September 15, 2017 Rob Poole

California Legislature Passes Major Housing Package

On the evening of September 14th, the California Legislature passed three major housing bills that will improve the process for building homes and create new funding sources to subsidize affordable housing. They include SB2, SB3 and SB35. SFHAC endorsed all three measures and is thrilled our elected officials in Sacramento have finally taken steps to address a problem that has become a statewide issue. Here’s a brief overview of what each measures accomplishes.

SB2 – Building Homes and Jobs Act
Authored by Senator Toni Atkins, SB2 enacts a base fee of $75, up to $225, on real estate transactions; home sales and commercial real estate sales are exempt. The measure is expected to generate up to $250 million per year, which will go to expand the low-income housing tax credit to fund subsidized affordable housing. The measure required a two-thirds vote by the legislature and was the most difficult to pass. SB2 is particularly important because it creates a new permanent sources of funding. Read Senator Atkin’s announcement.

SB3 – Housing Bond
Authored by Senator Jim Beall, SB3 enables the legislature to place a $4 billion housing bond on the state ballot in November 2018. The measure required a two-thirds vote by the legislature and will require a two-thirds vote by the voters when it goes to the ballot for it to pass. The bond could leverage up to $11 billion in federal tax credits and spur the creation of thousands of permanently affordable homes. Read Senator Beall’s announcement.

SB35 – Housing Accountability and Affordability Act
Authored by Senator Scott Wiener, SB35 streamlines the approval process in cities that are not adding enough housing, as determined by the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). Projects that qualify for streamlining must meet certain inclusionary requirements and pay construction workers prevailing wage. In San Francisco, this legislation will benefit low- and middle-income housing the most. SFHAC was one of the first organizations to endorse this measure and several of our market-rate and affordable housing developer members participated in working groups when the measure was being drafted. Read Senator Wiener’s announcement.

The next step is for Governor Brown to sign these measures, which appears likely as he’s indicated his support should all three get the necessary votes. Passing these bills will be a major step forward towards address the state’s housing shortage and create housing opportunities for people of all income levels.

On behalf of SFHAC, thank you to our members and friends. Without your support, we cannot do our work and push for solutions like these. If you are not a member, consider joining today. You can also celebrate the accomplishments of some amazing people at our Housing Hero Awards on September 27th in the Green Room at the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center!

Image: Senator Scott Wiener

Rob Poole

Rob is the former Development and Communications Manager at SFHAC.

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