The California Assembly today voted 54-25 to pass SB 2 – the Building Homes and Jobs Act – legislation authored by Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) that will create a permanent source of funding for affordable housing.Following the vote Atkins made the following statement:
“California is in crisis. Rising housing costs affect us all. Too many people are using far too much of their income to pay the rent or the mortgage. Too many people are falling into homelessness. Too many people are forced to live farther and farther away from their jobs, clogging our freeways, making our battle against climate change more difficult and depriving families of quality time together.
“Speaker Anthony Rendon and my colleagues in the Assembly took bold action today in passing SB 2, and on behalf of the tens of thousands of struggling families, veterans, seniors and people living on our streets who will benefit from this funding during the first few years alone, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude.
“There is no single silver bullet that will solve the crisis. However, SB 2 is a step in the right direction. For example, it will generate new, ongoing funding to create permanent supportive housing for people who are experiencing chronic homelessness, providing them with services they need to address their physical- and mental-health issues and relieving the pressure on our courts, jails and emergency rooms.
“In addition to producing housing for struggling Californians, it will provide the resources our cities and counties need to update community plans in order to improve quality of life in our neighborhoods and spur new housing growth where it is sorely needed, which will help lower housing costs overall.
“SB 2 is part of a legislative package that represents a significant step toward what must be a larger, all-hands-on-deck strategy to bring housing costs down.
“I want to thank Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate President pro Tem Kevin De Leon and Speaker Rendon, as well as elected officials throughout the state, for their support for SB 2. I also want to express special thanks to the vast coalition of housing, business, labor and civic organizations and individuals for their hard work in getting SB 2 across the finish line. I will never forget the tireless efforts of so many caring people.”
Praising the Assembly’s approval of the bill, Assemblymember David Chiu (D – San Francisco) said, “We are delivering real solutions to the housing crisis that has made life hard for so many Californians. From San Francisco to Salinas to San Diego, too many people are struggling to pay the rent, make the mortgage, or even to have a home at all. Creating a permanent funding source for affordable housing through SB 2 shows true leadership by our Legislature and is the culmination of almost a decade of effort. Next year California voters will have the opportunity to jump start housing investment with SB 3’s $4 billion housing bond. And SB 35 and other bills in the package will help create more of the housing that we need in places that haven’t been building the homes we need. I look forward to final action on all of the housing bills later today.”
SB 2 creates a new, reliable source of funding for affordable homes through a $75 fee on the recording of certain types of real-estate documents, excluding sales of residential and commercial property. For transactions that involve the recording of multiple documents, the fee is capped at $225. It’s estimated that the bill will generate roughly $250 million each year and create 57,000 jobs over five years.
Of the revenue generated between Jan. 1, 2017, and Jan. 1, 2018, half would go toward reducing homelessness throughout California and half would go directly to local governments to update community plans in order to spur housing production.
After that, 70 percent of the revenue would go directly to communities to create affordable housing and 30 percent would fund existing state housing programs.