Atkins’ affordable-housing bill clears Senate Transportation and Housing Committee

Tuesday, February 28 2017

The Senate Transportation and Housing Committee today voted 9-3 to pass SB 2 – the Building Homes and Jobs Act – legislation authored by Senator Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) that will create a permanent source of funding for affordable housing.

“Passing the committee that considers housing policy for the Senate is the first important step for this crucial bill,” Atkins said. “The need for a reliable funding source for low-income housing cannot be overstated, and the pressures on our existing pots of money are increasing. I thank the members of the committee for their clear-eyed view of the housing crisis and for knowing what we must do to help the families that are struggling the most.”

California’s housing crisis is worsening day by day. Each year, the state falls an additional 100,000 homes short of what’s needed in order for California to stop becoming increasingly unaffordable when compared with the rest of the country.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, 31 percent of mortgaged homeowners and 46 percent of renters spend more than 35 percent of their income on housing, compared with 22 percent and 41 percent, respectively, nationwide. And according to the Center for Housing Policy, 21 percent of California households spend at least half of their income on housing. While California is home to 12 percent of the nation’s population overall, it accounts for 22 percent of the country’s homeless population.

SB 2 would create a new, permanent source of funding for affordable homes through a modest recording fee on certain types of real-estate documents, excluding property sales. The fee will generate hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

SB 2 will create jobs as well as housing. For every $500 million spent on affordable housing, an estimated 29,000 jobs are generated.

The bill will soon be considered by the Senate Governance and Finance Committee before it moves on to the Senate Appropriations Committee, the last step before consideration by the full Senate.