Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Low Income Housing

There are two housing issues we have been commenting on recently, and while both appear to be related and indicating mutual support, they are not, and require different responses.

Providing housing throughout the community for the chronic homeless who make up the largest group illegally camping in the North Sacramento area of the Parkway, which we wrote about in a Commentary published in the Bee and which we have posted to our website, is an issue we support as it is the preferred option to the practice—currently being used by Sacramento—of concentrated housing for the homeless in one area.

Concentrated housing in this regard has a tendency to degrade the neighborhoods it is in and also reduces the effectiveness of the necessary policy of helping the chronic homeless begin to rebuild their lives as the peer impact of living within large groups of other chronic homeless will tend to dilute the development of the individual internal work needed to begin that rebuilding process.

This new issue, of requiring developers to make 15% of all their projects contain housing for low income, in an editorial from the Bee today, is not an issue we would support as it creates yet another layer of regulation around the builders of communities further shaping the type of communities they can build, and has the potential to drive many developers from a city that continues to need the kind of public income generating development that the private housing market is asking for.

It is an issue, which while perhaps laudable in its aspiration, could be disastrous in its implementation.