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  • BISNOW: Affordable Housing Solutions Lie In Streamlining Process, Increasing Resources

    Abode Communities President and CEO Robin HughesLos Angeles has been hit by the housing crisis that is widespread throughout California, and an additional 1 million residents are expected in LA in the coming years. Abode Communities President and CEO Robin Hughes sees the steps cities and the state are taking to improve access to housing, but as the director of a nonprofit devoted to affordable housing, she also sees where those efforts fall short.”My hardest challenge is when I receive an email with the subject ‘Desperate Mama’ from a woman whose husband and children have been living in different cities because she can’t find housing, and we can’t help her because we have no vacancies and waiting lists that extend several years,” she said.

     

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  • Marini J: Marin Voice: Marin’s first step — meet California affordable housing law

    Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed 15 bills to promote housing and address homelessness. One, Senate Bill 35, has the most potential to bring affordable housing to Marin County. For too long, affordable housing developers have avoided Marin because of our reputation for NIMBYism and the great difficulty of getting any project approved. The Marin Environmental Housing Collaborative — MEHC — believes SB 35 is a good first step toward improving the prospects for desperately needed affordable housing in Marin. California counties, cities and towns are required to include and regularly update a housing element within their general plans. The housing element must include policies that promote the production of housing to meet the localities’ fair share of the region’s housing needs, as established by, in Marin’s case, the Association of Bay Area Governments. So, as required from time to time, ABAG establishes a Regional Housing Needs Allocation — RHNA — which sets housing production goals by price categories for each jurisdiction within the region.

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  • LA Times: House tax plan would mean higher borrowing costs for hospitals, schools, affordable housing

    Scripps Memorial HospitalHospitals, university buildings and affordable housing projects could become markedly more expensive to develop if the tax plan approved Thursday by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives becomes law. The plan calls for eliminating a tax break on a type of bond financing used to build those and other projects, prompting worries by hospitals, colleges and housing groups that they could be forced to cut services, raise prices or cancel projects. They’re hoping the Senate tax plan, which does not eliminate the tax break, comes out on top. Nonprofits and affordable housing builders are able to borrow money by selling so-called private-activity bonds, which share a key feature with municipal bonds issued by government agencies to finance public projects: The interest income paid to bondholders is not subject to federal or state income tax.

     

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  • Mercuruy News: Milpitas boosts 100% affordable housing project

    Milpitas is partnering with nonprofit developer Resources for Community Development to potentially build a $74 million, 100 percent affordable housing project at 355 Sango Court in southern Milpitas. The city last week agreed to loan the developer $150,000 toward the costs of the project's design and other predevelopment expenses. 

Courtesy of City of MilpitasA proposed $74 million, 100 percent affordable housing development meant to help alleviate the high cost of living in the city got a boost last week. The Milpitas City Council, acting jointly as the city’s housing authority, voted unanimously on Nov. 7 to give a $150,000 loan to Berkeley-based Resources for Community Development (RCD) to help cover predevelopment expenses for a 102-unit, below-market rate rental project at 355 Sango Court, south of Montague Expressway. The proposed building site currently is occupied by Pro Star Towing, an automobile tow business. RCD intends to build 79 housing units for very-low income and 22 units for extremely-low income residents, as well as a manager’s unit. In addition, it plans to provide a minimum of 15 units for veterans, many of them homeless or formerly homeless. The 1.26-acre project site at 355 Sango Court is zoned for high-density multifamily residential with a transit-oriented district overlay. Such zoning requires a minimum of 42 and maximum of 60 residential units per acre, staff reports state.

     

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  • Builder: 9 OF 10 OF US’S Least Affordable Housing [Large] Markets Are California Metros

    McKinsey Global Institute, in an analysis of housing affordability challenges, quantifies one state’s chasm of unmet need for access to housing options this way: California, for instance, added 544,000 households but only 467,000 net housing units from 2009 to 2014. Its cumulative housing shortfall has expanded to two million units. With home prices and rents hitting all-time highs, nearly half of the state’s households struggle to afford housing in their local market. The report goes on to characterize the material consequence of the gap between what’s happening and the need for more to happen as a function of how much the state loses when people are overburdened in paying rents. $40 Billion, with a B. That’s 6% of California’s GDP.

