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Why ABAG housing quotas lead to displacement

May 23, 2017

By Thomas Lord : 48hills – excerpt

Places with more low-income residents will be forced to add more higher-income people

The Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA), a product of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), assigns to each Bay Area Jurisdiction quotas of new housing. Each city is urged to incentives and permit construction of its assigned number of new housing units, with some reserved for “very low,” some for “low,” and some for “moderate” income households. The majority of units to be built are supposed to be market rate units. Most of this new development is planned to take place in designated “priority development areas.”…

These quotas, sometimes erroneously called a city’s “fair share” of new housing, are taking on steadily greater legal significance. There are pushes these days in Sacramento, such as Scott Wiener’s “streamlined approval process” bill (SB-35), which are meant to make RHNA quotas mandatory by reducing local control over development decisions. Wiener’s bill would make certain project approvals automatic in cities that have not met their assigned RHNA quotas… (more)

So far Wiener’s “By Right” has not gotten out of the first committee, unless something happened today. Meanwhile, Assembler Member Phil Ting has a much more popular, so far, bill (AB-915) that is making better progress that would counter the Wiener bill by throwing the authority back to local jurisdictions.

As we are looking at the snarled traffic, and considering the why’s of blended water, one must question what kind of lifestyles we are giving up and what quality of life we will have if we are forced to “take” more people and cram them into this small plot of land instead of spreading out a bit so we can appreciate our life and our air, and our water, and maybe even preserve a few views, that brought us here in the first place.

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