Governor Brown Signs Toni Atkins’ SB 2, Creating Permanent Funding for Affordable Housing

September 29, 2017

In a special ceremony today, Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 2 – the Building Homes and Jobs Act – legislation authored by Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) that will create a permanent source of funding for affordable housing. The bill is part of a comprehensive and historic package of legislation OK’d by the governor that will approach California’s housing crisis from multiple angles.

“I am grateful in the extreme to Governor Brown for his support for SB 2 and the entire housing package,” Atkins said. “Because I have been working hard on the idea behind SB 2 for seven years, it has become associated with my name. But it is not about me. It’s about all the advocates and supporters who have labored tirelessly for years to get it passed, and, above all else, it’s about the struggling families and individuals to whom it will bring relief.”

SB 2 creates a new, reliable source of funding for affordable homes through a $75 fee on the recording of certain types of real-estate documents, excluding sales of residential and commercial property. For transactions that involve the recording of multiple documents, the fee is capped at $225. It’s estimated that the bill will generate roughly $250 million each year and create 57,000 jobs over five years.

Of the revenue generated between Jan. 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2018, half will go toward reducing homelessness throughout California and half will go directly to local governments to update community plans in order to improve neighborhood quality of life and spur housing growth in locations where it makes the most sense.

After the first year, 70 percent of the revenue will go directly to communities to create affordable housing and 30 percent will fund existing state housing programs.

“Homelessness has become a humanitarian crisis in many areas of California, and my home city of San Diego has been hit hard. There’s far too much suffering on our streets,” Atkins said. “SB 2 will help by providing desperately needed funding for permanent housing with supportive services to stabilize people who are living with significant medical or mental-health issues.”

Lisa Hershey, executive director of Housing California, a sponsor of SB 2, said, “The package of housing bills passed this year would not have resulted in construction of affordable homes without state investment – Senate Bill 2 offers that first influx of funding. Housing California is thankful to Senator Atkins for her years of leadership and fortitude alongside advocates, residents, multisector allies and other legislative champions to break through barriers and spring-board solutions that will start to create access to a more equitable and inclusive California.”

Ray Pearl, executive director of the California Housing Consortium, another sponsor of the bill, said, “It is a remarkable victory that California secured this significant investment in affordable homes to help struggling families and seniors in all communities across our state. The housing community is proud to be part of the massive effort to turn the tide on the crushing housing catastrophe, and we are incredibly grateful for the persistent leadership of Senator Atkins, who tirelessly fought to make housing a top priority for years.”