York.”… (more)

Elizabeth Warren’s Ambitious Fix for America’s Housing Crisis

: theatlantic – excerpt

The Massachusetts Democrat introduced legislation that takes aim at segregation, redlining, restrictive zoning, and the loss of equity by low-income homeowners.

Ten years ago, the subprime-mortgage crisis stripped millions of Americans of their homes. Many haven’t gotten those homes back and now face skyrocketing rents. Ask an economist, or any recent graduate trying to afford rent, and they’ll tell you: America is still in a housing crisis. On Tuesday, Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced a bill tackling the issue head on, trying to lower the cost of homes in neighborhoods with greater economic opportunity.

The legislation, titled the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, is perhaps the most far-reaching assault on housing segregation since the 1968 Fair Housing Act. It’s ambitious, pouring half a trillion dollars over 10 years into affordable-housing programs, and funded by raising the estate tax to Bush-era levels. An outside study by Mark Zandi at Moody’s Analytics found that raising the estate tax would ensure the bill does not create a deficit… (more)

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