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California Senate Committee Passes SB 391, the California Homes and Jobs Act of 2013

The California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee voted on April 9, 2013 to approve SB 391, a measure which would establish the California Home and Jobs Trust Fund in order to spur development of affordable housing and help businesses attract and retain workers in California. The measure was introduced by State Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), who stated that “the lack of affordable homes in California is a very real threat to our state’s continued economic recovery.”

 

SB 391 would place a $75 fee on the recordation of real estate-related documentation, excluding all home and commercial property sales.  The fees would be deposited in the California Homes and Jobs Trust Fund and used to fund the development of affordable housing projects, administer housing programs and pay the cost of periodic audits throughout the state. 

 

Affordable housing development has slowed significantly in recent years due, in part, to the elimination of the state’s redevelopment authorities. With funds from state housing bonds (Props. 46 and 1C) also exhausted, state funds that leverage federal/local funds and private investment are at their lowest level in many years.  Advocates claim that SB 391 could: (1) create approximately 29,000 construction-related jobs; (2) generate an estimated $500 million in state investment and leverage an additional $2.78 billion in federal and local funding and bank loans; (3) result in approximately 10,000 affordable single-family homes and multifamily apartments each year for families, senior, veterans and people with disabilities; and (4) reduce homelessness, resulting in savings to taxpayers and less strain on state health and criminal justice systems.

 

The bill is sponsored by the California Housing Consortium and Housing California and endorsed by many housing and business advocates, including AARP, Habitat for Humanity, United Ways of California, Bay Area Council, California Building Industry Council, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and Orange County Business Council.

 

SB 391 was passed by a vote of 6-3-2.  The measure will be heard in the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on April 24, 2013.

 

The text of SB 391 can be found here.

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