Housing California’s Annual Conference, the nation’s largest annual conference on affordable housing and homelessness, gathers together advocates, consumers, builders, lenders, lawmakers, and other leaders in the field. Here, more than 75 workshops, pre-conference institutes, and over 50 exhibitors showcase their knowledge on the interrelated topics of resources for development for sustainable communities and affordable housing. In April, Libby Seifel joined Lynn Hutchins of Goldfarb & Lipman, Kara Douglas of Contra Costa County, Linda Mandolini of Eden Housing, and Johanna Gullick of Union Bank to engage with participants on the use of former redevelopment properties. Their presentation ("Former RDA Properties: Key Resource for Building Sustainable Homes and Communities") examines case studies and best practices in the development of long-range property management plans.

Click here for a copy of "Former RDA Properties: Key Resource for Building Sustainable Homes and Communities".

Governor Brown's proposal to eliminate redevelopment will be voted on soon by the Legislature. We continue to work with our clients and many coalition partners to save redevelopment—California's largest and most successful economic development and affordable housing program. We want to share with you our key talking points on redevelopment's benefits and why the proposed legislation is risky, flawed and costly. Like Humpty Dumpty, redevelopment cannot be put together again if eliminated on

July 1, 2011.

Please urge your Legislators to remove the elimination of redevelopment from the budget bill and refer redevelopment's future to a Joint Legislative Committee for
thoughtful reform.

Let's make a difference,
All of us at Seifel Consulting

Overview of Redevelopment Benefits

As a critical engine for economic growth and sustainable development in California, redevelopment:

  • Annually generates hundreds of thousands of jobs and puts Californians to work at a time when our State's unemployment rate is over 12 percent.
  • Contributes $40 billion annually to California's economy and generates more than $2 billion annually in state and local tax revenue.
  • Revitalizes blighted areas and catalyzes economic vitality by creating jobs, funding affordable housing, building public infrastructure improvements, and creating commercial opportunities.
  • Is a critical affordable housing program—since 1993, it has built or rehabilitated nearly 100,000 affordable housing units—helping local governments meet their housing needs.
  • Provides key tools to reclaim brownfield sites and stimulate infill development as opposed to sprawl.

Constitutional Defects of Proposed Legislation

  • Violates Article XIII, Section 25.5 (Proposition 22), which prohibits transfer of tax increment to the State, any agency of the State, or any local jurisdiction.
  • Violates Article XVI, Section 16 of the California Constitution, which established tax increment financing and requires tax increment to be paid to redevelopment agencies.
  • Violates Article XIII A, Section 1, which requires property taxes to be collected and distributed to the local districts within each county.
  • Violates federal and state provisions prohibiting the impairment of existing contractual obligations.

Serious Flaws

  • Potentially violates existing contracts by substituting "successor agency" for redevelopment agency without parties' agreement.
  • Likely violates collective bargaining agreements covering public sector employees.

Lack of Accountability and Increased Bureaucratic Costs

  • Creates confusion regarding responsibility for managing redevelopment agency obligations.
  • Creates unelected and unaccountable Oversight Boards with inherent conflicts of interest.
  • Presents significant risks for fraud, mismanagement and litigation.
  • Creates potentially massive costs for dissolution of redevelopment agencies and creation of successor agencies.
  • Imposes significant unfunded state mandates on counties by shifting responsibilities to counties.
  • Increases potential liability of County Auditor-Controllers related to disputes over their decisions and determinations.

Poor Public Policy—Eliminates Key Tool for Housing and Economic Development

  • Obliterates long-established investment tool, creating a cloud over all local government financing.
  • Eliminates California's largest and most successful housing and economic development program.
  • Short-circuits thoughtful, statewide discussion on redevelopment tools and reform.


Like Humpty Dumpty, redevelopment cannot be put together again if eliminated on July 1.

We are excited to announce that UC Berkeley Extension has launched a new sustainable design program and selected “Designing Effective California Public-Private Partnerships” for this program. This course has been expanded to a two-day course and will be eligible for academic credit and continuing education credit for planners and attorneys (AICP and MCLE).

