Affordable Homes is not a Long Beach Priority: Guest Commentary

Sep. 14, 2013 / By

Read more at the Long Beach Press-Telegram

By Kerry Gallagher, executive director of Housing Long Beach

Budgets reflect our values, in both positive and negative ways. They tell the story of the things that we think matter and those that don’t.

The budget passed last Tuesday by the Long Beach City Council reflected the fact that housing — affordable, quality housing — is simply not a priority for this council.

The one-time funds returning from the demise of redevelopment agencies across California were low-hanging fruit, a simple start for the City Council to address housing issues in our city. When redevelopment agencies were still around, 20 percent of their funds were legally mandated to go for affordable housing development.

It is only fair and equitable that the redevelopment money returned from the state go back into the city’s housing budget at the same proportional rate. Of the $35 million, this would be $7 million. And yet not a penny of this money has been dedicated for quality housing development.