Gov. Newsom Holds Roundtable to Discuss Rising Rent Costs

SACRAMENTO -- The governor held an informal meeting with renters who are struggling to get ahead.

Taylor Desmangles sat down with Gov. Gavin Newsom Tuesday. The 27-year-old renter lives with two other women and says her rent eats up her resources.

"That's not including bills. That's not including transportation, gas, food, health insurance," Desmangles said.

"When you have a third of their households spending over 50 percent of their paycheck on housing, that puts the entire economy at risk," Newsom said.

Gov. Newsom's plan is to infuse $1.7 billion into housing in the form of building incentives and tax credits, including for home buyers and rent subsidies.

This comes at a time when entities like the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency is facing federal cuts that affect rent subsidies and construction of affordable housing units.

"Our most challenging effort is funding," said SHRA's Director of Development Tyrone Roderick Williams.

Part of the plan is to get cities to quit dragging their feet on approving more housing construction, even threatening to withhold state gas tax money if goals aren't met and giving it to communities that do.

"After a period of time, three years, four years, and you refuse to do any housing then I think those communities that are doing that work should be rewarded," Newsom said.

The governor says under the best of conditions it could take as long as 10 years to create three million new housing units to help solve the state's housing crisis. It's all the more reason to get started right away.

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