Various Authors noon, Jan. 18
Former CCDC misused a billion dollars over two decades
Fulton says some of it could have gone for affordable housing outside of downtown
The former Centre City Development Corp. (CCDC) had a sacred belief: money that was made from the former Redevelopment Agency tax increment financing had to go back where it came from.
And that was downtown. And that's one of the ways by which the corporate welfare machine kept building subsidized structures downtown while the infrastructure and neighborhoods rotted, and the affordable and homeless crises worsened.
Now, in effect, the old CCDC is called Civic San Diego. In this column June 19, Jeff Graham, Civic San Diego president and a former CCDC executive, said Centre City "was often criticized for keeping all of the downtown tax increment money downtown, yet the critics choose to ignore that it was illegal to do otherwise."
But this weekend at the Politifest event sponsored by Voice of San Diego, Bill Fulton, San Diego's new planning director, said that the old CCDC's article of faith was untrue. He said that money could have gone for affordable housing citywide instead of only within the project areas downtown.
Civic activist Katheryn Rhodes says this means that for two decades, CCDC's false article of faith was used for building subsidized corporate welfare projects while stealing from the less fortunate. Rhodes believes that the former CCDC tax increment money could also provide for homeless emergency shelters and be used for homeless services.
Thirty percent of the billion dollars in assets could be put into action right now, but the "purposeful incompetence" of Civic San Diego and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith has kept the funds from going to affordable housing now, says Rhodes.
She believes portions of this billion dollars could be used to begin ending homelessness immediately.