Reporting Tony Lopez
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Dozens marched to city hall on Tuesday to protest possible changes to the number of affordable housing units in the city of Sacramento.
There was no final action taken tonight and isn’t expected until early next year, but there was plenty of action leading up to the meeting on the streets outside.
A passion-filled procession 10 blocks long had a short, but powerful message: Protect the city’s low-income citizens.
“I believe very strongly, and that’s why we’re here today,” said a protester.
She and others in this group, made up of the Sacramento Housing Alliance and local churches, believe the city of Sacramento is walking down the wrong path when it comes to affordable housing.
City leaders must come up with its housing element guidelines by early 2014, and one idea is being strongly considered: New housing developments would no longer be required to include affordable housing if developers pay a fee.
As peaceful as the march was, the verbal gloves came off once they reached the City Council chambers.
“The government needs to do as much as possible to make sure there’s more affordable housing for people,” said a protester.
“There’s been a lot of pressure from developers, because the developers are saying it’s been hard the last few years. But it’s been really hard for average people, and it’s been really hard for the homeless, too,” said protester.
A homeless population some fear would grow if the rules for new housing are changed.
“Everyone should have a place to live, you know — someplace safe,” said a protester.
Council members point out that part of their housing game plan also expands the Affordable Housing Trust Fund to the entire city. Right now, it’s only in parts of the city. No final action is expected until next year.