Re: News Release: Treasurer Chiang, Affordable Housing Advocates to Legislature: Go ‘Big and Bold’ to Address State’s Housing Crisis

 

 

By George Miller

CitizensJournal.us gets scads of press releases from NGO’s, various government agencies, advocacy groups and private companies. We publish most of them, unless they are obvious commercial advertising promotions, advocate unlawful activities, harass people, or impose excessively upon our goodwill. In those cases, we usually simply decline to publish them. But, CA Treasurer John Chieng has gone over the top repeatedly since being elected to that position and needs to be called on it. He has worked his way up the ladder quickly and is now intending to run for governor.

So it is worth remarking that he appears to be using his position, which should be to take care of the state’s money, to strongly advocate very partisan political stances, such as the one below. It gives him considerable advantage in having a “free” and strong “bully pulpit,” affording him unfair advantages over his campaign rivals.

He wants to spend another $9,000,000,000.00 of our money on this scheme?  (there has been talk of up to $20 billion) Really?

So we ask the following questions, which you might also ask:

  1. Why is an elected official, whose tasks are to manage our money, using state funds and color of authority, to advocate highly partisan political opinions which are out of his area of expertise and authority? How much is being spent on this?
  2. Does CA really have constitutional authority to effect multi-billion dollar income transfers to carry out its dubious social policies? If legal, is it right?
  3. Is it really feasible for the state to be in the housing business and have us pay for so much housing for the disadvantaged, or would it make more sense to work on addressing the underlying causes, possibly in a public-private partnership? Causes which might address, may include, but not be limited to: highest housing costs in America, due to excessive regulation, taxes, inflation, supply being constrained, failure to enforce immigration/screening laws, constrained employment opportunities, etc.
  4. Are there better/cheaper ways to address the housing situation without so much government (our) $$$billions?

Just asking.

Here is the latest offending, self-serving press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Aug. 24, 2017 

PR 17:43                                                                                                                                         

 

State Treasurer’s Office Contact: Marc Lifsher | 916-653-2995 

California Housing Consortium / Housing California Contact: Sarah Jimenez | 916-444-7614

Treasurer Chiang, Affordable Housing Advocates

to Legislature: Go ‘Big and Bold’ to Address State’s Housing Crisis

Coalition Calls for Urgent Action on Proposed Housing Solutions, Including Voter-Backed Increase to Affordable Housing Bond

 

SACRAMENTO –  State Treasurer John Chiang, affordable housing advocates and Californians who have benefited from affordable housing programs urged the Legislature on Thursday to quickly pass and send the Governor a package of bills that includes ongoing funding to build affordable homes (SB 2), a $3 billion affordable housing bond (SB 3) and regulatory reforms.

The Treasurer and housing advocates specifically pressed legislators to go ‘big and bold’ on the housing bond, urging lawmakers to increase the SB 3 proposal to between $6 billion and $9 billion — as supported by voters in a recent poll — to kick-start a long-term commitment to eliminate California’s shortage of more than 1.5 million homes.

Securing a housing bond also makes good on the public commitment by Governor Jerry Brown, Senate Pro Tem Kevin de León, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon that a housing deal would include a general obligation bond, permanent funding source for affordable housing and regulatory reform.

“We have the opportunity now to move decisively to ease a 1.5 million-unit shortfall in affordable housing. But we must think big and act boldly,” said Chiang.  “California needs an aggressive strategy built on three pillars of sound policy – streamlined regulations, ongoing funding, and, importantly, a six-to- nine-billion- dollar housing bond to jump-start building.”

A recent poll found that voters strongly support a bond of up to $9 billion. The poll also found that 40 percent of voters have a family member or close friend who is or has experienced homelessness, and 51 percent say that at today’s prices they could not afford a home in their own neighborhood.

“Hardworking families, seniors and veterans call my non-profit housing organization every day, desperate for an affordable place to live and fearful they won’t have a place to sleep at night. We have more than 20,000 households on our waiting lists statewide,” said Linda Mandolini, President of Eden Housing and immediate past chair of the California Housing Consortium. “We know what the dignity of having a place to call home does – it means stronger families and communities. That’s why we need the Legislature to invest in affordable housing today.”

A housing bond has not gone before voters since 2006, more than a decade ago. In that time, the state disinvested more than $6 billion in funding for building affordable homes.

“Renting an affordable apartment through Mutual Housing California laid the foundation for my family’s home, leadership opportunities and community bond, which transformed my life from someone struggling to pay rent to now being a property manager, a homeowner and an advocate for families like my own,” said Maria Chavez, a former affordable housing renter and now Property Manager at Mutual Housing California.

For more news, please follow the Treasurer on Twitter at @CalTreasurer, and on Facebook at California State Treasurer’s Office.

 


George Miller is Publisher and Co-Founder of CitizensJournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant residing in Oxnard

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