Michael Tilden, the current state auditor, examined California’s compliance with Govin Newsom’s 2019 executive order that prioritizes the use of state-owned land to support affordable housing.
“The rapid creation of affordable housing is critical because more than 1.4 million low-income tenants in California do not have access to affordable housing,” Tilden wrote in a letter Tuesday to the governor and other state leaders.
While it is estimated that more than 30,000 affordable housing units could be provided to tenants under the executive order, the state Department of General Services needs to speed up the process of offering real estate for development, the audit concluded.
Of the 92 properties the department plans to develop, only 19 have been allocated, according to the report. In addition, the department predicts that it will take seven years for the remaining parcels to be disposed of, “but adding just one staff member could reduce that time by more than two years,” Tilden wrote.
The Department of General Services (DGS) and the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) generally agreed with the report’s assessments and said they would implement the recommendations, the auditor’s office said.
Housing and Community Development said in a statement Tuesday that it “is committed to maximizing opportunities for all Californians to have a stable, affordable place to call home.”
“In this work, the HCD and DGS team has built a pipeline of more than 3,000 homes in less than three years since the first property was opened and at least 2,000 more homes are expected from its current open invitations,” the statement said. he said.
Audit recommends that the California Legislature enact state laws that require agencies to comply with the executive order. The Ministry of General Services should be required by law to develop criteria for evaluating state-owned plots for use in affordable housing by September 2022, the audit said.
The report also recommended that the state conduct comprehensive reviews next year and every four years thereafter to identify excess property that could be used for housing.
The state missed opportunities to consider additional properties for affordable housing due to a lack of communication between agencies, the audit found.
“The state’s need for affordable housing significantly exceeds its output, which negatively affects Californians,” the auditors wrote.
Reports from the Ministry of Housing and Community Development found that high housing costs often result in families delaying rent and running out of food, utilities or health care. The lack of affordable housing is also contributing to the housing crisis, which is in crisis levels in California.
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California too slow in offering state’s surplus properties to alleviate affordable housing crisis, audit says Source link California too slow in offering state’s surplus properties to alleviate affordable housing crisis, audit says