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Sens. Atkins and Beall Introduce Key Affordable Housing Legislation

League of California Cities Strongly Supports Both Measures

December 9, 2016
The League of California Cities® applauds the Senate’s introduction of a meaningful and proactive infrastructure funding package that includes affordable housing.
 
As part of the “California Rebuild” legislative package, Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) introduced SB 2, The Building Homes and Jobs Act. This measure establishes a permanent source of funding for affordable rental or ownership housing, supportive housing, emergency shelters, transitional housing and other housing needs via a $75 recordation fee on real estate transaction documents. It is estimated that this fee will generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually for much needed housing.

“California has made significant progress recently in promoting economic and social justice and fighting climate change, but serious challenges remain, and at the top of the list is our infrastructure,” said Sen. Toni Atkins. “The Senate Democrats’ legislative package on infrastructure — including my bill, SB 2, to create a permanent source of funding for badly needed affordable housing — will go a long way toward improving quality of life for Californians and grow our state’s economy.”
 
SB 2 allocates 50 percent of the proceeds to local governments, so that they may be used to address housing needs at the local level. This measure will also help leverage additional federal, local and private investment including nontraditional funding sources such as tax increment and innovative preventative services.
 
As a companion measure, Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose) introduced SB 3, The Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2018, authorizes a $3 billion general obligation bond to fund existing and highly successful affordable housing programs and infill infrastructure projects.
 
The funding in SB 3 is allocated to the housing programs that were funded in Proposition 1C of 2006 in the following amounts:
  • $1.5 billion to the existing Multifamily Housing Program (MHP) to assist in the construction, rehabilitation, and preservation of permanent and transitional rental housing for persons with incomes of up to 60 percent of the area median income.
  • $600 million to the Transit-Oriented Development and Infill  Infrastructure Account, which the bill creates within the  Fund, and allocates as follows:
    • $200 million for the Transit-Oriented Development Implementation Program;
    • $300 million for the Infill Infrastructure Financing Account for infill incentive grants to assist in new construction or rehabilitation of infrastructure that supports high-density affordable and mixed-income housing; and
    • $100 million for the Building Equity and Growth in Neighborhoods (BEGIN) Program Fund to make grants to cities and counties to assist qualified first-time home buyers with down payments.
  • $600 million to the Special Populations Housing Account, and allocates as follows:
    • $300 million to the existing Joe Serna, Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant Fund; and
    • $300 million to the Local Housing Trust Fund to provide matching grants to local public agencies and nonprofit organizations that raise money for affordable housing.
  • $300 million for the existing CalHome Program to provide direct, forgivable loans for mortgage assistance. 
The League is pleased to strongly support both SB 2 and SB 3. Cities are eager to provide affordable housing, but with the loss of over $1 billion per year of redevelopment housing funds they lack the resources to do so. These measures will go a long way to fill the gap.


 
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