After three months of debate, deliberation, and opposition from community groups, environmentalists, and especially construction labor unions, California Governor Jerry Brown’s affordable housing policy proposal “appears to be dead”, according to Roland Li of the San Francisco Business Times.
If enacted, this proposal would have allowed any residential project that set aside at least 5% of its units as affordable to be built “as of right”, or without review from local municipalities. The goal of this initiative was to reduce the cost of building in the wake of California’s housing crisis.
Opponents argued that the proposal would remove community input for projects and enrich developers without adding enough affordable housing or protecting the environment.
Construction unions sought a major modification in the proposal: requiring projects that benefited to ensure minimal construction salary thresholds equivalent to union wages through prevailing wage agreements. Ben Metcalf, director of the state's Housing and Community Development, told the Los Angeles Times that requiring such a measure would make projects financially unfeasible.