Lee Brand's lofty task: turn City Hall dreams into reality

Ashley Swearengin’s plans raised expectations sky-high. Lee Brand is tasked with implementing the plans and meeting the expectations.

Housing Element



The Skinny: This is actually part of the General Plan. But housing is so important to a functioning society that cities must craft a separate growth blueprint for the future of habitable shelter. It’s easy to identify where Sacramento and Washington, D.C. want to take Fresno. Every neighborhood must have a government-approved mix of residents and housing types. Whether Fresnans throughout the city embrace such top-down social engineering remains to be seen.

The Rundown: “In Fresno, single-family housing units make up most of the city’s housing stock. Past housing crises created a huge inventory of single-family houses, most of which have been purchased by investors to rent out. Since 2000, the largest increase in units has been associated with construction of new multi-family housing units. Housing in complexes with 3 to 9 units have increased since 2000 from 16 percent of the housing stock to 20 percent in 2010. Housing in the 10 to 19 unit range remained the same from 2000 to 2010, and is expected to remain the same through 2020. Housing provided in facilities with 20 or more units declined 9.5 percent between 2000 (14 percent) and 2010 (7.5 percent). Single-family attached units have also declined from 2000 to 2010, from a reported 4.3 percent to 3 percent, and is expected to remain the same through 2020. These increases and decreases in housing types suggests that, at the time, the greatest need for housing was in the single-family, large multi-family, and 3 to 9 unit complexes. In 2010 there were 34 mobile home parks in the city with 3,744 mobile homes.” (Source: City of Fresno Housing Element, draft, March 2016)

The Pledge: “This is an excellent example of the power of public-private partnerships to improve our community. By reinvesting in our housing, we infuse new life into our neighborhoods.” – Mayor Ashley Swearengin, Jan. 14, 2013, on a federal-local effort to create more low-income housing. (Source: City of Fresno)

1 comment
  1. The City of Fresno is the 5th largest City in the State of California and has an annual Budget of almost a billion dollars, with approximately 4,000 employees, and does NOT have an Internal Audit Unit to ensure the proper accounting, internal controls and safeguarding of all City Assets are in place and functioning as intended. As the retired Principal Internal Auditor for the City of Fresno, effective January 2016, this area should be of significance to the City and newly elected Mayor and all Council Members. All the top ten Cities in the State of California, except the City of Fresno, have an Internal Audit Unit. For the structure, benefits and type of Internal Audits performed by the Internal Audit Unit I oversaw while employed with the City, I reference all viewers of this comment to the City’s Administrative Order 1-10. I would hope that this significant area of concern and importance might be #11 on the Mayor’s Listing going forward. Thank You!

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