Calif. Dems craft proposal letting the state own up to 45% of a home to make it affordable to black residents

The Democrat-controlled California legislature has crafted a proposal that would see the state purchase up to 45 percent of a home in order to make it more affordable to black residents as part of an overall “reparations” package, but critics see lots of regulatory problems down the road for owners.

The proposal is one of several being considered by a nine-member reparations committee, formed via legislation Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed last year, and which met for the first time this week, Cal Matters reported.

“The nine-member task force will draft an apology to black Californians and recommend ways the state might make up for discriminatory policies, which could include issuing direct payments to the descendants of enslaved people or passing laws to close racial disparities,” the outlet reported, without elaborating on what laws remain in the deep-blue state that are inherently discriminatory.

“It might mean free college at our CSU and our UC systems to African Americans,” said state Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena). “It might be zero down payment for first-time African American homeowners. We know they have the biggest challenge in homeownership, not only in California but across this nation.”

Majority Democrats in the state appear to have honed in specifically on homeownership as a primary way “to close the wealth gap between black and white Californians,” the outlet continued. One measure involves a joint state Assembly and Senate spending proposal lawmakers plan to use as leverage in budget negotiations with Newsom ahead of a June 15 deadline that would see the state “pay for, and own, up to 45% of a home,” Cal Matters reported, adding that state Democrats and Newsom have offered to allocate $200 million to the program.

In addition, state lawmakers want to spend $115 million a year on “community-based health equity and racial justice efforts” and add “$63 million into the California Reducing Disparities Project,” Cal Matters noted further.

But it was the state co-ownership housing proposal that drew skepticism — and criticism — online.

“The end result of this over a decade or two? A massive increase in the cost of homes, an enormous tax increase, and eventually all sorts of intrusive government demands for builders and owners of government-funded homes,” John Hawkens, founder of Right Wing News, posted in response.

Others saw the program as another opportunity for corruption.

“What a giant bucket of graft and fraud from which to rake off kickbacks and reward left-wing cronies,” one user wrote.

One user likened the massive home subsidies to the federal government’s easy-to-obtain college loan program, which critics have said for years is responsible for driving up the cost of higher education.

“This worked so well with college funding,” the user wrote.

“How is that building wealth, when the STATE owns half of your asset. What happens if you fall behind on the mortgage, does the state get ALL of the house?” another user asked.

“Someone missed Econ 101. This does not cut the purchase price in half. This causes housing prices to increase. The solution is simply to allow housing construction,” another user wrote.

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Jon Dougherty

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