California housing leaders are optimistic that they will see legislation that will provide a permanent source of revenue for affordable housing in the state.

A dedicated funding source has been discussed for years, but it looks like the effort may move forward this year with the help of state Sen. Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), president pro tempore. Watch to see what comes out of his office in the next several weeks.

The legislation was one of the buzz-worthy topics at the Housing California conference this week in Sacramento.

In other news, proposed changes to California’s low-income housing tax credit program will go before the Tax Credit Allocation Committee on April 30, said Executive Director Bill Pavao.

The proposals can be found at

The changes incorporate the new American Recovery and Reinvestment Act resources into the state’s tax credit program.

The key features of the recent legislation are the Tax Credit Assistance Program (TCAP) funds and the federal grants that can be made in lieu of housing credit allocations, also known as the exchange program. In general, credits can be exchanged for $0.85 per dollar of returned credit.

California is looking at allowing pre-2009 credits to receive an award up to $0.85 for every reserved federal credit and up to $0.60 for the state credit.

Under the plan, 2009 credit recipients may receive the original tax credit application estimated equity up to $0.80 for every reserved federal tax credit and up to $0.55 for the state credit.

To be eligible for the “cash in lieu of credits,” applicants must show good-faith efforts of obtaining an investment commitment for the credits.

California has traditionally held two funding rounds each year but will have only one round this year because of the new time constraints created under the legislation.

And, for those of you keeping an eye on the housing tax credit market: One syndicator said his most recent California deals were priced in the low-$0.80s range.