Fresno among several California cities picked by Gov. Gavin Newsom to combat housing crisis

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- California Governor Gavin Newsom is proposing a possible solution to the state's housing crisis by partnering with several cities, including Fresno.

To an outsider, the Valley's booming construction may seem like there are plenty of places to live.

But to an insider, many of those homes are simply out of reach.

House-hunting site Zillow says the average house in Fresno is priced around $250,000, which shuts out people like Carl Peters.

"I just moved over here. I was looking for a place. I was homeless for 5 months," Peters says.

But Governor Gavin Newsom announced a new coordinated plan with California cities that could change people's lives, like his.

"One of the issues is that the cost of affordable housing, it's an oxymoron. It's very expensive," says Fresno mayor Lee Brand.

The governor's plan is to develop affordable housing on excess land owned by the state.

In a release, he says the state just simply doesn't have enough homes and that housing costs and rents are "squeezing family budgets".

Mayor Brand is also mentioned on the release, saying he's excited to see how these ideas will benefit the San Joaquin Valley.

"The city of Fresno's been working with the governor's office on these innovative things that they're looking at to tackle this problem. I hope (during) the next few years, we'll be working with the state to fix this critical issue."

Newsom's plan is to release at least three requests for proposals for new housing construction within a year, and help families and folks like Peters get a place to call home.

"They should help a lot of these people - if not get affordable housing, but building housing projects so these people can come up off the street. They don't have anywhere to be, but they need a place to be."

Peters now lives in affordable housing and the governor hopes his plan helps many more struggling Californians like him.

Newsom's goal includes having the first parcel identified and an RFP issued by the end of September.
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