     

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  • The Real Deal: Everything you need to know about LA’s new transit-oriented development incentives

    A new city planning initiative aims to add affordable housing development near mass transit, but some real estate insiders question whether it does enough to entice market-rate builders. The Los Angeles Department of City Planning released the official Transit Oriented Communities (TOC) Affordable Housing Incentive Program Guidelines on Sept. 22. The new rules aim to streamline the development process and incentivize affordable housing development by implementing a section of Measure JJJ, which was passed by voters in Nov. 2016. Roughly 20 applications have been submitted since the guidelines were released. Experts predict the TOC program will be most effective at increasing the scale of affordable projects. Whether it does enough to bring market-rate developers into the affordable housing business — which experts say is essential to tackle the housing crisis — is less certain.

     

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  • Daily Bulletin: Why affordable housing is such a big challenge for the Inland Empire

    0929_nws_sbs_l-gardens07_24598735Developer Jeff Burum resumes his chairmanship of the affordable housing development non-profit he co-founded just as California faces a tight inventory in new living spaces that has rent devouring apartment dweller’s paychecks and puts home prices out of reach of middle-class wage earners. And it’s affordable housing that has drawn the most attention in the state Legislature, with the cost of housing going up, while the number of housing starts in California has slipped from 200,000 annually from 1955 to 1989 to an average of 80,000 annually in the past decade. “The big picture is not very complicated,” Steve PonTell, president and chief executive officer of National Community Renaissance, the firm Burum and Andrew Wright started a quarter-century ago, said in a telephone interview Monday. “It’s supply and demand.” California officials estimate the deficit of affordable housing across the state is at 1.5 million units. Affordable housing means units accessible to those whose wages are below the local area median income.

     

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  • Patch: Alameda Gets Money For Housing

    Six cities in Alameda County will receive millions of dollars in grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a U.S. representative’s office said. A total of $12.8 million will be split among the cities of Oakland, Alameda, San Leandro, Albany, Emeryville and Piedmont, the office of Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, said. Oakland will receive nearly $7 million under HUD’s Community Development Block Grant program while Albany, Emeryville and Piedmont will receive nearly $200,000. The money will go toward jurisdictional and homeowner rehabilitation projects, according to Lee’s office. Lee’s district will also receive $25,000 for fair housing counseling and tenant and landlord services in the cities receiving the grants.

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  • NBC: Los Angeles Homebuilding is Up, but Affordable Housing Still Distant: Garcetti

    Los Angeles Homebuilding is Up, but Affordable Housing Still Distant: GarcettiThe city of Los Angeles has increased the speed at which it is building new homes, but it’s still far from fixing its housing shortage, according to LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. Los Angeles is nearly two-thirds of the way toward meeting Garcetti’s goal of building 100,000 new housing units over his eight years in office, but most of those units are priced at market rates, reports NBC4 media partner KPCC. The city, meanwhile, is struggling with record homelessness, rising rents and a typical home price of $630,000. Garcetti said at a Los Angeles Business Council summit that the city has sped up permitting for new developments and is subsidizing more units, but added that more housing could be created if LA’s half-million homeowners build so-called granny flats in their backyards.

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  • Mercury News: GOP tax proposal would gut affordable housing, state officials say

    Less than two months after California passed hard-fought bills to build more subsidized rental housing for the poor, affordable-housing advocates are reeling from a federal tax-reform proposal that could grind that momentum to a halt and wipe out an existing program that created roughly 20,000 such homes last year. The GOP tax proposal, if passed in its current form, would take away tax exemptions that generate $2.2 billion annually for affordable housing construction in California. For context: The recession-era elimination of state redevelopment funding in 2011 — a move widely criticized as devastating to affordable housing — amounted to losses of roughly $1 billion per year. “This is definitely a red alert for California,” said Matt Schwartz, president and CEO of California Housing Partnership, a San Francisco-based nonprofit housing organization. “The time is now for anybody who cares about our continued ability to produce affordable rental homes to engage.”

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