FUNDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND INFRASTRUCTURE IN A POST REDEVELOPMENT ERA
(SAN DIEGO) April 11, 2014 C-3 cosponsored this half day forum along with six other organizations* in order to explore solutions our region might pursue in the current environment. Four speakers, coming from different perspectives, were Mike Burnett (architect and infill developer), Hon. Toni Atkins (Speaker-elect of the California Assembly), Nico Calavita (retired professor of City Planning at SDSU) and Claudia Cappio (Executive Director of CalHFA and acting director of the state Department of Housing and Community Development). The session was moderated by Betsy Morris, immediate past president of C-3.
More than 130 attendees registered for the forum, representing virtually every sector of interest and geography in our region. They concluded that, while the housing crisis is dire for affected families and bad for the economy, there is some hope on the horizon for addressing affordable housing issues.
A sampling of “take away” ideas include:
· Specific plans have value in defining and expediting the infill development process. Expeditious results come from working within existing development regulations and respecting existing conditions onsite.
· Infill development can enhance existing neighborhoods when done sensitively and creatively.
· The SANDAG Smart Growth and other incentive funds add to project feasibility and community receptivity.
· It is possible to produce affordable housing onsite without financial subsidy.
· California leads the nation in the number of homeless people, yet the solutions for homelessness are known – we know what to do but need will and funding to do more.
· City actions to invest in infrastructure and other public facilities or to intensify land use and zoning designations add unearned value to the land. Cities should capture a portion of this “enhanced value” for public benefit, including affordable housing and community amenities. It is critical that programs to capture public benefits be in place before or at the same time as the value-generating actions.
· San Diegans can learn from other communities that are linking enhanced value with enhanced public benefit. Jurisdictions need to access sophisticated skill sets necessary to analyze value as well as a new language for land value recapture to educate policy makers and the public.
· State agencies are working to “connect the [policy and funding] dots” and work across silos. It is important to work together to do this locally too. There are new linkages to connect housing with health care, transportation, etc.
· We need to support legislators seeking new tools. State proposals that could provide funding for infrastructure and affordable housing need concerted support (e.g., AB639/Proposition 41, SB 391, Cap and Trade implementation, California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank enhancements, Medicare waivers).
· Local input into allocation decisions for state funds is important.
Professor Calavita’s informative PowerPoint presentation is available here.
*Cosponsors include: League of Women Voters, San Diego Housing Federation, ULI San Diego/Tijuana, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the San Diego chapters of both Partners for Livable Places and Common Cause.
This forum was offered at no charge thanks, in part, to use of the facilities at the First United Methodist Church.
Founded in 1961, C-3’s mission is to advocate, educate and navigate solutions for maintaining high standards of environmental quality, physical design, economic benefit and social progress. C-3 accomplishes this by being a conduit for information, a facilitator for civic dialogue and a source for reasoned opinions.