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HomeGeneralResidents Leave California As the State Becomes Unaffordable

Residents Leave California As the State Becomes Unaffordable

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Governor Newsom speaks on California housing problems
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Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) has faced accusations of preferring to lie on national television than admitting California’s population loss to other states. The reality is that California has been a net exporter of people for years, a trend exemplified by the story of an apartment building in Los Angeles.

Sixteen years ago, Los Angeles granted land to the housing nonprofit organization “A Community of Friends.” The purpose was to build a 49-unit apartment building.

The project was designed to set aside some units for individuals with mental health problems. Additionally, it aimed to provide housing for those who had experienced homelessness.

First, the builders needed approval for the project from their city councilman, Jose Huizar. However, Huizar insisted on incorporating more commercial space into the building.

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Subsequently, they sought approval from the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council. During this process, nearby business owners protested, expressing their opposition to having mentally ill residents in the neighborhood.

Despite the eventual support from the neighborhood council, business owners filed a lawsuit utilizing the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to halt the project. 

Their claim focused on the environmental review, which took a year and allegedly failed to consider an abandoned oil well adequately. After years of litigation, the builders reached an out-of-court settlement with the business owners.

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Throughout the process, the cost of the building consistently increased. The state continued to add expensive mandates, such as higher energy-efficiency standards and bike storage requirements.

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“We’re really committed to things like climate change, and we’re very committed to transit-oriented development,” nonprofit low-income housing builder Linda Mandolini told the Wall Street Journal. “But those goals don’t come for free.”

Indeed, it’s true. Commitments to initiatives like climate change and public transit come with costs; they contribute to an overall expense increase. There’s a possibility that, as more people depart, Californians might shift their priorities toward affordability over environmental concerns.

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However, the challenge lies in the fact that it’s often the middle-class families valuing affordability who end up leaving. 

This trend could result in a population predominantly composed of affluent Californians less concerned about affordability alongside a lower-income service class. In unrelated developments, a federal judge has blocked a California law that aimed to prohibit guns in most public spaces.

ALSO READ: California Gov. Gavin Newsom Defends San Francisco’s Homeless Woes in Late-Night Interview 

U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney granted a preliminary injunction for the plaintiffs, stating that the law violated the Second Amendment. The law, scheduled to take effect on January 1, would have prohibited guns in various public spaces, including parks, playgrounds, churches, banks, and zoos.

In his ruling, Judge Carney strongly denounced the law, describing it as “sweeping, repugnant to the Second Amendment, and openly defiant of the Supreme Court.” The ruling was made after the California Rifle and Pistol Association lawsuit, which praised the outcome.

“California progressive politicians refuse to accept the Supreme Court’s mandate from the Bruen case and are trying every creative ploy they can imagine to get around it,” Chuck Michel, the group’s president, said in a statement. “The Court saw through the State’s gambit.”

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