Mercury News: Housing Crisis can be Eased by Good Decisions on Fuji Towers, Evans Lane

Mercury News: Housing Crisis can be Eased by Good Decisions on Fuji Towers, Evans Lane
September 2, 2016 Peter

Residents walk to their home in Fuji Towers in San Jose, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016.  Low-income residents of San Jose's Fuji Towers could face steep rental increases if a mortgage assistance program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development isn't renewed upon its expiration in January. Tenants on Thursday called on HUD to continue providing rental assistance to this community.  (Patrick Tehan/Bay Area News Group)The California Legislature has whiffed on the housing crisis. Increasingly, it’s up to cities and counties to solve it. The affordability gap threatens to derail California’s economic boom in places like Silicon Valley, where all but the top paid workers have trouble renting, let alone buying, a home. It should be a national concern because California’s tech surge is what fueled the national economic recovery. But except for a bill sponsored by Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, to make it easier to add auxiliary units to existing homes, nothing got passed. No by-right housing legislation, an idea to fast track housing plans that meet all zoning requirements. No plan for a statewide housing bond that activists hoped for.

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