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Assemblymember David Alvarez’s Reconnecting Communities Redevelopment Act Advances in the Assembly

For immediate release:

(Sacramento) The Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development passed Assemblymember David Alvarez’s (D-San Diego) Assembly Bill 2945, the Reconnecting Communities Redevelopment Act, which would allow local cities and counties to form Reconnecting Communities Reinvestment Agencies to help build freeway lids, affordable housing, and public amenities in communities divided by freeways.

“Redevelopment was an important tool for economic development and affordable housing construction,” said Assemblymember Alvarez. “In my own community, while I served on the San Diego City Council, I saw firsthand the effects that investing dollars through redevelopment can have for communities like Barrio Logan and others.”
In 1945, the State Legislature established Redevelopment Agencies (RDA), which utilize tax increment financing to fund projects in blighted areas. Although many of these projects brought vital infrastructure, like housing, to blighted communities, following the 2008 recession, the California Legislature dissolved RDA’s. This removal has deprived the state a critical tool to resolve community’s housing, infrastructure and economic development needs.

AB 2945 recognizes the importance of RDAs and addresses their previous flaws by reestablishing them with stronger oversight provisions, including penalties for noncompliance, opportunities for public input and a requirement that 30% of funds be dedicated to building low and moderate-income housing. This bill also requires RDA’s to be located near a freeway with a Reconnecting Communities project including freeway lids projects that reconnect communities divided by transportation infrastructure.

By focusing on mobility, affordable housing, and environmental improvements, AB 2945 will be an important tool for California’s neighborhoods that were divided by freeway development and can go a long way in resolving the housing and infrastructure crisis.  

AB 2945 is supported by Habitat for Humanity and the California Association of Realtors and will next be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.