Mogavero Architects

Lobby Day for Affordable Housing

The California Housing Consortium brought in Senate Pro Tem Senator Steinberg, Senator Mark DeSaulnier, Assemblyman Cameron Smyth and the heads of HCD and CalFHA to talk about the critical bills that are in process to recapture the hard-fought affordable housing funds from the butchering of the state’s redevelopment agencies.  About forty of us walked the capitol’s halls to visit legislators, their staff and the Governor’s staff completing almost 40 meetings to press the case for affordable housing.

Even with all the foreclosures, California is still the 2nd least affordable state for housing in the U.S.

In the short term, SB654 and AB1585 intend to “claw back” the money that was earmarked for affordable housing at the RDA’s that was never intended to be used for the general fund.  If these bills are not merged and placed into law in the next month or so, almost $1 billion will be lost to affordable housing. That would be pretty devastating to our industry and the jobs that it creates by attracting millions in private equity for investment in the state.

As of this writing, SB654 has passed the Senate, but without a needed “urgency clause,” and its assembly version AB 1585 with an urgency clause, has just passed committee.  The question remains, will they make it to the Governor before the dollars pass into the void, and will he sign?  CHC’s position is here:

As an architect, affordable housing with redevelopment seed money has been one of the last construction sectors standing.

In the long term, our lobby efforts also focused on a “Permanent Source” of funding for affordable housing (HOMeS) SB1220. This bill proposes a $75 document recording fee for all real estate transactions in the state, something that is done in most of the other states to fund a Housing Trust. We need this in California too:

By the way: the photo is from the 4th floor of the capitol building – an interesting architectural space in Sacramento.

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