April 4, 2021 Corey Smith

Sacramento Update: HAC to Co-sponsor Statewide Tenant Preference Legislation

The Housing Action Coalition is excited to announce that for the first time in HAC’s history, we’re co-sponsoring a piece of legislation in Sacramento! This is an excellent opportunity to build on our years of advocacy work and collaborate with pro-housing leaders to help build much-needed homes across California. The legislation is Senate Bill 649 and is being authored by Senator Dave Cortese (SD-15) and co-sponsored by HAC, the City of San Jose, and SOMOS Mayfair. The bill focuses on tenant preferences, a concept familiar to San Francisco electeds and residents.

SB 649 creates a state policy that supports greater access to affordable housing for residents facing displacement. It also aligns tenant preferences with Internal Revenue Code requirements, thereby qualifying affordable housing developments that use tenant preferences for tax credit or bond financing. 

What this means in practical terms is that the California legislature can help communities target the benefits of scarce affordable housing, limit displacement, and reduce the many harms that result from displacement. Local tenant preferences can also help reduce opposition to affordable housing development and enhance the predictability of new housing development, which in turn will make it easier to build new affordable housing. This legislation is in keeping with state and federal fair housing law, and supporting local policies and programs that foster diversity and housing choice. 

We’re looking forward to working with Senator Cortese, SOMOS Mayfair, and the City of San Jose on this important issue and will share updates on our progress along the way.

Corey Smith

Corey Smith is HAC's Executive Director and can be reached at corey@housingactioncoalition.org.

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