Monday, March 14, 2011

Redevelopment: the well-meaning program for fixing urban ills greatly abused

Click on title to see links in the original story:

Going to Money Town
Voice of San Diego
March 14,2011

One of the arguments for killing redevelopment: That the well-meaning program for fixing urban ills has since been greatly abused for all sorts of luxuries that stray far from its original intent. In between doling out a couple of sharp elbows to local California politicians and state Republicans, journalist Steven Greenhut delivers a little history in the Wall Street Journal on California's endangered redevelopment and abuses he's witnessed through his career.

· We've been following closely as San Diego and other municipalities around the state have tried to tie up billions of dollars in redevelopment cash before the governor cuts it off. While most places have just carved out the money, some have already begun borrowing it, sometimes at quite a cost. Redevelopment agencies across the state borrowed $700 million in the first two months and a week of the year, compared to $1 billion in all of 2010, the LA Times says.

· It's not San Diego, but it's instructive: NPR's Planet Money recently profiled one Pennsylvania city that sold a lake to help fix its problems, threw in the towel and then got help from a state squad that travels around helping distressed governments.

At this point, it looks like California could use one of those, too, although they might end up spending all their time in Sacramento. (It'd still be cheaper than these guys.)

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