State legislature passes Atkins’ housing funds billAround the City Thursday, August 30th, 2012
Legislation authored by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, which redirects under-utilized housing funds to multi-family projects that provide homes for low income residents and reduce homelessness, has been passed by the state legislature and sent to the governor for his signature.
AB 1951 shifts $30 million from unused funds within the Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund to the Multifamily Housing Program, a popular and successful program to build and rehabilitate rental housing that has exhausted its available funding. The Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund was created by Prop 1C, passed by California voters in 2006.
“The foreclosure crisis, job loss, and our state’s rise in homelessness have made the need for affordable housing more critical than ever,” says Atkins. “Californians made housing a priority when they passed Prop 1C and my bill redirects funds that are sitting idle to where they can do the most good, increasing available resources at no additional expense to taxpayers.”
The Multifamily Housing Program, which provides low interest loans for the development of affordable rental housing, is one of the most highly utilized programs created by Prop C and there are currently no funds available in its account. The shift in funding would allow the many affordable multifamily projects currently in development to compete for the funds and increase the availability of homes for Californians. Affordable housing funds have been negatively impacted by the recent elimination of redevelopment programs, which by law set aside 20 percent of new tax revenues generated in redevelopment areas for affordable housing.
AB 1951 is supported by the California Housing Consortium, Corporation for Supportive Housing, Housing California and Habitat for Humanity. It has no opposition. Gov. Brown has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto the legislation. v
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