Written by Edward Smith
The City of Clovis is addressing a recent controversial comment made by a commissioner with the Fresno Housing Authority regarding an affordable housing development in the city.
On March 26, Commissioner Terra Brusseau said that a housing project slated for construction near Willow and Alluvial avenues might not be the “best place for diversity,” according to an article in The Fresno Bee.
That location feeds into Garfield Elementary, which Brusseau called “majority white” in an audio recording of the meeting.
“I think there are better areas for diversity,” Brusseau said.
The City of Clovis has responded.
“Commissioner Brusseau does not live in Clovis, does not operate a business in Clovis, and her comments do not reflect our community values of diversity and inclusivity,” according to a statement from the city released Wednesday morning.
“The City of Clovis has no representation on the Fresno Housing Council. Any comments made by anyone in that group do not represent the position of the City of Clovis, its Council or its residents,” the release went on to state.
The proposed project would be a four-acre development on vacant land for 60 multifamily units, according to minutes from the Fresno Housing Authority’s Feb. 26 meeting.
“The City of Clovis does not oppose this project and believes that our community is strongest when there is a diverse choice of housing types and pricing-levels spread throughout all parts of the city,” stated Clovis Mayor Drew Bessinger.
The controversy over affordable housing comes as Gov. Gavin Newsom has threatened lawsuits at cities that did not meet housing production goals as outlined in the Regional Housing Needs Allocation. Additionally, Newsom proposed withholding money for road repair from the gas taxes in response.
Clovis was included in that list of cities.