San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer Tuesday applauded Gov. Jerry Brown for signing a bill that streamlines the state process for abolishing redevelopment agencies.
Faulconer, a strong proponent of the old redevelopment process, said the signing of SB 107 will return $64 million in funding to San Diego. The mayor also said it will help disadvantaged families and communities in the city by increasing funding for affordable housing.
"It's a big boost that will help the city rebuild our neighborhoods and create more opportunities for low-income San Diegans to succeed," Faulconer said. "I thank the many voices in and out of the Legislature who were
advocating on the city's behalf on this issue, including Speaker (Toni) Atkins, who brokered the changes that had to be made for this to become a reality and for this badly needed money to be repaid."
Redevelopment agencies were abolished four years ago at Gov. Brown's behest in order to put more money in the general funds of local governments, which were financially struggling with the effects of the recession.
Faulconer defended the agencies, saying the one in San Diego was chiefly responsible for the revival of downtown, which he used to represent on the City Council.
The agencies made their money by receiving the increased amount of tax revenue generated by their projects. That income paid for new projects in their areas, with a percentage designated for affordable housing.
Advocates for affordable housing have been looking ever since for a new funding source, while local governments have struggled in dealing with the state Department of Finance to determine which leftover projects remained eligible for funding.
"This is an important bill that helps local governments wind down the process of dissolving their redevelopment agencies, and, as that happens, communities across California will be able to access new tools to promote economic development and create jobs," Atkins said.
The bill, brought forth on the final day of the legislative session, was expected to have varying impacts on different cities.
Separately, the governor also signed a bill that allows local governments in economically depressed areas to take certain tax revenue and spend it on public works, affordable housing, and to help businesses.