Beall's $15 Billion Affordable Housing Proposal Advances

September 14, 2017

SACRAMENTO – An ambitious bond proposal that raises $15 billion in state and federal funding to kick start construction of thousands of affordable housing units and simultaneously create 137,000 jobs won a crucial two-thirds majority approval in the Assembly today.  The bill passed on a 55-20 vote.

Senate Bill 3, introduced by Senator Jim Beall, returns to the Senate for a vote on concurrence after being amended to increase the bond to $4 billion. The bond is capable of leveraging nearly $11 billion more in federal tax credits, amplifying its power to help builders and developers pencil out much-needed affordable housing construction. The ripple effect from SB 3 would create $23.5 billion in economic activity, more than $8.5 billion in labor income, and more than $1 billion in additional local and state revenue.
“The lack of housing is holding our economy hostage – pricing working families, millennials, seniors, and vets out of the market for apartments and homes,’’ Beall said. “SB 3 will help reverse this trend.  
“The shortage is forcing workers to live farther and farther away from their jobs based in urban centers or to leave the state for a better quality of life. We’re seeing businesses having a difficult time recruiting and retaining a skilled and highly educated workforce.  So, I am very encouraged to see the Legislature taken decisive action today to keep families and companies at home in California. SB 3 is good for just some of us, it’s good for all of us.’’
If the bill wins approval from both the Senate and the Governor, the bond measure will be put before voters on the Nov. 6, 2018 general election ballot.
The state’s dire shortage of housing has fueled escalating home prices and rents that exceed the reach of most Californians. Only one-fifth of households in the Bay Area households are capable of purchasing a median-priced home, according to a recent Realtors association’s findings.  In addition, the housing crisis costs California $140 billion per year in lost economic output, equivalent to 6 percent of state gross domestic product.
The scarcity of affordable housing is also exacting an environmental cost, too. “More greenhouse gases are being pumped into the atmosphere because workers employed in metro centers are being forced to seek less costly housing in suburban and rural regions and endure long, traffic-clogged commutes,’’ Beall said.
Under SB 3, the $4 billion bond would invest:
•         $1.5 billion into the Multifamily Housing Program 
•         $1 billion into the Cal-Vet Farm and Home Loan Program
•         $300 million into Infill Infrastructure Grant Financing
•         $300 million into the Joe Serna Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant Program
•         $300 million into the Local Housing Trust Match Grant Program
•         $300 million CalHome
•         $150 million CalHFA Home Purchase Assistance
•         $150 million Transit-Oriented Development Program

“The money we put into these home-building programs will give more back to us,’’ Beall said. “For every 70 cents of  its investment, the state can leverage $3 in federal tax credits and bonds to triggering more housing construction. The success of Proposition 46 and Proposition 1C, which created a combined 183,000, shows us that SB 3 can have a huge impact on the housing shortage.’’