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Add this hat to the ring on the HOA/affordable housing conversation. I heard today from state Assemblywoman Lori Saldaña. She wanted to add some thoughts to the discussion from her perspective as chairwoman of the Assembly’s Housing and Community Development Committee.

She said when she first saw the bill, AB 952, she “had concerns” similar to some you’ve raised in this forum following this story.

But she said she voted to pass the bill with the understanding that its author, Assemblyman Gene Mullin, would continue to tweak it.

Here’s some more of her thoughts on this issue and a broader position on integrated affordable housing:

Re:some of the points raised by readers- both serious and facetious- It’s true many of us pay taxes for, say, schools long after our children are grown. However, everyone benefits from having literate, educated people in our communities. Or, as one retired friend put it: it’s the price I pay to makes sure the next generation has the same opportunities to succeed that my family had.

Likewise, having teachers, nurses, firefighters and others who do essential work- yet are paid less overall- living in our neighborhoods is a benefit for everyone. In times of emergency, it’s nice to know the first responders and those who care for our children are not “exiled” to East County due to lower housing costs, and can be close to their own families while also caring for others.

She also responded to reader MM from my post yesterday:

Finally, moving eastward is no answer. We have all seen the impact of sprawl on our roads, and experienced traffic congestion, air pollution and higher gasoline costs from longer commutes. Telling people they should live elsewhere because houses are cheaper is not a solution, and in fact, contributes to other problems in our communities.

As the committee name (Housing AND Community Development) implies, there is a non-economic benefit for providing safe, affordable housing in all neighborhoods. Providing affordable housing for people of diverse economic and professional backgrounds who contribute to our economy, education, security and safety is good for all of us.

Thoughts? Click my name below to send them my way.

KELLY BENNETT

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