Releases & Statements

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LOS ANGELES—Speaker Toni G. Atkins, joined by California Treasurer John Chiang, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Assemblymembers Ed Chau, Jimmy Gomez, and David Chiu, and other business and local leaders, today announced the Assembly Democrats proposal to create more affordable housing in California.

“Housing instability is affecting more people than ever before, including more young people and families,” said Speaker Atkins (D-San Diego). “To make inroads against California’s housing issues, the Assembly is taking a comprehensive approach to increasing the amount of affordable housing in our state.”

The Assembly Democrats plan includes:

  • Establishing a permanent source of funding for affordable housing by placing a small fee on real estate transaction documents, excluding home sales.
  • Increasing the state’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit by $300 million.
  • Legislation to create a framework for how California will spend any funds received from the National Housing Trust Fund that are expected to flow to states in 2016.
  • Using a portion of the Proposition 47 funds to reduce recidivism through investment in rapid rehousing and housing supports for formerly incarcerated Californians.

“The permanent funding source, which earned overwhelming support from California’s business community, will generate hundreds of millions annually for affordable housing and leverage billions of dollars more in federal, local, and bank investment,” Speaker Atkins said. “This plan will reap benefits for education, healthcare and public safety as well. The outcomes sought in other sectors improve when housing instability is addressed.”

“The lack of affordable housing in California is likely the number one threat to our economy and way of life. Just yesterday, one of the nation’s largest credit rating agencies cited the high cost of housing as not only a credit weakness, but a major drag on our business climate,” said Treasurer John Chiang. “If we do not address this shortage, many will be priced out of their homes or driven to find housing farther and farther away from their jobs and communities. The Speaker's housing proposals will increase the financing available to build truly affordable units.  As Treasurer, I will do everything within my power to make sure that financing is accessible and is used to put roofs over the heads of California's working families.”

“This legislative package of new funding for affordable housing, financial incentives for preservation and construction, and improving government efficiency to get the most for every dollar we invest is a balanced, common sense approach that will make life easier for thousands of L.A. families and tremendously boost our economy. I thank Speaker Atkins for her leadership on this vital issue,” added Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“We are facing an affordable housing crisis that needs bold and aggressive action,” said Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), Chair of the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development. “When over one-third of very low-income working families are spending more than half of their income on rental housing costs, they are faced with the difficult decision of having a roof over their heads or putting food on the table. Speaker Atkins’ package of housing bills provides solutions that will improve the lives of Californians and our state as a whole.”

“Having a roof over your head should not be a luxury,” Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) said. “We must tackle the housing affordability crisis to help families stay in the communities they have called home for decades. I welcome the opportunity to work with Speaker Atkins and my colleagues on a funding plan that will build more affordable housing, create jobs all over the state, and that will help us fix California’s future.”

Additonal attachments:

What others are saying (PDF)

Affordable Housing Fact Sheet (PDF)

Audio links:

Speaker Atkins says – with the Great Recession in the rearview mirror – it’s time to increase investments in California’s housing supply. (0:25)
{mp3remote}http://www.asmdc.org/audio/20150224HousingAtkins1.mp3{/mp3remote}

Speaker Atkins says families and veterans are among the tens of thousands of homeless in California. (0:20)
{mp3remote}http://www.asmdc.org/audio/20150224HousingAtkins2.mp3{/mp3remote}

Speaker Atkins says building more housing means more jobs and it creates the foundation people need to help them deal with the reasons they ended up in sub-standard housing or homeless.  (0:37)
{mp3remote}http://www.asmdc.org/audio/20150224HousingAtkins3.mp3{/mp3remote}

Speaker Atkins says the lack of affordable housing in California is an economic issue and a humanitarian issue. (0:45)
{mp3remote}http://www.asmdc.org/audio/20150224HousingAtkins4.mp3{/mp3remote}

Speaker Atkins says the business community throughout the state wants more – and more affordable – housing, too. (0:34)
{mp3remote}http://www.asmdc.org/audio/20150224HousingAtkins5.mp3{/mp3remote}