California Passes Landmark Affordable Housing Legislation
After decades of work to create a “permanent” source of funding for affordable housing, and years of successive near-misses in the California Legislature, affordable housing advocates and our legislative champions finally passed SB (Senate Bill) 2 (Atkins), the Building Homes and Jobs Act, on September 14.
On September 29, Governor Jerry Brown signed the legislation at a festive signing ceremony at a social housing complex in San Francisco attended by legislative leaders, affordable housing advocates, and low-income tenants. Fourteen other affordable housing bills were signed at the same time, part of an historic package of financing and land use reforms to increase affordable housing production.
California, where one of every eight Americans lives, is the least affordable state in the country when it comes to most indicators of housing cost relative to household income. Outside of the State of Hawaii, it has the highest median home prices, the highest median rents, and lowest ownership rate. Nearly 116,000 people are homeless, accounting for more than one in five homeless people in the U.S. And, when considering income after payment for housing, it has the highest poverty rate in the country.
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