California’s liberal politicians have been caught wasting taxpayer money yet again. The latest scandal involves so-called “Affordable Housing Projects” that are costing a whopping $1 million for each unit built.
“Affordable Housing Projects” are government-subsidized developments wherein politicians give developers taxpayer funds in exchange for them building and setting aside housing units for the poor.
The $1 million-per-unit price shocker was revealed by a recent study conducted by the Los Angeles Times - but sky-high costs for these projects have also been revealed by a number of audits conducted by federal, state and local auditors.
Carl DeMaio, chairman of Reform California, says government subsidized housing projects are destined to simply waste taxpayer funds to benefit politically-connected developers. DeMaio says the best way to provide affordable housing to all is to simply cut regulation and other mandates that drive up the cost of housing generally.
“Forcing taxpayers to pay more than $1 million per unit for so-called ‘affordable housing’ has to go down as one of the biggest scams and rip-offs in government history — and that’s saying a lot since there are so many examples of wasteful spending in California government,” said DeMaio.
DeMaio says the $1 million price tag is driven by two factors: corrupt kickbacks engineered by Democrat politicians, and high regulatory costs to build any housing in California.
According to DeMaio, these 'corrupt kickbacks' manifest as union-only labor contracts, where in exchange for a contract, unions contribute to Democrat politicians' campaigns using union dues from developers and contractors working on the projects. In a study by the Terner Center, projects paying union wages to construction workers could cost $50,000 more per apartment.
Regulatory issues driving up costs include permit fees, mandates, and long government approval waiting periods. Waiting periods are reflected in housing prices at as much as 23.4 percent of the total price. Government regulation overall may explain, on average, 40 percent of housing costs.
DeMaio says these factors hurt development — choking labor and material supply and raising costs of housing. He also says the “corrupt pay-to-play” system in government subsidized housing has to end.
“These woke liberal politicians are throwing more and more of your money at the issue while hoping you don’t notice that they’re strangling the free market with overbearing mandates, regulations, fees, and processing times,” explained DeMaio.
“The problem is entirely self-imposed by California Democrats and special-interests — and you the taxpayer are bearing the cost,” he continued.