CSAC Bulletin Article

SB 5 Passes Policy Committees with CSAC Support

July 11, 2019

SB 5, by Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) passed the Assembly Local Government Committee on Wednesday, with CSAC lobbyist Geoff Neill present to offer county support of the measure. CSAC recently adopted an official position of support for SB 5 because it would create an ongoing funding partnership between the state and California local governments to ensure long-term funding for both affordable housing and the infrastructure to support sustainable development.

Since the 1980s, California has failed to produce the estimated 180,000 new housing units per year necessary to keep up with population growth.  According to the California Department of Housing and Community Development, California has an unprecedented 1.5 million unit shortage of housing available to the lowest income households, who are most at risk of becoming homeless.  SB 5 would provide a critically important funding tool to combat the housing affordability crisis, and would help communities throughout the state meet their affordable housing and community development goals.

Under this measure, counties and cities would be given access to the property tax resources they need to fund affordable housing, invest in infrastructure needed to support housing, and address other critical state priorities like climate change. Local governments could use the revenue for construction of affordable housing; transit-oriented development in priority locations that maximize density and transit use and contribute to a reduction in vehicle miles traveled; rehabilitation and improvement of infrastructure in the urban core; revitalization of existing neighborhoods; and financing for repair and maintenance of infrastructure needed to protect communities from sea-level rise.

The proposal provides a significant ongoing investment, ramping up to $2 billion annually over time. Because SB 5 makes the state a long-term partner and provides much needed money to build affordable housing across the state, CSAC is in support, and will continue advocating for this measure. It now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

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