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Governor Jerry Brown’s Troubling View of Affordable Housing

Randy Shawbyline‚ Feb. 19‚ 2013

California Governor Jerry Brown is known for expressing ideas outside the standard political box. But in the case of California’s affordable housing crisis, Brown displays a fundamental misunderstanding of the issue. On February 12 at a housing forum at Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, Brown questioned whether state government even has a role in closing the housing affordability gap. Instead, to address the high rental costs in the San Francisco Bay Area, Brown actually suggested that those burdened with high housing costs could find relief by moving to the Central Valley. And how would they get to their jobs in the Bay Area? By taking high-speed rail, a project Brown has strongly backed. Brown likes to throw out previously unconsidered ideas to broaden the policy debate, but his recent record shows that California affordable housing activists have reason for concern about Brown’s commitment to this cause.