Love policy? Want to discuss what happens now with redevelopment and affordable housing? Are you the kind of person who doesn’t shy away from words like “tax increment” and “offsets”? Come join us for a policy-intense discussion about the future of San Diego.

On March 28, we’re hosting a lively public forum on redevelopment and affordable housing.

When: Monday, March 28, 2011

Time: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: 2508 Historic Decatur Road, in the San Diego Foundation building at Liberty Station in Point Loma. Map.

Parking: Copious and free

Cost: Free

No RSVP required.

One of the panelists will be Susan Tinsky, executive director of the San Diego Housing Federation. In a couple of recent op-eds, she’s highlighted what Gov. Jerry Brown’s attempts to close redevelopment agencies mean for affordable housing. In short, as she wrote in the Union-Tribune, she thinks it’s bad news.

As redevelopment agencies are the largest local funders of affordable housing in California, this proposal has major consequences for home prices, job creation, our economy and thousands of struggling families.

She followed up in the Daily Transcript,

“We cannot allow affordable housing to become an unintended casualty of this attempt to fix California’s budget. … Existing affordable housing across our state is full, and the situation is only getting worse.”

Some affordable housing advocates are getting behind a proposal by Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, which, while it supports killing off redevelopment agencies, requires the state to keep spending 20 percent of redevelopment money for affordable housing instead of putting it to other purposes.

An editorial in the San Jose Mercury News also supports DeSaulnier’s proposal.

Redevelopment doesn’t just help nonprofit developers — it enables them to exist. Without its grants or loans, they couldn’t pull together enough tax credits and other components to finance quality buildings and rent them to low-wage earners. And there is nothing to replace the redevelopment money. Federal housing aid is drying up, and California has stopped floating bonds for housing and other construction projects.

We invite you to discuss all of this on March 28 with our panelists:

No RSVP is required, but if you want to drop me a line to tell me that you’ll be there, please do so.

To catch up before you attend, check out our redevelopment coverage.

Grant Barrett is engagement editor for or (619) 550-5666 or @grantbarrett on Twitter.

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