California Lawmakers Look To Repeal Law That Requires Voter Approval For Publicly Funded Affordable Housing Projects

December 4, 2018 14:00 pm · 36 comments

A California law that requires voter approval for publicly funded affordable housing projects would be repealed under legislation introduced in the state Senate.

The 1950 law, Article 34 in the California Constitution, creates roadblocks for cities by requiring costly elections and adding red tape, according to the legislation’s proponents, state Sens. Scott Wiener, D-San
Francisco, and Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica.

“Article 34 is a racist provision in the California Constitution – designed to keep people of color and poor people out of certain neighborhoods – and it needs to be repealed,” Wiener said.

Publicly owned affordable housing is key to reducing homelessness and providing housing for residents of all income levels, Wiener said.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and the city of Los Angeles are also sponsoring the legislation.

Wiener and Allen argue that basic compliance with existing law can cost affordable housing developers between $10,000 and $80,000, with overall compliance costing from 1 percent to 15 percent of the cost of building each affordable unit.

“L.A. fought for – and won – billions of new affordable housing dollars in the last three years, but Article 34 inflicts unnecessary and costly burdens on cities, delaying the construction of housing in the communities we need it most,” Garcetti said.

The majority of California renters pay more than 30 percent of their income on rent, and nearly one-third of renters pay more than 50 percent of their income, according to the California Department of Housing and Community Development.

If approved by the legislature, the repeal would be submitted to voters on the next statewide ballot.

Chicken Little December 4, 2018 at 2:08 PM

Ah, yes. If you don’t like it, just call it racist. If anyone is racist, it’s the idiots who think that only black people live in public housing projects.

ManBearPig December 4, 2018 at 2:12 PM

Actually it allows the local residents a semblance of say in what happens within their city with their local tax dollars. Gasp! A little bit of democracy occurring right under our very noses.

State Senator Wiener needs to focus on his own constituents who have to wade through tidal waves of human fecal matter and used syringes in SF.

Anon December 4, 2018 at 2:22 PM

Yeah, so they don’t have to check with nearby Homeowners before they destroy the Value of their neighborhood by building a Clustered Ghetto Village.

Wage Slave December 4, 2018 at 5:16 PM

Yeah. Somehow I don’t think any of these affordable housing projects are going to pop up next door to any of the politicians who are pushing for this policy change.

Yet another example of the stratifying effects of progressivism. If you are in on the power brokering, you are golden. If you are one of the unwashed middle class, you are fodder for the social engineering.

RSD December 4, 2018 at 5:32 PM

Anon, that’s exactly what will happen. The idiot voters will not understand until it’s in their backyards.

Joatmeal December 6, 2018 at 7:49 AM

Wage Slave – Hasn’t this always been true? If you think it’s a recent phenomenon, look at medieval times with kings and peasants.

Welfare Boy December 4, 2018 at 2:45 PM

I grew up on welfare, Section 8 and free cheese. I hated the lifestyle, the penalty for working, and being placed in neighborhoods we not only didn’t fit in, but didn’t belong either. My parents didn’t care about their appearance, the yard, the cars, etc. If you want better housing, move or work harder. Stop making everyone else come down to your class. Instead, come up to where you think you deserve to be by applying yourself as hard as others that have the success you want. Nothing is free, nothing is fair.

pookie December 5, 2018 at 4:58 PM

Perfectly stated! I grew up the same way, and i couldn’t agree with you more!

Dawg December 4, 2018 at 2:46 PM

Why isn’t there any affordable housing in Scott Wiener and Ben Allen’s neighborhood? They ought to set an example by building affordable housing next door to their homes.

Ricardoh December 5, 2018 at 2:40 PM

Good point. I just hope they don’t live in my neighborhood.

The Mamba December 4, 2018 at 2:47 PM

Yeah, gee, the public can’t imagine what it’s like running into expensive delays and red tape trying to improve a property? It sucks doesn’t it Wiener?

RunnerDope December 4, 2018 at 2:50 PM

I thought you Republicans were all about less regulation. Then when you get it, more moaning.

RSD December 4, 2018 at 5:41 PM

This issue has already proven to be a harsh and unfortunate reality in many of our cities. Affordable means crime and bad neighbors for most.

Christopher Pilla December 5, 2018 at 6:15 AM

I thought you Demonrats were all about democracy. Then when you have it you want to give it away to someone in charge.

Ricardoh December 4, 2018 at 2:58 PM

When it is put to a vote the democrats will pass it.

KenInConcord December 4, 2018 at 3:11 PM

That pesky RED TAPE that prevents them from getting access to our money!!!!!


Sign from Above December 4, 2018 at 3:35 PM

Wiener hasn’t been associated with one piece of legislation that made a difference. He’s a total waste of time!

Christopher Pilla December 5, 2018 at 6:15 AM

Living up to his name.

Rumplestiltskin December 4, 2018 at 3:39 PM

Wasn’t it voted into law in the first place?

Are we getting to vote again on the same issue, or are they just going to go against the popular vote and make up our minds for us?

Sign from Above December 5, 2018 at 7:19 AM

Yep! That’s how it works in California. Put propositions on the ballot. If they fail, push through legislation to get their will anyway. Who cares about the pesky voter? And the guppy electorate will fall right in along party lines, regardless of the issue. It takes far to much time to actually read what you are voting for.

Sick of it December 4, 2018 at 4:01 PM

This should never happen. This idiot wants full control for the government with out CA residents approval for anything. This is wrong on so many levels. We need to take our state back for the people and not the Democratic Party who is destroying it. Remember they have super majority now and do what ever they want unopposed This is dangerous.

