State Legislature Adopts Budget that Includes Funding for Affordable Housing
On Wednesday, June 15th, the California Legislature passed a $122 billion budget for 2016-2017. Several key programs were funded that address affordable housing and homelessness in our state.
This is welcome news as Sacramento’s Legislative Analyst’s Office recently released its second report in 12 months, “Perspectives on Helping Low-Income Californians Afford Housing.” In it, Mac Taylor echoes what organizers, elected officials, the business sector, and community members have known for years, that “California has a serious housing shortage. California’s housing costs, consequently, have been rising rapidly for decades. These high housing costs make it difficult for many Californians to find housing that is affordable and that meets their needs, forcing them to make serious trade–offs in order to live in California.”
Efforts to advocate for affordable housing at our Capital are championed by Southern California Association of Non Profit Housing (SCANPH) and Housing California. While there is still work to be done around initiatives like No Place Like Home (NPLH), funding to support the below programs is a positive step in the right direction.
California Emergency Solutions Grants: $45 million to focus on funding rapid re-housing programs throughout California.
Bringing Families Homes: $10 million to fund and create a program that connects homeless and formerly incarcerated parents with children in foster care in safe, stable, and affordable homes.
CalWORKs Housing Support Program: $47 million, an increase of $12 million, to fund the rapid re-houses homeless families with children.
State Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC): Program encourages the investment of private equity in the development of affordable rental housing for low-income household. This is the cost to the state for the process in SB 873(Beall).
No Place Like Home (NPLH): $2 Billion Mental Health Services (MHSA) Bond provides funds for $45 million one-time funding for Emergency Solutions Grants to fund rapid-rehousing activities throughout the state.
This is good news for housing in California. Although the Budget Bill was passed by the legislation, NPLH will be decided and voted on after the passage of the budget. This proposal allocates a small percentage of Proposition 63 (2004) funding to finance permanent supportive housing specifically for those who live with a serious mental illness and live on the streets. The Senate and Assembly both need 2/3 of the members to vote in favor for it to pass.