Capitol Reporter

Affordable-home and homelessness policy news from the halls of the Capitol

The April 4, 2019 Issue

State Update:
More than 200 Housing Bills in CA Legislature
Our Sponsored Bills
SB 50 Concerns Letter
State Funding Opportunities
Federal Update:
Poll: Vast Majority of Adults Believe Affordable Housing Should Be a Top National Priority
IRS Aligns Housing Bond Use Requirements with Housing Tax Credit Program
Housing California Update:
Register by Friday; On Site Registration Not Offered

State Updates

Flurry of Bills Indicates Increased Lawmaker Interest in Equity, Affordable Housing, Homelessness, and Renters' Rights

More than 200 bills introduced by California legislators this year deal with issues related to housing, ranging from funding to data to tax reform. Click on this handy visual by Berkeley artist and designer Alfred Twu for some of the bills getting attention. We have not taken a position on all of these, so check out Housing California-sponsored and supported bills below the image. Read our joint Letter of Concern for SB 50 that was written in coalition and signed by more than 50 organizations, also shared below, which Senator Scott Wiener acknowledged during his bill's first committee hearing on April 2. 


Sponsored Bills

ACA 1 (Aguiar-Curry) Affordable Housing and Public Infrastructure Voter Approval: Passed 5-2 in its first committee. This bill would place on the 2020 ballot the opportunity to reduce the local vote threshold for approval of bond and special tax measures to fund the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of infrastructure, including affordable housing, from a two-thirds vote to a 55% majority. Watch the press conference in which Housing California and the Residents United Network represented our community, check out "near misses" across the state because of the high voter threshold, and sign the petition to support ACA 1 here!

AB 10 (Chiu) Expanding the California Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program: Passed unanimously in its first committee. This bill increases state Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program funding beginning in 2020 by an additional $500 million.

SB 282 (Beall) Supportive Housing for People on Parole Experiencing Homelessness: Passed unanimously in its first committee. A grant program for counties to provide supportive housing for people on parole with a mental illness who are homeless.

SB 361 (Mitchell) Health Home Program Clean-Up: Passed in its first committee. In 2013, Governor Brown signed AB 361 (Mitchell), which authorized the state to take advantage of an Affordable Care Act optional Medi-Cal benefit, now referred to as the Health Home Program (HHP). This clean-up legislation would remove language around restricting state funding and also make the program more meaningful.​

AB 307 (Reyes) Homeless Youth Grant Program: Passed unanimously in its first committee. A grant program to provide housing for youth experiencing homelessness.

SB 329 (Mitchell) Source of Income Discrimination: Will be heard in its first committee on April 23. Ends the state's legal discrimination against Housing Choice Voucher holders who are looking for a rental and allowed to be denied housing.​

AB 816 (Quirk-Silva) Flexible Housing Program: Will be heard in its first committee on April 24. Creates a Flexible Housing Program to provide rental assistance, operating subsidies, services, systems funding, and interim housing (capped at 20%) to cities, counties, and Continuums of Care. Watch our press conference for AB 816.

SCA 1 (Allen) Repeal Article 34: Waiting for first hearing date. Would repeal Article 34 of the California Constitution, which currently prohibits the development, construction, or acquisition of an affordable housing development in any manner by any state public body until a majority of the qualified electors of the jurisdiction where the housing development is proposed approve the project by voting in favor at an election.

Supported Bills

Our website has been updated as of April 4 with complete a list of supported bills.


SB 50 Concerns Letter

On March 27, more than 50 organizations submitted a letter of significant concerns with SB 50, as currently drafted, to author Senator Scott Wiener. Our organizations are dedicated to ensuring that all Californians have a healthy and stable home that they can afford. Over the last several months, we have valued the Senator's willingness to take our input and review the detailed feedback we have provided. However, as drafted, SB 50 does not yet address our most serious concerns and will further exacerbate the housing challenges experienced by low income people, people of color, and other vulnerable people -- the very populations hit hardest by California’s affordability crisis. Our concerns reflect input we have gathered from dozens of tenant organizing groups; nonprofit developers; legal service organizations; local, state, and national equity organizations; and other community-based institutions. These concerns fall into three broad categories: affordable housing, protections for sensitive communities, and preservation of local affordable housing policies and plans.

Read the letter.


State Funding Opportunities

  • Final Month for CalHFA Mixed-Income Program Applications: With funds gathered as part of Senate Bill 2, the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) has made $40 million available for its new Mixed-Income Program. Deadline: April 30.

    CalHFA’s Mixed-Income Program provides competitive, long-term gap financing for the construction of new rental housing developments that are affordable for a mix of incomes between 30 and 120 percent of Area Median Income. It can be used in conjunction with CalHFA’s Permanent Loan program or be paired with a loan offered by one of the Mixed-Income Program’s Preferred Lenders. The April 30 deadline is to ensure applicants can meet the CDLAC October 2019 deadline.

  • The California Department of Housing and Community Development has released several Notices of Funding Availability. Click the schedule image below for a complete list and timeline, and find NOFA applications here.

Federal Update

Poll: Vast Majority of Adults Believe Affordable Housing Should Be a Top National Priority

A new national opinion poll released by the Opportunity Starts at Home Campaign, of which Housing California is a partner and grant recipient, shows that the majority of Americans believe that housing affordability is a priority issue for the nation. Among the key findings:

  • 91% of respondents say stable affordable housing is very important or one of the most important things that affect people’s security and well-being in the United States.
  • 90% agree that as one of the most prosperous nations in the world, we should do more to prevent homelessness.
  • 80% agree that Congress should "take major action" to make housing more affordable for low income people.
  • 76% believe that, compared with previous generations, it is harder today for people to find stable housing they can afford. 

See the full results.


IRS Aligns Housing Bond Use Requirements with Housing Tax Credit Program

The IRS on Wednesday issued Rev. Proc 2019-17 coordinating the general public use requirements for multifamily Housing Bonds with those of the Housing Credit.  This fixes a problem that 4% affordable housing deals serving veterans—and any other specific population—have had. For California, this is a big win for applicants using programs like No Place Like Home, Veterans Housing and Homelessness Prevention, Housing for a Healthy California, and more!

Register by Friday, April 5, at 11:59 PM for Limited Housing California Annual Conference Tickets; No On Site Registration Will be Offered

For the first time ever, we are nearly at capacity for the Sacramento Convention Center. The following tickets are available in small quantities through Friday.

Find a final list of all workshops and institutes on our conference webpage here. 

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Housing California
1107 9th Street, Suite 560
Sacramento, California 95814