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How California chose to become unaffordable


Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) would rather lie on national television than admit that California is losing population to other states, but the fact is California has been a net exporter of people for years and the story of one apartment building in Los Angeles shows why.

Sixteen years ago, a housing nonprofit organization called A Community of Friends was given land by the city of Los Angeles to build a 49-unit apartment building that would set aside some units for people with mental health problems or who had been homeless.


First the builders had to get approval for the project from their city councilman, Jose Huizar, who demanded more commercial space in the building. Then they had to get approval from the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council, where nearby business owners protested that they did not want mentally ill residents in the neighborhood.

While the neighborhood council eventually voted with the builders, the business owners then sued using the California Environmental Quality Act to stop the project. They claimed that the environmental review, which had taken a year by itself, didn’t properly account for an abandoned oil well. After years of litigation, the builders eventually settled with the business owners out of court.

All throughout the process, the price tag for the building kept going up as the state kept adding on expensive mandates like higher energy-efficiency standards and bike storage.

“We’re really committed to things like climate change and we’re very committed to transit-oriented development,” nonprofit low-income housing builder Linda Mandolini told the Wall Street Journal. “But those goals don’t come for free.”


It is true. Commitments to things like climate change and public transit are not free. They do make everything more expensive.

Maybe, as more and more people leave, Californians will change and start prioritizing affordability over the environment. Problem is, it is those middle-class families that value affordability that end up leaving. And then all you’re left with are rich Californians who don’t care about affordability and their poor servant class.

Continue Reading at The Washington Examiner.

Washington Examiner

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