According to the Los Angeles Times, Mayor Eric Garcetti has repeatedly pointed to the state’s elimination of redevelopment agencies seven years ago as one reason homelessness has surged across the city.
According to the Mayor’s narrative, redevelopment agencies were supposed to set aside at least 20% of their property tax revenues for affordable housing projects. In L.A., that once yielded roughly $50 million annually, according to the housing department.
Garcetti opted not to invest in affordable housing after redevelopment ended. It’s been much easier for him to blame Sacramento rather than address the issue.
By the way, the money really didn’t disappear. The Times says some of the funds that used to go to agencies now flow to cities, counties, special districts and schools. Los Angeles has received more than $394 million in former redevelopment dollars. So basically the Mayor lied. Los Angeles spent the money on other things besides affordable housing.
According to the Times, Garcetti and the City Council put the new revenue into the day-to-day budget to help cover spending on police, firefighters and other city services, along with growing costs for retired employees.