September 2017 E-Newsletter
HOUSING TOWN HALL
Can’t buy a house? Can’t find an apartment because rents are too high?
Come to my free pancake breakfast where I will explain in depth how new state laws can cool the affordable housing crisis. Housing experts will be joining me to answer your questions.
SATURDAY, OCT. 28, 8:30-11am
CAMPBELL COMMUNITY CENTER
ORCHARD HALL CITY BANQUET HALL
1 W. CAMPBELL AVE., CAMPBELL
Breakfast served 8:30am. Programs begins at 9am.
To RSVP, click here or call the Senate District 15 office, (408) 558-1295
Unable to attend? The town hall opening and presentation will be streamed live on my Facebook page beginning at 8:45am.
SB 3: MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING & JOBS
Senate Bill 3, my proposal to build 50,000 new units of housing to relieve California’s critical shortage of affordable housing, was passed by the Legislature and sent to the Governor’s desk.
This bill anchors a historic housing package by the Senate to increase the state’s affordable housing stock through investment and support regulations to speed up new housing construction.
Senate Bill 3, passed by a necessary two-thirds majority in the Legislature, is a statewide bond measure that will be placed on the Nov. 6, 2018 general election ballot.
SB 3 has the potential to raise $15 billion to create more affordable housing and renovation of existing multi-family dwellings. If voters approve the $4 billion bond measure, the state can use those funds to leverage $11 billion more in federal tax credits to help builders pencil out affordable house construction.
In addition, SB 3 is estimated to generate 137,000 jobs; $8.5 billion in labor income; and produce $23.5 billion in economic activity, according to research. 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
Senate Bill 3’s role in the housing package is to provide the financial impetus to trigger more affordable housing construction. Another bill that I co-authored, SB 2 (Atkins), will provide a sustained housing investment of $250 million annually to maintain the momentum. This bill calls for a $75 fee on mortgage refinances and other real estate transactions, except for property sales.
The Legislature also approved Senate bills to ease local regulations for home building and require cities and counties to plan for their share of affordable housing needed in their region.
Taken together, these bills represent a significant step toward helping Californians get into apartments, condos, or homes they can afford. 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.
SB 492: INCREASING OPEN SPACE
In the closing weeks before the end of the legislative year, the Legislature passed my proposal, Senate Bill 492, to expedite Midpeninsula Open Space Regional District’s efforts to purchase nearly 6,500 acres watershed in the Santa Cruz Mountains adjacent to their property. The property, owned by the San Jose Water Company, also includes 1,000 acres redwoods forest in danger of unsustainable logging.
SB 492 speeds us the customary bureaucratic process to enable MROSD to use the next round of their voter-approved Measure AA bond funds toward the purchase.
To help finance the purchase, I worked to secure $3 million in Senate Bill 5 (de León) - the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access For All Act of 2018.
For about a decade, I have been working to facilitate an acquisition of this ecologically sensitive property with spectacular views for public access. A sale holds the promise of bringing the Bay Area Ridge Trail one step closer to completion. But there are more benefits.
An acquisition strengthens fire safety in a coastal fire district that has been prone to wildfires. The bill was supported by CALFIRE Local 2881, California Professional Firefighters, the San Jose Firefighters IAFF Local 230, Santa Clara Firefighters, and IAFF Local 1165.The bill also requires sale proceeds to be invested in capital projects; typically, ratepayers would bear these costs. The bill also mandates that any remaining sale proceeds, including its accrued interest, not spent within eight years, must be allocated to ratepayers.
SAFE MEDICATIONS DISPOSAL
Get rid of your unused prescription pills and outdated medicines safely by coming to my Safe Pharmaceutical Disposal on Friday, Oct. 20, 9 a.m.-11 a.m.; Cypress Community and Senior Center, 403 Cypress Ave., Room 1, San Jose.
My office is looking for interns who would like to gain valuable work experience at my district offices this fall.
These internships provide students with an opportunity to get involved in state government. Students can gain experience in a professional work environment, and build their resumes.
Qualities sought in applicants: The ability to write well; reliability; attention to detail; initiative; and proficiency in typing.
An intern's duties include: data entry; research; helping constituents; and community outreach, such as staffing events and projects. Interns are also expected to work an occasional weekend or evening event. Internships are an unpaid position.