Coachella, California - Today, we celebrate the bill signing of a historic housing package. This year, the California State Legislature came together to successfully pass fifteen measures to address the unique housing needs of all California, including particular investments for low-income families, farmworkers and veterans.
“Truly want to commend Governor Brown, Speaker Rendon and Chairman Chiu for leading the charge to address our state’s severe housing crisis. I was proud to support this comprehensive package of bills, anchored around SB 2 and SB 3, which established a funding mechanism for these critical measures, and play my part advocating on behalf of rural Californian communities, like those in my district that have been historically underserved. AB 571 eases eligibility requirements for a state tax credit program that focuses on building migrant housing. Farmworker labor fuels our economies, yet these areas lack the necessary investments to spur growth and prosperity. These modifications to the Farmworker Housing Assistance Tax Credit Program along with other programs established within this historic bill package will help ensure the essential right to safe, affordable housing for more of our hard working families and veterans across California,” stated Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella).
“To get to the root of California’s diverse and region specific housing issues, Assemblymember David Chiu, Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development conducted a series of hearings and forums across the state. I was very pleased that the state accepted my invitation to begin these critical conversations in Indio, with our community’s very own nonprofit, business and government housing stakeholders.”
February’s Indio housing affordability hearing set the tone for these larger statewide conversations which developed into this final legislative product. The 2017 housing bill package consists of fifteen total measures, one introduced by Garcia and two of which would establish the funding mechanisms for these housing programs.
AB 571, Farmworker Housing Assistance Tax Credit Program (E. Garcia) makes program reforms in the California Farm Worker Housing Tax Credit Assistance Program to make it easier to use these credits for development of rental housing where at least 50% of the units are occupationally-restricted to farm workers.
Julie Bornstein, Executive Director of the Coachella Valley Housing Coalition shared, "this bill makes important improvements to the State Tax Credit program that supports farm worker housing. It is much needed to eliminate some of the most deplorable housing and build safe, decent affordable apartments as replacements for the hard -working farm workers of the Coachella and Imperial valleys. These contributors to our local economy should have decent dwellings in which to raise their families. Many thanks to Assemblymember Garcia for fixing this important program."
SB 2, Building Homes and Jobs Act (Atkins) generates about $300 million annually for affordable housing, including minority home ownership, rental housing, and farm worker housing, via a $75 per document recordation fee on real estate transactions, not including home sales. This critically important bill would create a recurring source of revenue for affordable housing not tied to General Fund appropriations. Of the estimated $300 million generated annually from recordation fees on real estate transaction, not including sales, 20% would be for homeownership and 10% for farmworker housing.
SB 3, Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2018 (Beall) places a $4 billion general obligation bond for housing on the 2018 State ballot, including $1 billion to extend the Veterans Home Loan Program, which is currently scheduled to expire in 2018.