Andrea Gardner | KPCC
Here’s how it used to work: If you owned land in California, part of your property taxes went into special fund called redevelopment - the state took about a billion dollars from that pot each year to build housing for lower income residents.
In 2011, the state did away with those redevelopment funds.
State assembly speaker Toni Atkins says, over time, that's made it hard for low and middle income people to afford to live in California. She wants to get that money back.
"We're talking about restoring a program that worked, but we are having to do it with a number of different mechanisms and ways of getting there," said Atkins.
Today she rolled out a bundle of new laws, which - if passed - would infuse big bucks into affordable housing again. The main funding source is a proposed $75 charge on real estate transactions which could generate 500 million dollars a year.
Much of that money would go to non-profit builders - to pepper the state with more apartment buildings for lower-income renters. And someone has to build them - Atkins says, that construction would create almost 30 thousand jobs.