Designing Effective California Public-Private Partnerships 

Thursday and Friday, May 13-14, 2010, 9am - 5pm

Location: San Francisco UCB Extension, Room 206, Art and Design Center, 95 Third Street, San Francisco

Information and Registration: http://extension.berkeley.edu/

Guest Lecturers: John (Jack) Nagle of Goldfarb & Lipman and Joseph (Joe) Coomes of McDonough, Holland & Allen

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) provide a unique way for the government and private developers to work together to create sustainable and profitable urban infill developments. This two-day course offers practical techniques for designing, evaluating and negotiating effective PPPs. It describes how to effectively utilize California's unique legal and financial tools to accomplish a broad range of projects, from the redevelopment of surplus public properties and brownfields sites to the creation of mixed use developments that incorporate green design and mixed-income housing next to public transit.

Case studies and lectures by experts in the field offer practical techniques to understand and structure effective PPPs. Students will learn about the unique objectives and contributions of the public and private sectors in a PPP, the laws governing redevelopment-sponsored PPPs, and best legal practices in negotiating and documenting PPPs. They will also learn how to solicit, evaluate and select the right development team. The most successful PPPs effectively balance the financial objectives and needs of the public and private sector, so the course will present key fiscal and real estate concepts critical to understanding how the deal will be evaluated from both the public and private perspective. Participants will also learn how to encourage PPPs by using the unique tax increment financing tools of redevelopment, as well as other public financing techniques.

ELIZABETH (LIBBY) SEIFEL, M.C.P., AICP, is president of Seifel Consulting, an economic consulting firm. She helps private and public sector clients resolve complex urban growth issues, maximize real estate assets, and achieve fiscal goals. She has advised on more than 100 redevelopment project areas in California with projected new development values from $100 million to more than $4 billion.

"We are at an exciting tipping point in the US. More people than ever are walking and bicycling in our communities. Elected leaders and businesses are realizing the value of investing in active transportation. And we’ve seen cities small and large across the country pioneering ideas like Bike Share, bike boulevards, and open streets projects that turn pavement into places for recreation and fun." - Pro Walk/Pro Bike

 Pro Walk/Pro Bike, the leading international conference on walking and bicycling, offers more than 100 program sessions, mobile workshops, and problem-solving workshops bringing together non-auto-centric transportation enthusiasts, including planners, engineers, civic leaders, government officials, public health professionals, architects, and landscape architects.

Held in sunny Long Beach, the 2012 Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference offered attendees the opportunity to network with like-minded enthusiasts, workshops, and sessions to help build coalitions, create planning initiatives and designs, and foster ways to grow the political support and funding needed to catalyze active transportation.

"Long Beach has embraced walking and bicycling as tools to improve its economic vitality, its quality-of-life, and as a way to ensure all residents are connected to a just and equitable transportation system."

- Pro Walk/Pro Bike

At the September 2012 conference, Libby Seifel joined the session "New Challenges, Tools, and Opportunities in Planning for Healthy Transportation” led by Jeremy Nelson (Principal at NelsonNygaard Transportation Consulting Associates). The panel also included Arfaraz Khambatta (Director of Access Consulting at Sally Swanson Architects Inc.), Heath Maddox (Senior Planner, Livable Streets Subdivision at San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency), and Jean Fraser (Chief at San Mateo County Health System).

Using successful case studies and lessons learned from communities of all sizes, the panel explored some of the challenges and opportunities in the development of healthier active transportation systems, prompting discussion on planning, outreach, and funding tools to inform planning enthusiasts of practical techniques to help in the implementation of healthy transportation policies and programs for California communities.

The National Center for Bicycling & Walking, a program of Project for Public Spaces, established the Pro Walk/Pro Bike conference in 1980. More on Pro Walk/Pro Bike and upcoming events can be found here.

On Monday, May 14, Libby Seifel joined leaders in local government, housing policy, and community economic development to conduct a panel discussion at East Bay Housing Organization's (EBHO) event "Life After Redevelopment: The Future of Affordable Housing and Community Revitalization".

Moderated by Rick Williams, Partner at Van Meter Williams Pollack, this panel presented ideas on what the next steps are for financing sources at the local, regional and state level. Joining Libby and Rick in this engaging discussion were: Anu Natarajan, Vice Mayor, City of Fremont; Linda Mandolini, Executive Director, Eden Housing; Laura Simpson, Housing Division Manager, City of Walnut Creek; and Kara Douglas, Affordable Housing Program Manager, Contra Costa County.
Session information is here.