It’s time to get serious about developing Affordable Housing.

We cannot expect Developers to create low income housing. They are in the business for a profit, and Lord knows they make a killing in Long Beach thanks to all the donations and the amounts they have given to our elected officials.

If we really want low income housing, this must be a government funded project. Instead of almost giving away the land we inherited from the Redevelopment Agency, it would have been so much nicer and smarter if we bought them ourselves for affordable housing. Nonetheless, We need to accumulate parcels and start designing neighborhood friendly and people-friendly affordable housing.

We also need to stop using the contractors who have been ripping us off — $53 million with only a few affordable units to show for it. The cost we have been paying for projects is unnatural and so inflated that no one can look at the cost sheets without immediately coming to the conclusion that some sort of corruption was at play.

We need to get the best bang for our buck in affordable housing since we need a lot. Wasting money on political allies just won’t cut it. We need to do a really cost comparison of contractors and developers with serious oversight and complete  transparency. Only then will we be assured that the kind of housing we desperately need is being built. Affordable housing is not just for low income residents, but it is also essential to transitional  and continuum housing for homeless people. 

I know our people want to solve this problem, so it is high time the City conquers the issue, sets aside politics, privilege and benefit, and get down to basics. Set aside as much money as we can (40 to 50 million) in each year’s budget as a first priority until we have the housing we need. Simple math.