OC Register: Unions’ Fight Against Affordable Housing

OC Register: Unions’ Fight Against Affordable Housing
June 5, 2016 Joanna Rivas

Gov. Jerry Brown recently proposed reforming the state’s California Environmental Quality Act by allowing new housing projects with at least 20 percent on-site affordable housing to bypass the law’s cumbersome environmental impact process and be approved “as of right.” In short, projects meeting the affordable housing threshold would be approved without review by local government entities and without being subject to citizen appeal. One would think that California’s labor unions would be quick to hail Gov. Brown’s reform. After all, construction means employment for many unions, and labor advocates used unaffordable housing prices as an argument for raising the minimum wage in cities like San Francisco.

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