Assembly Sends Affordable Housing Bills to Governor

Friday, September 15, 2017
SACRAMENTO — The California State Assembly today gave final approval to a series of measures that mark the most significant action to address California’s housing affordability in decades. The affordable housing package, which now awaits action by Governor Jerry Brown, includes bills preserving existing affordable housing stock and streamlining the zoning and construction of affordable housing.

The Assembly had previously approved legislation advancing an affordable housing bond, providing an ongoing source of funding for affordable housing, and extending the Cal-Vet Home Loan Program, which was slated to expire.

“After months of deliberation and negotiation, in the past two days the Assembly and Senate have made real progress in solving a crisis that has been a shadow on California for years,” said Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood). “I am proud of my colleagues who led this effort and grateful for the cooperation of the Senate and the Governor in developing this comprehensive package.”

The measures the Assembly passed today were AB 72, AB 73, AB 571, AB 678, AB 879, AB 1397, AB 1505, AB 1515, and AB 1521. The bills approved yesterday were SB 2, SB 3, SB 35, SB 166, SB 167, and SB 540.

COMMENTS FROM AUTHORS OF THE AFFORDABLE HOUSING PACKAGE:

Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco), author of AB 73 and Chair of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee:

“California is a large and diverse state, but one thing we all share is that we’re living through the worst housing crisis in our state’s history. With these historic bills we begin to take on the affordable housing crisis that threatens our state’s economic prosperity, deepens inequality, and increases homelessness. My deep thanks goes to Speaker Anthony Rendon for making housing a top priority, and to my Assembly and Senate colleagues for their tireless partnership. I also appreciate the engagement and leadership of Governor Brown and his incredible team. Our work is not done, but we’re making a down payment for our children’s future, for people struggling to pay the rent or the mortgage or even to have a roof at all, and for our teachers and firefighters who can’t afford a home in the cities they serve.”

Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), principal co-author of SB 3:

“After returning from service, our veterans face unique challenges when finding suitable housing. Extending the Cal-Vet Loan Program helps ensure our veterans and their families can live in safe, affordable housing. This program has proven to be successful and does not burden the taxpayers because it is paid back by the borrowers. It is a piece of the puzzle in addressing the housing crisis.”

Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), author of AB 1505 and AB 1521:

“The housing affordability crisis strikes Californians at all income levels, but is toughest on lower-income households. Preserving our existing affordable housing stock and empowering our local communities with expanded authorities to ensure affordable units are built are two key pillars to solving this problem. I am proud to have authored two bills in this historic package to address California’s affordable housing crisis.”

Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), co-author of AB 291 and AB 1505

“We have taken a giant step forward in addressing the dire needs of California families who cannot afford a safe, reliable roof over their heads. While this is a moment to celebrate, we know more needs to be done. Solving California’s housing crisis requires an ‘all hands on deck’ approach and that means all of us must continue to work together for California families.”

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), author of AB 72:

“Housing should not be for the privileged few who can afford a place to live. Housing should be a right ensuring that any person who tries hard, works hard, and plays by the rules has the ability to sleep with a roof over their head. I represent Skid Row, and the faces of people living there have changed over the years. Now, amongst the 8,000 people living in homelessness in that area, we see young families and small children who cannot afford a house, an apartment, or even a garage where they can lay their head at night.”

Assemblymember Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), author of AB 73 and co-author of AB 571:

“I am proud of the vote today to create real housing solutions. It took months of work by the legislature and Governor Brown to reach a consensus and today we got it done. Creating opportunities to build housing and make it affordable stabilizes families and neighborhoods and creates jobs, all good for California.”

Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), co-author of AB 73 and joint author of AB 1505:

“For too long, this state’s housing crisis has squeezed our low and middle-income families. Today, I am proud to be able to say that this legislature is taking action. The legislation passed this session is just the beginning. We have more work to do, but the goal remains the same: a roof over the head of every Californian at a price they can afford. I look forward to building on the progress we’ve made to get folks off the street and provide stability for California families.”

