SACRAMENTO-A bill by Speaker Toni G. Atkins to alleviate California's housing crisis passed the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee today. AB 1335, the Building Homes and Jobs Act, creates a permanent funding source for affordable-housing.
"Affordable housing is one of California's greatest challenges," said Speaker Atkins (D-San Diego). "It's absolutely necessary that we act now to create a permanent source of funding for affordable housing. Increasing the construction, building, and availability of affordable housing is good for the economy and jobs, the budget, and families."
The Building Homes and Jobs Act will use a pay-as-you-go approach and generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually for affordable housing through a $75 fee on real estate recorded documents, excluding those documents associated with real estate sales. The fee is capped at $225 on a per parcel, per transaction basis. The funds generated will leverage an additional $2 to $3 billion in federal, local, and bank investment.
Those who testified in support of AB 1335 were the California Building Industry Association and Housing California. Other supporters of the bill include the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Orange County Business Council, Los Angeles Business Council, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Bay Area Council, Valley Industry and Commerce Association, and the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. The California Association of Realtors, in their testimony, stated they look forward to actively supporting the bill as well. For a full list of supporters, contact the Speaker's office.
California faces many housing challenges:
- According to the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), as of February 2015, roughly 36 percent of mortgaged homeowners and approximately 48 percent of all renters are spending more than one-third of their household incomes on housing.
- California continues to have the second lowest homeownership rate in the nation and the Los Angeles metropolitan area is now a majority renter region. In fact, five of the eight lowest homeownership rates in the nation are in California metropolitan areas.
- California has 12 percent of the United States population, but 20 percent of its homeless population - 63 percent of these homeless Californians are unsheltered, which is the highest rate in the nation. California has 24 percent of the nation's homeless veterans and one-third of the nations' chronically homeless. The state also has the largest numbers of unaccompanied homeless children and youth, with 30 percent of the national total.
- For the first time, Standard and Poors Ratings Services cited California's "Persistently high cost of housing" as contributing to a relatively weaker business climate and a credit weakness in the rating of California General Obligation bonds.
AB 1335 is a part of the Assembly Democrats' affordable-housing package, which also includes: AB 1056, a bill by Speaker Atkins that reduces recidivism by helping house the formerly incarcerated through Proposition 47 savings (passed the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee today); AB 35, a very-low and extremely low-income housing credit, by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco); and AB 90, which creates the Federal Housing Trust Fund, by Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park).
Below are audio links from today's hearing:
Opening remarks from Speaker Atkins at today's Housing Committee hearing. (4:21)
Speaker Atkins says AB 1335's title describes exactly what it will do. (:25)
Speaker Atkins says a recent PPIC report shows how serious the housing crisis is in California. (:15)
Speaker Atkins says an investment in affordable housing does more than put a roof over someone's head. (:09)
Website of Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins: http://asmdc.org/speaker