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Newsroom

  • Porterville Recorder: Affordable housing build begins in Lindsay

    Construction crews have begun preparing the site for a new 50-unit affordable apartment rental community on the southeast corner of Hermosa Street and Westwood Avenue in Lindsay. The rental project, known as Palm Terrace, is being built by Self-Help Enterprises (SHE) and is projected to be completed by fall 2018, said Sonia Sanchez, communication and outreach specialist with SHE. Sanchez said Palm Terrace is a highly energy-efficient and transit-friendly project. Sustainable features include solar PV, graywater recycling system, water conservation measures, and a vanpool program in partnership with the California Vanpool Authority that will transport residents from Palm Terrace and the surrounding community to and from work. The project’s solar PV system will offset the power used in the common area, residential loads, and community center, making Palm Terrace a grid-neutral Zero Net Energy project.

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  • Downtown News: Much Ado About Downtown Housing Vacancy

    The Downtown Los Angeles construction boom has produced a glut of new apartments, and despite a steady influx of residents, the community has seen its vacancy rate soar to levels not seen in decades. The Downtown vacancy rate is currently at 11%, according to real estate analysis firm CoStar Group. That far exceeds the roughly 4% rate in Los Angeles County, and is almost double the second-highest submarket vacancy rate, Hollywood’s 5.8%. The situation raises a natural question: Is the red-hot Downtown market finally cooling down with falling rents, or is this just a temporary dip as recently opened apartments are filled? Downtown construction appears to be hitting a crescendo: Inventory growth that averaged around 3% annually since 2010 spiked to 8.5% between the second quarter of 2016 and the same time this year, with nearly 3,500 units completed, according to an analysis by property management firm RealPage.

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  • Mercury News: On a roll: Affordable housing advocates pack a San Francisco hotel and say they’re winning the battle

    The AveVista apartment complex at 460 Grand Ave, Oakland, was
developed by BRIDGE Housing, the San Francisco-based nonprofit
developer of affordable housing. Before the complex opened in December
2015, BRIDGE received 5,200 applicants for its 68 affordable
apartments for families. The Bay Area's dire need for more affordable
housing was discussed Friday at a conference in San Francisco. (Photo:
Patrick Argast)With all the persistent ranting about the housing crisis — how intractable it is, how it’s driving middle class and poor people from the Bay Area, and how there are no solutions in sight — one might think an affordable housing conference would collapse under the weight of all that collective pessimism. “Standing Together” — the title of Friday’s 38th annual conference sponsored by the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH) — was the biggest one of these events yet. Fueled by Gov. Jerry Brown’s signing last week of a dozen bills aimed at addressing the state’s affordable housing crisis, about 850 affordable housing advocates — policy wonks, finance wizards, architects, grassroots organizers, contractors, tenants, public office holders — crowded lobbies and conference rooms at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square hotel.

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  • SF Examiner: Eye on the State: This year was all about housing

    To great fanfare, Gov. Jerry Brown last Friday finally signed a “package” of housing measures. The political logjam that had stymied affordable housing bills finally broke, with more than a dozen housing bills making it through this year. The last decade has been a triple nightmare for housing in California: the 2008 Wall Street crash that decimated single-family house construction that once provided the bulk of middle-class starter homes; the governor’s dissolution of redevelopment funding that eliminated more than a billion dollars annually for housing; and the attack by the real estate industry that took away cities’ ability to require affordable “inclusionary” housing. California’s deficit of affordable homes grew to 1.5 million in the last few years, even as the state cut funding for affordable housing by 79 percent.

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  • Capital & Main: California Game Changers: Preserve the Affordable Housing We Have

    Illustration: Nicolás ZúñigaLast week, Governor Brown and Democratic leaders visited the Hunter’s View low-income development in San Francisco to sign a package of 15 bills designed to combat California’s affordable housing crisis. The package included a permanent revenue stream for affordable housing projects through a real estate document fee, a housing bond for the 2018 ballot, and “streamlined” development of multi-family structures through easing permitting requirements.

