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Affordable Housing Bill Squeezes By California Senate

Aired 9/3/13 on KPBS News.

California is an expensive place to live. But a measure aimed at creating more affordable housing options drew considerable debate in the state Senate today.

California is an expensive place to live. But a measure aimed at creating more affordable housing options drew considerable debate in the state Senate on Tuesday.

The bill would allow local governments to require affordable housing be included in new residential developments. Democratic Senator Ben Hueso dismissed critics who said housing prices should be determined by the free market.

"We can't rely on that. And if we could we wouldn't need this bill and people wouldn't be clamoring for affordable housing in our communities," Hueso said.

Critics of the measure pointed out California got rid of its primary method for funding affordable housing when it eliminated redevelopment agencies.

The bill failed to make it through the Senate on its first vote. It was put on "hold" for a few hours while several lawmakers were convinced to support it. The measure ultimately passed with the bare minimum 21 votes.

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