Not so fast, county

For background information on the county's move to halve its affordable-housing targets, see “House parity” by Raheem F. Hosseini, SN&R Frontlines, March 7, at
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Dozens of housing and homeless advocates converged on a Sacramento County Board of Supervisors meeting last week to urge board members to stand up and protect the future of affordable housing in the region. Specifically, they urged supervisors to reject a move to halve current low-income housing requirements.

But the supervisors didn’t listen.

In a single vote, the board laid the groundwork instead to ease this requirement for developers and basically halved—from 15 to 8 percent—the current affordable-housing obligation.

How will local seniors, low-income families and just-up-from-homeless people find places they can afford to live in Sacramento County? The answer is, they usually won’t. And our county’s shortsighted leaders don’t seem to care.

The vote was especially galling, since it came in the wake of the board’s shameful approval last month of Cordova Hills, a giant 2,700-acre development in the northwest part of the county. The sprawling project will contain only 2 percent affordable housing and is anathema to the region’s stated commitment to smart growth and the fostering of environmentally healthy, forward-thinking communities.

Taken in tandem, these two votes speak volumes about the county’s arrogant, “go big or go home” intentions regarding future development in our region.

But remember when the city of Folsom voted last year to lower its affordable-housing requirement? Thankfully, the Sacramento Housing Alliance was able to thwart that plan when it successfully sued that city in Sacramento Superior Court for violating its own housing policy.

It’s too soon to tell if housing advocates will take to the courts this time. But don’t rule it out. It’s clear this is all far from over.