Take action for affordable housing in the Bay Area
May 6, 2017
If Bay Area voters deliver a clear message to elected leaders about the need for affordable housing, change is possible in 2017. In fact, change is already brewing.
Last year, Bay Area voters told pollsters for the first time that housing was their top concern. Then voters around the state showed they were prepared to take action to address it, passing 12 of 13 affordable-housing funding measures to create affordable housing and support our communities.
But the Bay Area can’t go it alone. Even with increased local funding, we face a significant funding shortage for affordable housing. New data out this month from the California Housing Partnership show that Bay Area counties have lost almost 70 percent of direct funding for housing over the past 10 years. In 2011, after the state dissolved redevelopment agencies, California suffered a loss of $1.5 billion annually.
Bay Area residents can build off our momentum from the November election by calling on state leaders to re-invest in our communities and identify funding for new, badly needed affordable housing.
Two proposals in Sacramento seek to do just this:
1 The Building Jobs and Homes Act (SB2) would establish a sustainable funding source through a nominal real estate filing fee, generating hundreds of millions of dollars annually for affordable housing programs and local investments.
2 The Bring California Home Act (AB71) would eliminate a state mortgage interest deduction for vacation homes and redirect those savings to directly fund more than 3,000 new affordable homes each year.
Together, these bills would yield significant benefits for our communities, creating new affordable housing for our seniors, veterans and chronically homeless, and funding housing programs and opportunities for our teachers, nurses, essential workers and families.
It’s good for all of us when we have the resources we need to create affordable housing, retain our teachers and workforce, and care for our most vulnerable.
Solutions are within reach, but it is going to take effort from all of us to provoke the change we want.
Amie Fishman is the executive director of the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California. Matt Schwartz is the CEO and president of the California Housing Partnership.
Learn: Read the California Housing Partnership’s new housing needs assessment for four Bay Area counties for a snapshot of where we are and how solutions fit in: http://chpc.net
Get involved: Unearth opportunities to put action behind housing solutions: http://nonprofithousing.org/ahw2017
Speak out: Urge your state lawmakers to create permanent funding for affordable housing investments by supporting SB2 and AB71.