Yesterday, the White House released a housing "tool kit" to offer guidance to local and state officials on how to break the affordable housing logjam in many areas of the country. Here, in an opinion piece, the Fresno Bee takes an advocacy position in favor of the White House plan, which is not altogether different from that proposed by the Administration.
While White House involvement indicates that the housing shortage is not confined to California, it’s also evident that the nation’s most populous state has a particularly acute shortage that’s driving housing costs through the roof.
Gov. Jerry Brown proposed steps similar to those contained in the White House toolkit – fast-tracking for certain kinds of housing to fill the most critical needs. But his “by right” plan went nowhere in the Legislature because environmental groups, labor unions and local governments joined forces to kill it.
By happenstance, the death of Brown’s plan and the White House’s indirect endorsement of its provisions coincide with an especially egregious example of why it’s needed.
Brisbane, a tiny community (fewer than 4,500 residents) on San Francisco Bay just north of San Francisco International Airport, is poised to approve development of a 684-acre waterfront site called Baylands that is a former rail yard and disposal site.