California Governor Jerry Brown's plan to allow certain developments that include affordable housing units to sidestep local review is coming under fire from organized labor and the green movement, according to The Los Angeles Times.
A coalition of labor and environmental organizations has come out against the proposal, arguing that the governor’s plan would harm public health because it allows housing projects to sidestep the state’s premier environmental law.
“It would be a disaster for local government, local communities, the environment and the citizens of California,” said a May 18 letter to state lawmakers from the State Building & Construction Trades Council, the Natural Resources Defense Council and other labor and environmental groups.
Brown’s plan would exempt urban housing projects that reserve a certain percentage of their development for low-income residents from detailed local government review. By making it easier to build houses, Brown believes the state can reduce California’s major housing supply deficit, which is considered the primary driver of the broad home affordability crisis. A project only would qualify for Brown's exemption if it’s planned on land already zoned for high-density residential development.