Legislation has been introduced to create a permanent funding source for affordable housing in California.

Funded by a $75 document recording fee on real estate transactions, the Housing Opportunity and Market Stabilization (HOMeS) Trust Fund would generate an average of $700 million per year.

Affordable housing developers across the state have long hoped for a permanent funding source to help finance their developments.  Voters have passed roughly $5 billion in housing bonds in 2000 and 2006, but those funds have been spent. Having a permanent source would provide ongoing funds for affordable housing.

The bill also comes at a time with the state’s redevelopment agencies, which generated $1 billion per year for affordable housing, have been eliminated.

"The HOMeS Act (SB 1220) takes a significant step toward ending homelessness and helping hundreds of thousands of Californians find safe and affordable homes," said Shamus Roller, executive director of Housing California, a bill sponsor, in a statement. "Hardworking families should be able to afford housing and still have money for groceries and other necessities."  

The legislation was introduced by state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), along with principal co-author Assemblymember Toni Atkins (D-San Diego). The California Housing Consortium is also a co-sponsor.

“California needs a healthy housing market that provides an adequate supply of affordable homes for all Californians,” said DeSaulnier. “By identifying a permanent funding source for this vital public service, this bill will ultimately remove affordable housing from protracted and contentious budget debates in Sacramento. With ongoing and permanent funding, affordable housing may become a reality for Californians in need.”