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Leftover Redevelopment Money: Affordable Housing or Budget?

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, April 6, 2012
California redevelopment agencies may be gone, thanks to last year's budget and a State Supreme Court ruling.  But at least $1 billion still sits in their bank accounts.  Top Democrats want to use that money for affordable housing projects - but it could be rolled into the state budget instead.
Redevelopment supporters hope lawmakers will create a new program - though that debate might take a year or two.  In the short term, they're backing a measure that recently passed the Assembly.  Jim Kennedy with the California Redevelopment Association says it would direct some unspent, leftover money to affordable housing projects.
Kennedy: "Here you're talking about a very discreet and defined amount of money, sort of a one-time opportunity to retain it and use it for the purpose that it was actually received in the first place."
Democratic Senate President Darrell Steinberg supports that idea too - but says the state's budget needs may trump it.  And legislative Republicans have already proposed using that money in their budget instead of raising taxes or cutting education.
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