The problem, as Steven Greenhut reported in a 2017 piece at, was that the RDAs, which were originally devised in the 1940s to fight urban blight in the state, were assailed by critics “for their use of eminent domain on behalf of private companies; for running up debt without a vote; for the subsidies they ladled out to developers; and for financing big-box stores and auto malls rather than helping inner cities spruce up.”

Greenhut noted that the RDAs have been slowly creeping back into California policy, given that the redevelopment industry, “the developers, lobbyists, city officials and low-income housing advocates, never really went away,” he wrote.

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