How the virus worsened the state's housing crisis

Feb 11, 2021 Travel News

How the virus worsened the state’s housing crisis


A year ago, during his State of State Address, Gov. Gavin Newsom gave up his usual practice of listing a host of ambitious proposals and instead focused on one thing: the sans- shelter. Since then, the state and the governor’s office have been devastated by the pandemic and its devastating effects on the economy. But as priorities naturally shifted, the housing problem was still there – and the coronavirus only made matters worse.

As the virus continues to spread and the job market is on volatile ground, Mr Newsom signed a bill last month extending the state’s moratorium on evictions, which was due to expire this month, until summer. The bill also allocated $ 2.6 billion in federal money to pay off rent, in hopes of enabling eligible tenants to move out with less debt.

But while these triage measures will relieve some of the pain in the short term, the decades-old housing crisis is still very much present. Even with falling rents in many cities, California continues to have one of the worst rental burdens in the country, with about one-third of renters paying half of their pre-tax income for housing, compared to one-quarter in the country. nationwide. It also still has the country’s worst problem with homelessness.

So, as has become a ritual in recent years, the state legislature has introduced a storm of new housing bills intended to make housing more abundant and affordable. Toni Atkins, interim president of the State Senate, made bills to increase housing production among her top goals for this year’s legislative session, and lawmakers again introduced various new bills for increase density as well as funding for homeless services and subsidized housing. Sacramento, meanwhile, recently became the first city in the state to allow apartments in single-family home neighborhoods, after city council voted to pass a plan that would allow developers to build quadruplexes. on any residential land.

It’s hard to imagine now, but 2020 was supposed to be “the year of housing production”. And while 2021 will be the Legislature’s attempt to take stock, last year reminds us that the housing crisis is always with us no matter what overshadows it.

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  • Two cases of the variant coronavirus first discovered in South Africa were found in Alameda and Santa ClaraGovernor Gavin Newsom said Wednesday. The variant reduces the effectiveness of some vaccines. [The San Francisco Chronicle]

  • Dave Min, a state senator from Irvine, last month introduced SB-264, a bill that ban gun sales and shows on all state-owned properties in California. [Los Angeles Times]

  • Orange County teachers and food workers, who are newly eligible for the vaccine according to state guidelines, will have to wait another two weeks. This is to help get through a waiting list of people 65 and over who have not yet been vaccinated. [The Orange County Register]

  • Tuesday the San Jose City Council voted 7-3 to pass a law requiring large grocery stores to pay employees $ 3 more per hour in addition to their regular salary, as they remain at risk during the pandemic. [The San Francisco Chronicle]

  • Guitarist Chuck Johnson released “The Cinder Grove” earlier this month, an album that praises the Californian landscapes still shaved. [The New York Times]

  • Policymakers across the country are looking to California to see if it is possible to phase out fossil fuels. State law mandates 100% clean energy by 2045, and until recently things seemed to be going well. What changed? [The Los Angeles Times]

  • “The biggest problem facing dam safety in California is aging infrastructure and the lack of money to fund dam repairs and renovations.” Fifty years after the Slymar earthquake, California dams face new challenges and dangers. [The Los Angeles Times]

  • The Chevron refinery in Richmond dumped about 600 gallons of “water and oil mixture” in the San Francisco Bay Tuesday. [The San Francisco Chronicle]

– Steven Moity and Jake Frankenfield

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