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Leftover Redevelopment Money: Affordable Housing Or Budget?

Aired 4/6/12 on KPBS News.

A pot of money left over from the elimination of California redevelopment agencies is up for grabs. Some lawmakers want to use it for affordable housing projects. Others say it should help balance the state budget.

Supporters of California’s now-dissolved redevelopment agencies are trying to steer at least a billion dollars in leftover money to affordable housing projects.

That was one of redevelopment’s original missions, but one critics have said was often overlooked before the agencies were eliminated in the most recent state budget.

Jim Kennedy with the California Redevelopment Association is supporting a bill that recently passed the State Assembly. “It’s an attempt to try to keep a meaningful amount of money around where there aren’t a lot of other resources, either within the state or at the local level, and that’s affordable housing.”

The leader of the State Senate wants to put that money towards affordable housing too but has also said it may be needed to help balance the state’s budget instead.

Legislative Republicans rely on that money in their own budget proposal which they say would avoid raising taxes or cutting education.

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