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New Push For State Affordable Housing Funding This Year

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Renters' rights advocates march and rally outside the state Capitol Tuesday.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

The couple hundred people who rallied on the Capitol steps Tuesday for renters’ rights want affordable housing.

"Housing is a right!" they chanted. "We demand our rights!"

That help used to come through local Redevelopment Agencies.  But the state abolished the RDAs two years ago, and when they went away, affordable housing funds did too.

Last year, Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have allowed local governments to set affordable housing requirements for rental developments.  That left supporters frustrated.

“If the governor’s saying by the demise of redevelopment that there can be no public money for affordable housing, and there won’t be any allowance for private developers to put in their contribution to affordable housing, it’s really a very difficult situation,” said state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) after Tuesday's rally.

Now, backers are pushing a measure would charge a $75 fee on real estate transactions to raise $500 million a year for affordable housing projects.

Meanwhile, the governor has called for the creation of a new funding mechanism for affordable housing in his January budget proposal.


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