Sign from Above December 5, 2018 at 7:15 AM

@ Nunya

The Democrats did not push for Prop 6. They were the criminals that pushed the tax through in the first place, against the will of the people (demonstrated by several rejected propositions).

Nunya December 4, 2018 at 4:11 PM

well said MBF!

but i am sure the democrats will just use fear like they did for prop 6. if you vote for it, “the sky will fall and you will all die”… let’s see how many folks fall for it again, so soon.


Anonymous December 4, 2018 at 4:13 PM

“Costly elections”
We should never have that !

Rob December 4, 2018 at 4:31 PM

Sounds like the existing system puts an unreasonable and undo financial burden on housing developers.

I believe that folks who believe in eliminating burdens on business such as these developers will join in to move this forward.

Mr. Money December 4, 2018 at 4:33 PM

If you want to get tax dollars for anything just add the words : children/homeless/people of color. Money will start growing on trees

America December 4, 2018 at 5:08 PM

This is how they do it people. Pay attention. !!! Total government control!!! They start little by little , taking away our voice. And it is our tax dollars that they want to spend however they want!!! They are supposed to work for the people. I am tired of my tax dollars going to support people who dont want to work, the homeless( who also dont want to work). Illegals that want a better life with our hard earned tax money. Why do we have to pay for everyone else to have a house. Just because I went to school to get a better job , doesnt mean I have to support everybody else. It is not my or anybody elses responsibility to support other people !!! This is getting ridiiculous . Weiner is an idiot ! Let them live in his house!!!

Anon 2 December 4, 2018 at 7:27 PM

All of these comments are spot on. Let Weiner set up something by his house. He is useless.

Whoe Jim December 4, 2018 at 6:26 PM

I find (America’s) take on this latest money grab spot on. I just wish more people could also figure this out. What a concept… you don’t get the nice car, a large family, a big house, if you can’t afford it because you didn’t educate yourself, sacrifice and provide for that. They keep talking about the halves and the have nots. Maybe in California it’s the taxpayers and the taxpayer nots. It seems their numbers have increased to a point that their votes and their liberal leaders only mantra is to continue to bleed the the working stiffs who carry their own load…Some day many of those taxpayers will leave this once great state and what will be left? Could be a scene from the movie Escape from New York, or is it Escape from L.A., your choice……

The Fearless Spectator December 4, 2018 at 7:17 PM

Boo hoo for those real estate developers having to pay all those nasty fees. These politicians sound misguided, but what they really are is sneaky.

Jobs are what drive the economy, and as companies leave California for better prospects (North Face a recent example) job demographics change. People go where there are jobs and a manageable cost of living. As white collar in the Bay Area continues to become more white collar, low cost housing will evaporate. These real estate projects may be constructed as low cost, but they won’t be low cost for long. So who wins? You guessed it.

Doh December 4, 2018 at 8:29 PM

The apartment/condo I rented in SF cost $720-/month when I moved out. Now it’s around $4,000-. My mortgage is a lot less than that. I could not afford the same apartment today even at my peak salary.

Most on this board act like the tenants will be section 8 or the lowest of irresponsible society. What about the young people early in their careers? They are already working hard trying to get the best income. How can they save to buy a house?

Sign from Above December 6, 2018 at 7:45 AM

@ Doh

Yes, there are several places in California (usually the big city areas like SF, Santa Clara County etc.) that are unlivable on a regular salary. I’m guessing that you moved from your apartment in SF to some place out of the city where prices are reasonable. That is exactly what I would recommend to those young people you speak about.

I, like most, can’t afford to live in those high priced areas. That is why we see the commute traffic we see every day. Sorry, but you don’t always get to live where you work! That is not something that should be governed by our legislators. Supply and demand are part of living in a democratic & capitalistic society (sorry – that is what we are). The property owner made an investment. If they can get that price they should. That’s called return on investment.

The problem here (again as I’ve said many times in other posts) is that our state legislators are moving more and more in the direction of ignoring the public and enacting legislation that is directly opposite to the will of the voting majority. This has got to stop. We are not a country ruled by the government. We are a country (or supposed to be a county) ruled by the people. Several of our elected representatives (Wiener & Grayson to name only a couple) have even come out in the media and stated that their legislation is aimed at voters that have rejected similar referendums. They don’t even worry about portraying that opinion anymore.

If you want to live under a socialist government, maybe you should move to a country that is governed by one!

Original G December 4, 2018 at 9:00 PM

Absolutely NOT.
If that happens cities will end up like antioch with large numbers of high density housing and higher crime.

AND just for laughs compare prices for same sized 4 bedroom hose in antioch with in Clayton.

Original G December 4, 2018 at 9:11 PM

“SB-50 Planning and zoning: housing development: equitable communities incentive.” ….
““Affordable” means available at affordable rent or affordable housing cost to, and occupied by, persons and families of extremely low, very low, low, or moderate incomes …”

Call your members of state legislature and tell them NO on SB-50.

W,W,W,W,W the Five Ws what is SB-50

Simonpure December 5, 2018 at 7:08 AM

Wonder what happened to Random Task…he would have been all over this.

Weiner is racist December 5, 2018 at 10:10 PM

That money comes out of my pocket. The red tape is there to keep your hand out of our pockets. I’m working my ass off, putting off life events, and barely scraping into the middle class, and you kleptocrats in sacramento just see me as a tax cow to take and take and take from.

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