A much-anticipated bill that aims to create an ongoing funding source for affordable housing in California has been introduced by state Sen. Mark DeSaulnier.
By establishing a $75 recordation fee on real estate transaction—excluding home sales—the California Homes and Jobs Act of 2013 will generate an estimated $500 million in "seed money" each year for affordable housing, which will leverage an additional $2.78 billion in federal and local funding and bank loans, according to supporters.
SB 391 is also estimated to create 29,000 jobs annually, primarily in the construction field.
The bill comes after the controversial elimination of local redevelopment agencies across the state. Their dissolution has meant the loss of about $1 billion per year for affordable housing. In addition, nearly all of the money from voter-approved bonds was awarded by 2012.
In his bill, DeSaulnier describes the state's need for affordable housing, citing that it has 21.4 percent of the nation's homeless population and the nation's second lowest homeownership rate. He adds that the state's workforce continues to experience longer commutes as it seeks affordable housing outside of the areas in which it works, and without the construction of affordable housing in these areas, congestion and other problems will only increase.
Affordable housing advocates have long desired an ongoing funding stream.
"Millions of Californians are caught in a 'perfect storm' where mortgages remain out of reach, home financing is more restrictive than ever, and the foreclosure crisis has driven more people to the rental market, pushing rents to record levels," said Shamus Roller, executive director of Housing California, in a statement. "The California Homes and Jobs Act will build safe and affordable single-family homes and apartments for Californians in need, and provide stable living environments for families, seniors, veterans, people with disabilities, and those experiencing homelessness."
Housing California and the California Housing Consortium are sponsors of the bill.
Co-authors of the bill are Lou Correa, Jerry Hill, Mark Leno, Ted Lieu, and Fran Pavley in the Senate and Toni Atkins, Raul Bocanegra, Tom Ammiano, Richard Bloom, Susan Bonilla, Rich Gordon, Kevin Mullin, Sharon Quirk-Silva, and Norma Torres in the Assembly.
For more information, visit www.californiahomesandjobsact.org.