California lawmakers have begun to tackle what one legislator characterized as "the worst housing crisis that our state has experienced."
The California State Senate passed a bill that would put a $3 billion affordable housing bond before voters in 2018. Democratic Senator Jim Beall says it will help leverage $11 billion dollars in federal funds that he says are badly needed.
“Over the last 8 years, the federal government has reduced the housing funding by 46 percent — that’s an astounding withdrawal of funding from the federal government," says Beall. "It's becoming increasingly difficult for California to address our three and a half million affordable housing unit shortage.”
Several Republican senators say the state can’t afford another bond, but a Senate bill that received bipartisan support would create a streamlined approval process for cities that are struggling to meet affordable housing goals. Those bills now head to the Assembly … where legislators have introduced more than 100 bills that deal with affordable housing.
Democratic Assembly member David Chiu authored one measure that would provide financial incentives for affordable housing.
“Local governments that rezone more densely near transit with a certain level of affordability, that complete an environmental impact report, will receive an incentive payment from the state,” says Chiu.
That bill passed and now heads to the Senate.