Jan 25 2022

State Bond Funds for Las Vegas Train Instead of Housing

Is the State Priority of Affordable Housing as Strong as the Piedmont City Council?

As Piedmonters wonder where 587 new housing units will be built in our compact city, some arms of the State government may not be entirely on the same page as the mandate on Piedmont.

Is shuttling Californians to Las Vegas to gamble really a high public interest to be subsidized?  In a split vote on January 19, 2022, the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee approved opening up some of its $4.3 billion bond capacity for projects other than affordable housing.

With the encouragement of the governor’s representative some of the State’s limited private-activity bonds will be available for non-housing uses, “providing an opportunity for projects such as a private-equity backed train to Las Vegas and a desalination plant to apply for the coveted financing.”

Fortress Investment Group and the Huntington Beach Poseidon Water project are surprising new potential beneficiaries for this funding considering that “Housing developers are expected to need about $9 billion of bonds this year, far more than what’s available.”

Read January 19, 2022 Meeting agenda Here

Read January 19, 2022 Staff report here

Read general reporting about non-housing projects access to cheap financing here

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