After years of inaction, the political will may finally exist to address California’s sky-high housing costs.
California lawmakers are on summer recess right now, but while they’re away, Gov. Jerry Brown and Democratic legislative leaders are putting the finishing touches on a package of bills to address the state’s housing crisis.
The governor, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) and Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) have vowed to act on housing legislation right after summer recess, with a three-pronged deal:
- a housing bond on the November 2018 ballot
- a permanent funding source for affordable housing projects, which will most likely be a real estate document fee, and
- regulatory changes to streamline the homebuilding process and hold local governments more accountable for building housing.
”I think those are the right solutions. There’s no silver bullet to addressing the housing crisis,” says Assembly housing committee chair David Chiu (D-San Francisco). “We can’t ask cities to streamline housing creation unless we give them also some resources to build affordable housing, and vice versa. There are many who would not be comfortable with funding without streamlining.”
But any effort to raise money for affordable housing requires a two-thirds supermajority in the Legislature – and it’s not yet clear whether backers can find the votes.