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), author of AB 571:

“Communities around our state have long been struggling with their own unique housing needs. This year, under the leadership of Speaker Rendon and Chairman Chiu, the legislature addressed these challenges head on and I was proud to play my part. AB 571 eases eligibility requirements for a state tax credit for developers to build migrant housing. The labor of Californian farmworkers fuel our economies yet rural, agricultural communities, like those in my district have been historically underserved and lack the investments necessary to spur growth and prosperity. By making modifications to the Farmworker Housing Assistance Tax Credit Program, we can help ensure the essential right to safe, affordable housing for more of our hard working families.”

Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima), author of AB 678:

“California is in the midst of an unprecedented housing crisis caused by a severe lack of inventory and new housing construction. Local governments should not have the cover of law if they chose to deny a housing project unlawfully. AB 678 will help create more housing and make owning or renting in California more affordable by providing greater certainty during the project approval process at the local level.”

Assemblymember Timothy S. Grayson (D-Concord), author of AB 879:

“This has been a long time coming, and after a decade of falling behind 100,000 housing units a year we finally exercised the fortitude to move California forward. Though this package is not a fix all – it contains the first steps in the right direction. I want to thank leadership and the governor for their work and vision on this issue.”

Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley), author of AB 1397:

“Home ownership has become unattainable for far too many hard-working Californians. The Legislature has taken an important step to address the housing crisis by reducing barriers to construction, creating incentives to development, and providing a dedicated source of funding for affordable housing. I am proud to be part of this smart, multifaceted approach to solving one of our state’s most pressing issues.”

Assemblymember Tom Daly (D-Anaheim), author of AB 1515:

"We need to make sure that housing is a priority in every community in our state."

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING:

State Treasurer John Chiang:

“California’s housing shortage has metastasized from a problem to a crisis to, now, a full-scale catastrophe. But with today’s approval of a $4 billion housing bond, a permanent source of funding, and regulatory reform to ease construction, we are making a meaningful down payment on providing a roof and four walls to every Californian. Governor Jerry Brown and lawmakers should be commended for their work."

Amie Fishman, Executive Director, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California:

“This is a historic moment as the Legislature has moved a comprehensive package of bills to forcefully and effectively address the homelessness, displacement and affordability crises in our state. With new and ongoing funding for affordable housing, streamlined housing approvals, and smart preservation and inclusionary housing policy, we are all standing together to improve people's lives and ‘Bring California Home.’”

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti:

“The affordability crisis in California threatens our great state's legacy of providing economic opportunity for all. The housing package approved by the Assembly will deliver critical funding and help streamline the development process — so that we can break ground more quickly on homes that families can afford. I congratulate Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León, and the entire Legislature for their leadership and strong commitment to ending an affordability crisis that keeps too many people from living their American Dream.”

Lisa Hershey, Executive Director, Housing California

“This moment – in which the state has taken a significant first step toward housing solutions – has been years in the making through hard work from advocates, residents, multisector allies and our legislative champions. We thank our lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who refused to ignore the 1.7 million rent-burdened California households any longer and voted for affordable housing investment, enforcement of planning obligations, and tools for local governments to build and preserve inclusive communities.”

Anya Lawler, Policy Advocate, Western Center on Law and Poverty:

“California’s housing crisis is leaving tens of thousands homeless, confining people to dangerous living situations, forcing families to make impossible choices between eating and paying rent, and making entire cities unaffordable to all but the highest income earners. It is a crisis that demands bold action, and our leaders have delivered. The passage of the housing package is the most significant step forward in addressing the housing needs of lower-income Californians in decades. It is a bold set of solutions that will help hundreds of thousands of families have access to a safe, affordable place to call home and be a lasting legacy for the Speaker, the Pro Temp, and the Governor. Special thanks to Assemblymembers Chiu and Bloom and Senators Atkins, Weiner, and Beall for their tireless work to ensure that the package made it across the finish line.”

Ray Pearl, Executive Director, California Housing Consortium:

“California’s housing community is proud to have turned the tide on the crushing housing catastrophe by pressing for record-setting investment in affordable homes and removing barriers to building safe places for struggling Californians to live in. It took tremendous work to achieve this sweeping package, and we are thankful to Speaker Rendon, Assemblymember Chiu and the Assembly for their leadership on housing.”

CONTACT: Kevin Liao, (916) 319-2063