Governor Newsom's housing crisis funds get bipartisan push-back from Valley leaders

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's a proposal designed to combat the housing cost crisis.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced $750 million in support for cities to help plan and zone for new housing.

"Housing is one of those things there's no simple answer. Even $750 million sounds like a lot of money but when you look at the thousands and thousands of units needed it just kinda touches the situation," said Fresno Mayor Lee Brand.

It's part of the governor's $1.75 billion housing package for 2019.

The proposal sets higher short-term goals for housing that cities and counties must meet while updating the state's long-term housing goals.

But it's the consequence of not meeting these goals that are getting bipartisan push-back.

"The governor needs to be careful about painting with this huge broad brush," said Assemblyman Jim Patterson. "Central California, Clovis, and Fresno have a history of having affordable rents some of the most available entry-level homes and a successful history in matching home costruction and apartment construction with the needs of the market place."

The proposal would withhold state gas tax funds from local governments that don't meet zoning and housing production goals.

"I'm particularly troubled with the implication that if you don't do housing the way the governor wants that sooner or later cities are going to lose road or street money," Patterson said.

Critics say the governor's plans to link transportation maintenance dollars to housing is not what was initially communicated to taxpayers.

"SB One funds were designed for transportation and for the governor to hold a sword over the heads of local governments in order to get their transportation dollars is inappropriate and really constitutes a significant threat against local control," said Jon Coupal with Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

If approved by lawmakers, Newsom's proposal wouldn't take effect until 2023.
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