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  • SacBee: Mobile homes often trade in a ‘gray market.’ Owners now have a chance to avoid back taxes.

    Nearly 21,000 families in the four-county Sacramento region, and about a half-million across California, live in homes that are theoretically mobile. For many, buying a home that’s up on blocks is one of the last opportunities for single-family homeownership in a state with some of the highest housing costs in the nation. “If you can buy outright, it’s an affordable option,” said Michelle Hutson, who owns her double-wide mobile home in south Sacramento but rents the land beneath it for less than an apartment might cost. With such homeowners in mind, housing advocates and state officials are pushing a new program that waives back taxes and fees to ensure that mobile home owners really do own their homes and are able to maintain the value of what’s often their largest asset.

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  • Wolters Kluwer: California Amends Low-Income Housing Credit

    California has expanded the provisions of its low-income housing tax credit to include:

    • more programs under which tenants receive government assistance; and
    • property subject to a rent subsidy contract.

    Taxpayers use the credit against corporation franchise and income, personal income, and insurance premium tax liabilities. Taxpayers qualify for the credit if they build, rehabilitate, or acquire low-income housing that may be considered “at risk of conversion.”  Generally, “at risk of conversion” means a multifamily rental housing development in which at least 50% of the units receives assistance from one of several government programs.

    Under new legislation, tenants receive may receive governmental assistance:

    • under Section 514 of the Housing Act of 1949 (relating to housing for farm laborers);
    • under Section 1484 of Title 42 of the U.S. Code (relating to insurance of loans for housing and related facilities for domestic farm labor); or
    • through loans or grants administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development.

    Also, “at risk of conversion” property now includes property subject to a rent subsidy contract, provided rent can be prepaid anytime within five years before or after the date the taxpayer applies for the tax credit.

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  • Beyond Chron: Next Steps for CA Housing Advocates

    At last Friday’s historic housing bill signing ceremony, legislators insisted that 2017 was not a one-time deal. Every speaker said that tackling the housing crisis required further action in 2018, and even Governor Brown concurred—though he asked for fewer than the 15 bills he signed on Friday. So what should be housing advocates’ next steps? And are there really legislative openings in 2018 or will election year politics get in the way? Topping the list for tenant advocates is repealing the 1995 Costa-Hawkins law. This measure prevents cities from imposing rent control on vacant apartments and exempts single-family homes, condos, and post-1979 constructed buildings.

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  • SD Union Tribute: Little-known nonprofit could help solve San Diego housing shortage

    A little-known local nonprofit hopes to play a key role in solving San Diego’s housing crisis with several new initiatives, including an aggressive proposal to accelerate construction of some low-income apartments. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation, which gives developers seed money to buy land for housing projects in low-income areas, is proposing to establish a $50 million regional housing affordability fund to make construction of such housing cheaper and faster. LISC also plans to accelerate construction of granny flats in San Diego by funding pre-approved architectural plans that would allow people to bypass the often lengthy design and approval phases.

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  • LA Times: Gov. Brown just signed 15 housing bills. Here’s how they’re supposed to help the affordability crisis

    Jerry BrownGov. Jerry Brown has finalized lawmakers’ most robust response to California’s housing affordability problems in recent memory. The “15 good bills” Brown signed into law here Friday morning include a new fee on real estate transactions and a $4-billion bond on the 2018 ballot that together could raise close to $1 billion a year in the near term to help subsidize new homes for low-income residents. “It is a big challenge. We have risen to it this year,” Brown said. The governor signed the legislation surrounded by lawmakers and advocates at Hunters View, a $450-million project in San Francisco that is redeveloping what was once crumbling public housing into new homes for 700 low- and middle-income families. Speakers at the ceremony hailed the package of bills as a sea change in how the state handles housing issues.

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