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Affordable Housing Funding Bills Pass out of Senate Transportation and Housing Committee

Measures Move to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee

March 3, 2017
The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on Feb. 28 approved two major pieces of the “California Rebuild” package — Sen. Toni Atkins’ (D-San Diego) SB 2 and Sen. Jim Beall’s (D-San Jose) SB 3.
The League supports both measures because they help begin to create a fund for much needed affordable housing in California.

SB 2 allocates 50 percent of the proceeds to local governments 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, 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 testified in support of SB 2 and SB 3. Both move to the Senate Governance and Finance Committee. A hearing date has yet to be announced. 
Cities are encouraged to submit a letter of support for these measures. Sample Letters are available here: SB 2 (Atkins) sample letter and SB 3 (Beall) sample letter.

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