Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to shift home construction in California away from rural, wildfire-prone areas and toward urban cores as part of his $286.4-billion budget plan that aims to align the state’s housing strategy with its climate goals.
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The budget blueprint Newsom detailed this week includes $2 billion over two years in grants and tax credits to incentivize housing development closer to city centers in an effort to cut long car commutes and keep people near their “daily destinations.”
“This is a focus on moving away from the wildland-urban interface,” Newsom said Monday, referring to moving development away from rural areas outside the periphery of most California cities and where fires routinely burn. “Moving away from investments in housing that don’t focus on climate, health, integrating downtown, schools, jobs, parks and restaurants.”
The proposal would build on the $10.3 billion state officials allotted last year to bolster mixed- and low-income housing in California, but marks an evolution in the governor’s approach to solving the state’s multimillion-unit shortage. Though previous budgets have allocated significant money to affordable development, Newsom’s new plan would specifically steer funding toward housing projects in urban areas with existing resources, loosely defined as “downtowns” and “main streets.”
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