Local Leaders Discuss Housing in Cap-to-Cap Trip

WASHINGTON -- Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg describes the housing debacle plaguing the state right now as an existential crisis.

He made those remarks Tuesday in front of a crowd of city and business leaders from the Sacramento region who are in Washington, D.C. asking federal lawmakers for help on projects benefiting the area.

"We have an opportunity to connect the great Sacramento renaissance to everybody, including those who too often feel left out," Steinberg said.

It’s a problem many cities are grappling with. People with nowhere to go because they simply can’t afford to put a roof over their head.

"In the last five years we've had a 100 percent increase in home values in Sacramento. And all that's doing is pushing our lower income and our more vulnerable people further and further to the edge and further and further to being likely to not be able to afford an apartment, living in their car," Rancho Cordova City Councilman Donald Terry said.

It's a sad domino effect with life-altering consequences for families.

“After a few years, it's harder and harder to get them back into mainstream housing and to keep a job, keep your kids in school, to stay off of substances," Terry said.

Terry says that trend is not sustainable. “In housing units for low-income people, middle-income families, we're seeing some of the largest rent increases in the country," he said.

Many ask how the state got into this position and who, if anyone, is to blame.

Republican California Congressman Tom McClintock has strong answers to those questions.

"This is entirely the fault of local and state politicians who have imposed all of these costs on our housing supply and constricted that supply and it forced prices through the roof," McClintock said.

He also says federal regulation is a problem and is a common theme during meetings with Capitol-to-Capitol members who have stopped by his office, outlining the needs of the Sacramento region.

"The pitches that we are hearing right now are not so much over money but, 'Please get the federal government out of the way so that we can proceed with infrastructure projects we already have financed are ready to go,'" McClintock said.

McClintock is specifically calling out the Army Corps of Engineers.

"Its Sacramento office has been the biggest single impediment to economic development and infrastructure construction that I know of in our region," he said.

McClintock says the Trump administration is on the right path when it comes to deregulation. Steinberg also alluded to making an announcement on a housing plan in the coming weeks.