Atkins’ Affordable-Housing Bill Clears Second Senate Committee

March 15, 2017

The Senate Governance and Finance Committee today voted 5-2 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.

The bill was previously endorsed by the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee and now moves on to the Senate Appropriations Committee, the last step before consideration by the full Senate.

“Every time SB 2 clears a new hurdle, I become increasingly hopeful that each year, thousands of struggling California families will be rescued from housing instability,” Atkins said.

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

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 nation’s homeless population.

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