Senate Housing Bills Can Boost Economy

July 06, 2017

SACRAMENTO – A second component of the Senate’s funding package to combat California’s shortage of affordable housing was approved on a two-thirds majority vote today and sent to the Assembly.

“The approval last month of my bill, SB 3, a $3 billion bond proposal to generate more affordable housing units, combined with the today’s passage of SB 2 (Atkins) now forms the most viable package in the Legislature to solve the affordable housing crisis,’’ said Beall, chairman of the Transportation and Housing Committee.

“Both bills have been heavily vetted in hearings and each has won a two-thirds majority approval in the Senate. I believe these bills are teed up and ready for prompt action in the Assembly.

“Taken together, SB 2 and 3, will have a big impact on the state’s housing shortage. With more affordable housing units, we can slow the exodus of families leaving California and ensure employers will be able to successfully recruit and keep their employees here. Investing in housing makes good economic sense.’’

The two bills would create a potent revenue stream for affordable housing construction. SB 2 proposes to impose a $75 fee on the recording of each real estate sale-related document with a ceiling of $225 per transaction. The bond sale authorized under SB 3 would be pumped into successful existing affordable housing programs.

Over the first five years, the bills are projected to generate more than $4.1 billion funding and would be used to leverage $15.6 billion federal and local funding with the capacity to create well over 70,000 homes and apartments. The bills also would boost the state economy by spawning an estimated 194,000 jobs and producing $12 billion in labor income, and $33.5 billion in economic activity.

“By building more affordable housing, we can save Californians money. Getting chronically homeless people into housing will stabilize their lives and dramatically increase the effectiveness of programs geared to help,’’ Beall said. “It will reduce taxpayer spending on shelters, jails, and emergency room costs. The savings can be used to reduce the cost of housing.

“One out of three Californians spend about 30 percent of their monthly income on rent. With an increase in more affordable housing, we can halt or slow rising rents in our urban job centers and  put more money back into the pockets of low-income earners.”