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Too much affordable housing? Concord rejects low-income project downtown, draws state scrutiny

June 12, 2024

At a public hearing last month, a real estate developer approached the Concord City Council with a proposal that, to many, might have seemed too good to turn down: 183 new downtown apartments, nearly all affordable, at no cost to the city.

All the developer asked of the council? Permission to accept up to $90 million in state financing to cover construction costs.

Yet a 4-1 majority of councilmembers rejected the request, reasoning the project would concentrate too much affordable housing in the suburban East Bay city’s central business district. Instead, they encouraged Idaho-based Pacific West Communities to develop the complex as mostly market-rate apartments, which wouldn’t receive subsidies.