Like the phoenix rising up from the ashes of the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency, the Fullerton Housing Authority is born.
The February 15th Fullerton City Council Agenda contains an item that would create a new city government bureaucracy in which to shelter the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency’s funds from the State of California.
The staff report attached to the agenda suggests that the Orange County Housing Authority would likely gain control of the City’s $33-million currently allocated for housing if Governor Brown’s budget cuts include dismantling the powerful redevelopment agencies.
City staff are concerned that the City will loose local control should the County control the money. For years, the City of
has passed the buck on local control to quasi-governmental agencies like the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG). Fullerton
SCAG develops rules, guidelines, and policies for its members to follow as part of a master plan. SCAG is all about light rail, transportation centers, building up- not out, and environmental causes. SCAG gained some legitimacy when the Federal government declared the organization to be a metropolitan planning organization. SCAG would turn
into a mini Downtown Los Angeles if they could. …but I digress. Fullerton
Back to my point. The City of
has been using the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency to conduct business which no public agency should be conducting such as land development (as opposed to economic development). The Fullerton Redevelopment Agency is tens of millions of dollars in debt thanks to the issuance of tax bonds. And while spending money to buy up businesses and apartments for nefarious purposes, property taxes are diverted from public safety, education, and the infrastructure. Fullerton
Now the same people who gave us a $29,000,000 tax bond (estimated to cost taxpayers $50-million) last year seek to continue to shelter public funds but in a new government agency to be called the Fullerton Housing Authority -because they don’t want to give up local control! Why worry about local control this late in the game?
As I have said repeatedly, there is nothing that the City of
cannot do as a city without having a redevelopment agency -except issue tax bonds without taxpayer/voter approval. Fullerton
Here is an excerpt from the staff report of what the Housing Authority may do:
“The City Council may adopt a resolution declaring there is a need for a housing authority if it finds either of the following: 1) that unsanitary and unsafe inhabited dwelling accommodations exist in the City, or 2) that there is a shortage of safe or sanitary dwelling accommodations in the city available to persons of low income at rental rates they can afford.”
The report goes on to advise council members that they should become the Housing Authority Commissioners. The report doesn’t mention it but I wonder how much these new commissioners will be paid for their service?
As our fearless leader says in every speech, “Let me be clear…”. Let me be clear that there are housing issues that need to be dealt with. However, a housing authority is just another department to manage with more overhead. There is an existing department, Community Development, which could and should handle housing issues.
The staff report mentions that about half of all renter households are over paying for what they can afford. If a government agency was to continuously accommodated renters based on their respective incomes, what would be the incentive for renters to be more productive with their time? In other words, if the city provides housing to accommodate an annual salary of $20,000, then where is my motivation to earn $30,000? Without individuals progressively improving their financial growth and productivity, we will continue to have an economic recession. And eventually, a handful of wealthy aristocrats will have to provide for the masses, not unlike the lords and serfs of the dark ages.
Finally, I leave you with “staff’s” summary of the situation:
“In response to the Governor s proposed budget the formation of a local housing authority will provide the City with the opportunity to maintain local control of the existing affordable housing fund balances and allow the City to provide for the development of affordable housing within the City s boundaries Under the proposed State budget the housing funds would go directly to the Orange County Housing Authority where local control would be lost and development of affordable housing in the City would have an uncertain future and risk not meeting its RHNA obligations In response to the proposed budget staff is requesting that the City Council consider approval of establishing the Fullerton Housing Authority in order to safeguard the City s ability to provide affordable housing opportunities.”