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Newsroom

  • Mercury News: Chan Zuckerberg Initiative gifts $500,000 to support community housing collaboration

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announced Friday that are expecting a baby girl. (Facebook photo)Community-based affordable housing advocates got a boost from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Thursday with a $500,000 grant to support collaboration among nonprofits. All too often, nonprofits receive grant money to execute a given plan, but don’t get money for the ongoing work of creating plans and collaborating with other organizations, said David Plouffe, president of policy and advocacy at the charity. “The local groups that serve the communities most affected by the problem often have the clearest view of what’s needed to address the crisis,” he said, “but they need resources to be able to collaborate, plan, and execute.”

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  • UC Berkeley: LESSONS FOR THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC HOUSING: ASSESSING THE EARLY IMPLEMENTATION OF RAD

    In its 2018 budget, the Trump Administration is proposing to slash public housing funding by $1.8 billion. This cut represents a 29 percent decline from 2017, and will compound a longstanding trend of underinvestment in public housing and worsen an already dire situation. Over time, these shortfalls in federal funding have resulted in a $26 billion backlog in needed repairs, leaving many residents in public housing units across the country with untenable living conditions and a precarious housing future. In addition, every year we lose valuable units of public housing to demolition because of this lack of investment: HUD reports that between eight and fifteen thousand units are demolished due to obsolescence every year. The Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program, authorized by Congress in 2012, aims to address the problem of underinvestment in public housing. Under RAD, Public Housing Authorities (PHAs) convert their units to either Project Based Voucher (PBV) or Project Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) contracts, which allows them to leverage new financing sources like debt, tax credits, and state and local housing trust funds to invest in unit rehabilitation and operation.

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  • Patch: Santa Clara Co. Sells First $250M In Affordable Housing Bonds

    Santa Clara Co. Sells First $250M In Affordable Housing BondsThe first of hundreds of millions of dollars of bonds to build more affordable housing in Santa Clara County were sold Thursday, county officials said. The money is part of a $950 million bond measure called Measure A, which voters approved last year. The measure aims to provide housing for vulnerable populations, as well as help new homebuyers. On Thursday, $250 million of the measure was sold and will be used for down-payment assistance loans to eligible first-time homebuyers, a loan program for predevelopment work and for the development of multifamily rental units.

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  • Times Standard: Open letter to the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors

    Affordable Homeless Housing Alternatives would like to share our understanding of the benefits of a shelter crisis declaration for Humboldt County. AHHA is asking the Board of Supervisors to place a shelter crisis declaration on the board agenda before the end of the year. Doing so will allow public input and discussion of the lack of housing for homeless people in the county. There’s tremendous value in declaring a shelter crisis in Humboldt County: increased funding for services and savings in public health and safety.

    In a rural county, with a widespread chronically homeless population, a county shelter crisis declaration can support solutions. California legislation on shelter crises was intended to allow elected bodies to relax zoning, not incur liability, and be broadly applicable. This state law was intended to be a way for a county or city to give critical assistance to efforts to create multiple solutions to this crisis of lack of housing. The city of Eureka, so far, has applied its shelter crisis declaration very narrowly. A countywide, general declaration would be helpful to create housing solutions across the county.

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  • Curbed SF: Ballot measure would expand rent control across California

    A proposed new ballot measure would repeal a state law that prevents California cities from applying rent control to newly constructed buildings, giving communities the power to create new rent controlled units for the first time in over 20 years. The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), a community group that describes itself as a union for renters, filed paperwork for the ballot measure on Monday, dubbing it the Affordable Housing Act. Under present state law, no housing built after the passage of the 1995 Costa-Hawkins Act may be subject to rent control. Older buildings may “reset” rents as soon as units are vacant and looking for new tenants, making rent control stock a constantly dwindling and non-renewable resource.

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  • SacBee: Don’t neglect middle class in California’s housing crisis

    As I look out the window of my California Housing Finance Agency office in downtown Sacramento at 5 p.m. on a Wednesday, I see a lot of cars. Filled with public employees, teachers, nurses and construction workers, the cars aren’t going to nearby homes. They are lining up to jump on the freeway and drive to the distant homes their drivers can afford. These are middle-income, working families who can’t find housing in the region’s most important job center. And this isn’t just a Sacramento problem, it’s a California problem. While it’s no secret that our state is in a housing crisis, what isn’t as widely known is that the crisis is affecting people with good, stable jobs. Even those making 120 percent of their area’s median income – $91,000 for a family of four in Sacramento and $77,750 in Los Angeles – are having trouble finding an affordable place to live.

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  • LA Times: Gavin Newsom calls for California to nearly quadruple its annual housing production

    Gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom (Jenna Schoenefeld / For The Times)Gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom says California officials should set a goal to help 3.5 million new homes get built by 2025 to stem the state’s housing problems. “Simply put, we’re experiencing a housing affordability crisis, driven by a simple economic argument,” the lieutenant governor said in a post on Medium outlining his housing plan. “California is leading the national recovery, but it’s producing far more jobs than homes. Providing adequate housing is fundamental to growing the state’s economy.” To reach that number, which comes from a 2016 analysis by consulting firm McKinsey Global Institute, the state would need to nearly quadruple its annual production of roughly 100,000 new homes a year to 378,000. That amount of new homes in one year hasn’t been built since at least 1954, according to permit data from the construction industry.

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  • Washington Post: America’s affordable-housing stock dropped by 60 percent from 2010 to 2016

    The number of apartments deemed affordable for very low-income families across the United States fell by more than 60 percent between 2010 and 2016, according to a new report by Freddie Mac. The report by the government-backed mortgage financier is the first to compare rent increases in specific units over time. It examined loans that the corporation had financed twice between 2010 and 2016, allowing a comparison of the exact same rental units and how their affordability changed. At first financing, 11 percent of nearly 100,000 rental units nationwide were deemed affordable for very low-income households. By the second financing, when the units were refinanced or sold, rents had increased so much that just 4 percent of the same units were categorized as affordable.

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  • Pasadena Star News: Pasadena’s affordable housing program showed lax enforcement, left some units vacant for up to a year

    sb04-livingstone01Pasadena’s Housing Department failed to follow city law for nearly one-third of the developments built through its affordable housing program, according to a review of projects finished since 2007, putting 38 low-income units at risk during a time of housing scarcity across the region. The program, known as the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance, requires developers to set aside a percentage of the units in any new residential project for very low, low- and moderate-income families, supplying much needed affordable housing and also dispersing it evenly throughout the city. In exchange, developers get to build denser projects and receive fee waivers to offset the costs of the below-market-rate units. The program has earned Pasadena recognition throughout the county and the state. But of the 18 apartments and condominiums projects completed in the last decade, five were improperly granted building permits before the developers agreed to set aside units for low- and moderate-income families.

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  • KPLR: They survived the California fires. Now, the crisis is finding housing

    Laurie Martinez has slept in a tent every night since a fire ripped through her neighborhood in Santa Rosa, California. She walked several blocks to a local center on Wednesday to find out what help is available and began the process of piecing her life back together. “Everyone has to start over,” she said. She and her family were displaced by one of the massive Northern California fires last week. The fire didn’t discriminate. The most destructive fire in California history torched Santa Rosa’s high-end homes, middle-class neighborhoods and a mobile home park. It left the entire spectrum of the city’s population in distress as homes and businesses went up in flames. And because of the housing crunch gripping the San Francisco Bay Area, survivors of the fire are dealing with a different kind crisis: They have nowhere to go.

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