The 397 community redevelopment agencies across California shut down at the end of February as a result of the state's fiscal crisis. "Their dissolution has thrown into question the fate of hundreds of projects, including housing developments intended for low- and moderate-income people," The New York Times reports.
Eradication of the agencies has also put in jeopardy mixed-use developments like Marlton Square—the planned transformation of a collection of mostly boarded-up retail buildings in South Los Angeles.
Los Angeles County alone had 71 community redevelopment agencies, some of them credited with having carried out successful efforts.
But critics such as Zev Yaroslavsky, a member of Los Angeles County's Board of Supervisors, said the agencies too often enriched developers or built sports stadiums rather than fulfilling their original mission. In any event, the state decided that the revenue the agencies collected through tax-increment financing—about $5 billion in a year—was more urgently needed for other uses. Many Californians saw schools and police as being higher priorities than the projects that the agencies orchestrated.
The greatest immediate concern, according to The Times, is how the dissoluation will affect development of housing for people with low and moderate incomes.
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