California lawmakers heard testimony from artists, nonprofits and developers on Wednesday, in an effort to find out what the state can do to address a shortage of artist housing in the wake of Oakland's Ghost Ship fire.
The Legislature's Joint Committee on Arts held a hearing to review the state's "creative economy," but the discussion centered on how to house artists in safe and affordable settings.
The Ghost Ship warehouse fire in December killed 36 people, all involved in the Bay Area arts scene. The two-story building was an un-permitted living space that was hosting an electronic music show when the fire broke out.
Ron Vidal, one of the founders of the group We the Artists of the Bay Area, encouraged artists to engage with policymakers on housing affordability and safety issues.