More affordable housing units may be built in Fresno and across California because both local and state governments plan on making it easier for developers to build.
Mayor Ashley Swearengin said in December, they adopted something very similar to this affordable housing bill that Governor Jerry Brown is proposing. The goal is to make more affordable housing units for low income families to live.
Preston Prince is the executive officer for the Fresno Housing Authority. He said, “We have high demand for affordable housing. Eighty-percent of our low income families are paying more than fifty-percent of their income for rent.”
The City said tens of thousands of families are struggling to pay rent, and they need at least 35,000 more affordable housing units.
“We are seeking to remove every barrier from investing in our City and particularly in neighborhoods that have not seen new investment in decades,” stated Swearengin.
Swearengin and other housing officials held a press conference on Thursday in support of Brown’s bill to make it easier for affordable housing units to be built. The rent in affordable housing units are partially paid for by the government. As it stands now, a developer has to go through public hearings, planning commission meetings, and other hurdles to build multi-family housing units and complexes. But the affordable housing bill would streamline the process.
Jake Lingo is an affordable housing builder with Integrated Community Development who was present at the press conference.
He said, “When we have quality new affordable housing they are fully occupied with lengthy waitlists. There is a tremendous need, this will help streamline it.”
However Swearengin said the housing problem is not fully resolved. She reminds that Fresno will still need funding to help pay for residents to live in affordable housing units, and that will have to be passed through City Council.