August 25, 2017 Rob Poole

SFHAC Urges Governor to Pass State Housing Package

The SFHAC Executive Committee has formally endorsed the proposed state housing package that would create new funding sources and badly-needed process reforms. We urge the legislature to pass the three bills at stake: Senate Bill (SB) 2, SB3, and SB35. These measures would be a step in the right direction to address California’s severe housing shortage and affordability needs.

Governor Brown has stated numerous times that he will not support additional funding for subsidized affordable housing without passing process reform that makes it easier to create homes. Last year after his by-right legislation failed to get approval, he refused to release $400 million in state money for housing. SB35, while not as aggressive as Brown’s proposal, would be path forward towards ensuring cities actually provide their fair share of housing. SB2 and SB3 would provide new funding to help low-income residents. Here are brief overviews of each bill and links to the full text.

SB 2, authored by Senator Toni Atkins, would create a new permanent source of funding for subsidized affordable housing by enacting a $75 recording fee on real estate transactions. This would result in $250 million per year, which would go towards expanding the low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC). The measure needs a two-thirds vote from the legislature to pass. Read the full legislation.

SB3, authored by Senator Jim Beall, would place a statewide housing bond on the November 2018 ballot. This is a one-time allocation of funding. Media reports indicate the bond would be anywhere between $6-9 billion dollars. To make it on the ballot, it requires a two-thirds vote from the legislature. If it were to make it on the ballot, it would then require a two-thirds vote from the voters to pass. Read the full legislation.

SB35, introduced by Senator Scott Wiener, would require cities adopt a streamlining ordinance for approving housing if they are not meeting their Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). In order for a project in such a city to qualify for streamlining, the developer would have to meet specific inclusionary requirements and commit to paying prevailing wage. This measure requires a simple majority vote to pass. Read the full legislation.

California needs action now. Passing these bills would be a major step forward for the state towards addressing the chronic housing shortage. Let’s take them over the finish line.

Rob Poole

Rob is the former Development and Communications Manager at SFHAC.

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