Senator Jim Beall's Statement on the 2018-19 Budget Compromise Agreement
CAMPBELL -- Senator Jim Beall, the chairman of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee, issues this statement on the budget agreement reached by Governor Brown and the leadership of the Senate and Assembly regarding the housing and homelessness package:
“A budget is a reflection of our values. With this investment, the Legislature continues our commitment to homeless families, veterans, seniors, and people with mental illnesses living on the streets. This compromise ups the ante in the fight to end homelessness and puts more money on the table to boost California’s affordable housing stock.
“Every hour of every day, California’s housing shortage worsens. The state needs 180,000 new housing units a year but we are only building about 80,000. In 2017, California’s homeless population grew by 14 percent. The 135,000 men, women, and children who have no place to live need help now.
“Under this budget, cities and counties will quickly receive flexible funding for programs that they have tailored for their own communities. I’m glad to see the budget agreement also makes a firm commitment that state housing programs will be the first in line for any surpluses after Prop. 2 deposits are made.
“Voters can build on today’s momentum when they go to the polls in November and decide whether to pass the $4 billion Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act. The bond measure proposes to invest $3 billion in the state’s affordable housing programs and $1 billon to increase veterans’ homeownership.
“Today’s action and the pending bond measure are crucial steps that are necessary to meet California’s housing shortage especially in light of the Republican Congress’s tax plan that has wiped out $540 million in annual federal tax credits we could have used to leverage more housing for low-income families.’’