The best way to get more affordable rentals built

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(affordable rentals)

“The pandemic hasn’t killed California’s big housing plans – but they have mutated”;

I had a career in developing affordable housing, neighborhood preservation and code enforcement in several Southern California cities. One of the biggest challenges we faced was poor property management of duplex and fourplex rentals owned by mom-and-pop landlords.

These small-time landlords were not professional property managers. This may be the only rental they owned. They often did not screen their tenants properly or know how to evict problem tenants. Their units were often a blight as viewed from the street or by neighbors. The cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Ontario, Hemet and others spent millions and years cleaning-up fourplex neighborhoods during the 1980s and 90s.

A better solution is higher density rental or ownership housing, accessory dwelling units or granny flats, and professionally managed apartment complexes.

By the way, the best way to get more affordable rentals built is to make them less expensive to build. This could be accomplished by amending the Davis Bacon Act, which requires prevailing wages, similar to union wages, on federally subsidized housing projects. Although politically sensitive, this could lower the cost of construction government subsidized apartments by up to 30%.

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