Housing committee approves construction financing bill

SACRAMENTO—The Assembly Housing Committee today unanimously approved AB 1512, a bill authored by Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia (R-Cathedral City), to help the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) build up to 300 new affordable housing units a year.

In November 2002, California voters approved Proposition 46, a $2.1 billion dollar general obligation bond to fund a number of housing programs. AB 1512 would allocate up to $75 million of those funds to create a Residential Development Loan Program (RDLP) to finance the acquisition, development and construction of residential units within infill lots, especially in urban areas.

California’s red hot real estate market has made it increasingly difficult for low-income families to move their families from apartments and into their first home. The median sales price of a home is $423,000 – placing the dream of homeownership out of the grasp of 81% of households in California.

The benefits of the RDLP are twofold: 1) approximately 300 units of affordable housing can be produced annually, and 2) the income necessary to buy these units could be reduced by as much as 15%.

In addition, these funds will revolve for further leveraging in subsequent years.

“By partnering with developers and local housing agencies, we can build more housing for working families. Parents deserve the opportunity to live closer to work in a place they can call their own. Less hours on the road, means more time with their kids, family dinners at home, and more involvement in the community. This bill would help make the dream of homeownership a reality.”

AB 1512 now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee where if approved, will proceed to the Assembly Floor. An audio summary will be posted online later on today: