Brown’s affordable housing plan appears dead for year

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A plan to usher $400 million into affordable housing subsidies and give developers the right to bypass the local regulatory approvals process has stalled in the Capitol and appears to be dead for the year, the state Assembly speaker told reporters on Thursday.

“I believe it’s over,” California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon told theAssociated Press this week.

Negotiations stopped at least two weeks ago, Rendon said. Lawmakers need to advance the legislation to the governor by the end of August under a legislative deadline.

In the 2016-17 budget, Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers affixed $400 million in affordable housing funding to a controversial “by right” housing plan. The deal sought to quickly increase statewide housing supply by changing local land-use law to automatically approve projects that met existing zoning requirements and included an affordable housing component.

 

But the proposal angered powerful statewide housing and union groups, including environmentalists, neighborhood and tentant activists and some labor leaders who argue that local permitting is necessary to scrutinize projects and ensure prevailing wages for construction workers.

Community and social justice groups have asked the $400 million be provided to affordable housing without the project streamlining component.

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