Despite California's reputation as a 'sanctuary state' that promises to welcome illegal immigrants with open arms and taxpayer-funded handouts, rich Democrats in the Golden State are afflicted with a severe case of NIMBY-ism, according to the Washington Examiner's editorial board.
And while tens of thousands of immigrants are answering the call amid a crisis-level housing shortage, these virtue-signaling Democrats refuse to commit state resources towards accomodating the influx of new residents.
NIMBY California Democrats
California's increasingly left-wing residents want open borders, and they want their state to give handouts to immigrants, legal and illegal. But they don’t want any building to house this low-income riffraff anywhere near their expensive homes.
California Democrats' NIMBY-ism, or "not in my backyard," is a perfect case study in modern left-wing hypocrisy. Gestures and virtue signaling about tolerance and openness? They're all for those. But don't suggest opening the gates to their communities.
California’s housing shortage has reached crisis levels. Home prices are more than twice the national average. The state has the nation’s second-lowest ratio of homes to residents.
Lawmakers in Sacramento considered Senate Bill 50, which would have forced local governments to permit high-density housing in specific areas. Left-wingers who actually, rather than just rhetorically, welcome all comers would pass such a bill. But California Democrats, of course, did not. Instead they passed Senate Bill 451, a tax credit for rich people who restore historic buildings.
SB 451 would grant a 20% tax credit for the restoration of qualifying buildings and a 25% tax credit for the rehabilitation of those historic houses on federal surplus property, include affordable housing, are in a designated census tract or military base, or is a transit-oriented development. Yes, there is some lip service there to affordable housing, but that's all it is. Weighing the marginal benefits, the owners of low-density historic properties will be happy to renovate at one-fifth taxpayers' expense and then charge high rents.
From the Spanish colonial and Georgian revivalist structures across Los Angeles County and the Victorian to beaux-arts in the Bay Area, California has plenty of architectural gems worthy of preservation. But wealthy owners of such properties have every reason to maintain and preserve them without a handout. Subsidies to preserve low-density housing amid a severe housing shortage is nuts, or mercenary, or both.
California needs prolific development of high-density housing to cut prices and sustain the influx of immigrants flowing over the southern border.
Homelessness has skyrocketed by 17% in San Francisco and 43% in neighboring Alameda County in the past two years. This bill won't just fail to help those who have nowhere to live, but it will also cost the state money it doesn't have.
Residents of prosperous Pasadena and Palm Springs have emphatically endorsed the bill. Why wouldn't they? It's free money to spend on their multimillion-dollar estates, from which they can write letters to the editor cursing President Trump and professing their love for immigrants — as long as those foreigners don't live too close by.