Gavin Newsom will launch “Marshall Plan” for affordable housing

New governor wants developers to build 500,000 homes per year

Jan.January 07, 2019 02:00 PM
Gavin Newsom at his Inauguration (Credit: Getty Images)

Democrat Gavin Newsom pledged to fight homelessness and increase affordable housing statewide on Monday, as he was sworn in as California’s 40th governor.

“In our home, no one should live in constant fear of eviction, or spend their whole paycheck to keep a roof overhead,” Newsom said from Sacramento. “We will launch a Marshall Plan for affordable housing and lift up the fight against homelessness from a local matter to a state-wide mission.”

The governor was alluding to the Marshall Plan passed by the U.S. Congress in 1948 — the $13 billion aid program meant to stabilize European countries following World War II.

Newsom failed to provide much detail on how he will execute California’s Marshall Plan. He also touched on topics including the criminal justice system, rising unaffordability, education and of course, President Trump.

Newsom, a two-term lieutenant governor, beat Republican opponent John Cox with nearly 62 percent of the votes in the November election. His victory marked the first time in 130 years in which a Democrat succeeded another Democrat — Jerry Brown — in the office.

Much like his predecessor and opponent, Newsom focused much of his campaign on the state’s housing crisis.

In March, Newsom said that he wants developers to build 3.5 million homes, or 500,000 per year, from the day he takes office through 2025. That was more ambitious than Cox’s vision to build 3 million homes over the next decade.

To reach his goal, Newsom has advocated for easing some of the regulations on real estate development. Specifically, he’s in favor of removing some of the restrictions that make it challenging to build middle-income homes.

As for rent control, Newsom said he is against the repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Control Housing Act of 1995, which places limits on rent-control laws. He has said that the state government should be entrusted with legislating solutions to the growing homeless population — not the private sector or not-for-profit organizations.

Previously, he has also mentioned a plan to financially reward cities and counties that approve housing near transit. In Los Angeles County, a similar Transit Oriented Communities program has already helped put more than 1,000 affordable housing units in the pipeline.

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