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Editorials: Supply and demand drove low-income move

September 24, 2010

The decision by the Redevelopment Agency to reserve more subsidized housing units for lower-income families was a good, if not obvious, solution to accommodating what has unfortunately become a growing demographic.

Segments of the city's stock of affordable housing units are reserved for various levels of income — moderate, low, very low, etc. — but even as demand among low-income applicants grew, officials had their hands tied in adjusting the stocks. So as times got tougher, and families seeking help got poorer, the number of people able to afford even the moderate-income units dropped. And with no way to change the boundaries, vacancies in the moderately priced units remained as demand for low-income units rose.

The vote this week at City Hall changed all that, so now city officials will be able to adjust the affordable-housing stock according to where the highest demand is. And right now, that demand is in low-income housing.

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The action may just keep one more family from falling into homelessness, where it becomes even more costly to address.

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