Gov. Gavin Newsom visits Long Beach for ‘candid conversation’ about housing

Gov. Gavin Newsom Tuesday visited two locations in Long Beach to have what he described in his State of the State address as a “candid conversation” about homelessness and housing.

He toured the Century Villages at Cabrillo in West Long Beach in the morning, then went to Long Beach City College to visit with mayors of cities whose housing policies are out of compliance with state law.

Newsom was joined at the meeting by top staff from the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency and the Department of Housing and Community Development to assist the mayors.

“I come in the spirit of true collaboration and desire to help support these efforts not just financially, but also to create the conditions where we’re having a different conversation,” Newsom said at the LBCC event.

Newsom included $250 million in his proposed state budget for cities and counties to update their housing plans and revamp their zoning process and an additional $500 million in grants when they achieve those milestones.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks about his plans for addressing the housing shortage in California at Long Beach City College, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

The state sued Huntington Beach last month, accusing it of blocking the production of affordable housing.

Huntington Beach City Attorney Michael Gates said the city has been “complying with all applicable state housing and zoning laws and has been, and will continue to, work with the California Department of Housing and Community Development regarding meeting the city’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment.”

Huntington Beach was the first city to be sued because of a statute of limitations, Newsom said in the State of the State address.

“There are 47 other cities across California that are not complying with their planning requirements in one way or another,” Newsom said.

The new governor said Tuesday leaders can’t just see the world through the lens of their own cities.

“You have to see it out of the eyes of those out of the hundreds of thousands of people that are out on the streets and sidewalks at any given night,” Newsom said.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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Melissa has been a journalist for over two decades, starting her career as a reporter covering health and religion and moving into local news. She has worked as an editor for eight years, including seven years at the Press Telegram before joining the Long Beach Post in June 2018. She also serves as a part-time lecturer at Cal State Long Beach where she teaches multimedia journalism and writing.