A grand tour of Sacramento’s housing crisis

This week’s interview is with Veronica Beaty, land use policy director for the Sacramento Housing Alliance. Veronica gives a great overview of the dimensions of the affordable housing crisis in Sacramento, and the reasons for it.

The recession, the elimination of redevelopment agencies in California, and the dismantling of “inclusionary housing” policies by Sacramento city and county governments have helped create an affordable housing deficit of about 60,000 units. And while President Barack Obama significantly strengthened federal fair housing rules, and directed cities to take more aggressive action to break down old patterns of racial and economic segregation — or lose federal funding — those rules may soon be Trumped. In fact, Trump’s probable/maybe HUD Secretary, Ben Carson, dismissed Obama’s new housing rule a the latest in a string of “failed socialist experiments.”

But, we’ve got a new mayor in Darrell Steinberg, who has a legislative track record on homelessness, housing and land use, and who is making “permanent supportive housing” for the homeless a top priority in his first year. And we’ve got Governor Jerry Brown and a Democratic super majority in California’s legislature, hoping this year to find some solutions.

And we’ve got folks like Veronica, trying to make it all work locally. Much thanks to her her colleagues at SHA.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and reporting on affordable housing for another project I’m working on. So hopefully some that will spill over here. Meanwhile, check out my earlier interview on affordable housing with economic professor Rob Wassmer. It’s a good companion/contrast to this one.

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Mercy Housing at 7th and H Streets in downtown Sacramento.
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