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Will State Budget Cuts Affect Affordable Housing In SD?

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Video published January 21, 2011 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: Governor Jerry Brown has proposed that local redevelopment agencies be eliminated and their funds moved to counties, cities and schools. These agencies are mandated to devote 20 percent of their funding to develop affordable housing. Some say that if the redevelopment agencies go, affordable housing will as well. Susan Tinsky, executive director of the San Diego Housing Federation explains what's at stake.

The state's public schools aren't alone in their concerns about funding. Governor Jerry Brown has proposed that local redevelopment agencies be eliminated and their funds moved to counties, cities and schools. These agencies are mandated to devote 20 percent of their funding to develop affordable housing. Some say that if the redevelopment agencies go, affordable housing will as well. With me to explain what's at stake is Susan Tinsky, the executive director of the San Diego Housing Federation.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

THE STATE'S PUBLIC SCHOOLS AREN'T ALONE IN THEIR CONCERNS ABOUT FUNDING. GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN IS PROPOSED THAT LOCAL REDEVELOPMENT AGENCIES BE ELIMINATED AND THEIR FUNDS MOVE TO COUNTIES, SEITZ AND SCHOOLS. THESE AGENCIES ARE MANDATED TO WET TO 20% OF THEIR FENDING TO DEVELOP A FORRABLE HOUSING. SOME SAY THAT IF THE RE DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES GO, AFFORDABLE HOUSING WILL AS WELL. WITH ME TO EXPLAIN WHAT IS AT STAKE IS SUSAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SAN DIEGO HOUSING FEDERATION. THANK YOU FOR COMING IN.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

WHAT IS THE ROLL OF REDEVELOPMENT AGENCIES IN REGARD TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT?

REDEVELOPMENT AGENCIES PROVIDE THE SECOND LARGEST SOURCE OF FUNDING, SECOND TO HUD, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING SO IT'S INTEGRAL TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

DO THEY ACTUALLY OVERSEE THE DEVELOPMENT OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING?

GENERALLY THEY WORK WITH AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROVIDERS, NON-PROFITS AND OTHER DEVELOPERS OF AFFORDABLE HOMES IN ORDER TO PROVIDE AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN THE MARKET.

WHAT IS IT THAT EQUIPS THEM TO TAKE ON THIS ROLL?

IT'S ACTUALLY A MANDATE THROUGH STATE LAW, AND ACTUALLY REQUIRES BOTH THE OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND RESOURCES TO DO SO.

AND HOW SUCCESSFUL HAVE THEY BEEN?

IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA THEY'VE PRODUCED ALMOST 100,000 UNITS, IN THE LAST TWO DECADES, SO THEY'VE BEEN EXTREMELY SUCCESSFUL PROVIDING MORE HOUSING THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE OF FUNDING IN THE STATE.

WHAT ABOUT IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY? HOW SUCCESSFUL HAVE THEY BEEN HERE IN PROVIDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING?

CERTAINLY WITH THE MARKET AS IT IS, WE'VE SEEN AFFORDABLE HOUSING PRODUCED THAT WOULDN'T OTHERWISE HAVE BEEN PRODUCED. WE'RE STILL GATHERING NUMBERS ABOUT WHAT HAS ACTUALLY BEEN PRODUCED IN THE MARKET. BUT WITHOUT REDEVELOPMENT WE CAN ASSURE THAT YOU IT WOULD NOT HAVE OCCURRED.

HOW DOES THE NUMBER OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS AFFECT THE HOUSING MARKET AS A WHOLE?

WELL, SOME WOULD SAY THAT WE HAVE HAD DECLINE IN THE MARKET AND WE REALLY DON'T NEED AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN THE MARKET ANYMORE. BUT REALLY WE'RE IN A DEFICIT OF 100,000 UNITS IN THE REGION, AND REALLY THE NEEDS ARE GETTER THAN THEY EVER HAVE BEEN WHEN IT'S WITH AN UNMOMENT OR POUF AT POVERTY RATE AND THE REGION IS GROWING. AND WE'RE SEEING FORECASTS, EMPLOYMENT FORECASTS THAT ARE PROJECTING THAT THE --ONE OF HIGHERREST PRODUCERS OF NEW EMPLOYMENT WILL BE IN THE HOSPITALITY SECTOR, WHERE MOST EMPLOYEES ACTUALLY HAVE LOWER WAGES. AND SO THE DEMAND IS VERY, VERY GREAT.

THERE'S BEEN SOME CRITICISM, HOWEVER, THAT THAT 20% MANDATED GUESS TO ADMINISTRATION AND NOT ACTUALLY TO HOUSING.

WE WOULD NOT ARGUE THAT IN SOME CASES THERE HAVE BEEN ABUSES. GENERALLY, IN SAN DIEGO WHERE WE HAVE 17 AGENCIES, WE BELIEVE THEY HAVE REALLY PERFORMED WELL IN PRODUCING AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN THE REGION.

SO THERE ARE DEVELOPERS THAT ARE MANDATED TO PROVIDE AFFORDABLE HOUSING, AND WHAT THEY DO IS THEY CLAIM HARDSHIP AND INSTEAD OF PROVIDING THE HOUSING, THEY PAY FEES, IN LIEU FEES? IF THOSE DEVELOPERS DON'T PROVIDE AFFORDABLE HOUSING, ARE WE GETTING ALL THAT WE REALLY NEED? 92 WELL, ACTUALLY, THE MANDATE IS ON THE REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY ITSELF. AND THAT'S WHERE THE REQUIREMENT FOR 20% OCCURS. THE DEVELOPERS REALLY COME IN AND THE OBLIGATION IS NOT DIRECTLY ON THEM UNTIL THEY COME AND ASK FUTURE RESOURCES FROM THE AGENCY. AT THAT POINT, THE AGENCY IS WILLING TO PROVIDE SOME RESOURCES TO SUPPORT THE CONSTRUCTION OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING WILL THROUGH A CONTRACTUAL ARRANGEMENT REQUIRE IT BE BUILT.

IN SHORT F REDEVELOPMENT AGENCIES ARE ELIMINATED, IS THERE ANOTHER WAY THAT AFFORDABLE HOUSING CAN BE FUNDED WITH LOCAL PUBLIC MONEY?

ACTUALLY, WE ARE REALLY IN NEED OF ADDITIONAL RESOURCES RIGHT NOW. OUR PRIMARY RESOURCES HAVE BEEN COMING FROM THE STATE. WE HAVE A VERY SMALL HOUSING TRUST FUND IN THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO. NONE OF THE OTHER CITIES HAVE A LOCAL SOURCE, AND SO WE ARE REALLY HIGHLY DEPENDENT ON STATE RESOURCES WHICH ARE DRYING UP RIGHT NOW.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH, SUSAN.

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