Today, Feb. 23, 2012, Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) introduced legislation to create the Housing Opportunity and Market Stabilization (HOMeS) Trust Fund with the goal of creating a permanent funding source for affordable housing in California.
“California needs a healthy housing market that provides an adequate supply of affordable homes for all Californians,” said DeSaulnier. “By identifying a permanent funding source for this vital public service, this bill will ultimately remove affordable housing from protracted and contentious budget debates in Sacramento. With ongoing and permanent funding, affordable housing may become a reality for Californians in need.”
SB 1220 is co-sponsored by Housing California and the California Housing Consortium. Housing California Executive Director Shamus Roller said, “This bill takes a significant step towards ending homelessness and helping hundreds of thousands of Californians find safe and affordable homes. Hardworking families should be able to afford housing and still have money for groceries and other necessities.”
“In this difficult state fiscal environment, we thank Senator DeSaulnier for introducing this important bill that begins to address the perfect storm impacting funding for affordable housing in California,” said Ray Pearl, Executive Director of the California Housing Consortium. “This bill goes a long way towards reestablishing an important public-private partnership.”
The lack of sufficient, affordable homes near jobs impedes economic growth and development by making it difficult for California employers to attract and retain employees. The decline in housing production has played a significant role in creating and prolonging the Great Recession.
“As an organization representing the business interests of Silicon Valley, we understand the link between housing availability and the ability to recruit quality talent to the Silicon Valley and the state,” said Shiloh Ballard, Vice President, Housing and Community Development of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “We have long supported efforts to establish a more sustainable and sensible method for funding affordable homes and are pleased to see the ideas generated from years of stakeholder meetings, statewide listening sessions, and focus groups finally making their way into bill form.”
“This new source of funding would be critically important for affordable housing providers such as Habitat for Humanity,” said Janice Jensen, President and CEO of Habitat for Humanity East Bay. “The 49 Habitat affiliates throughout California would deploy these funds in our ongoing commitment to serving communities as we build new affordable homes, renovate and repair existing homes and fight blight, breathing new life back into distressed neighborhoods.”
SB 1220 will support the development, acquisition, rehabilitation, and preservation of affordable homes for low-income and moderate-income households, including emergency shelters, transitional and permanent rental housing, foreclosure mitigation, and homeownership opportunities. The goal of the bill is to generate an average of $700 million per year for affordable housing.
SB 1220 is jointly authored by Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento). Assemblymember Toni Atkins, Vice-Chair of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee (D-San Diego), is a principal co-author.
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Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) is the Chair of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee and represents the Seventh Senate District, which includes most of Contra Costa County.