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State Legislative Round Up

(from Housing CA.) Budget negotiations are consuming Capitol. In the run-up to the June 15th budget deadline, we continue to work closely with legislators and their staffs to propose reasonable modifications to the redevelopment trailer bill language drafted by the governor's Department of Finance.

On May 31, we submitted a joint letter to legislators, with Western Center on Law and Poverty and the CA Housing Consortium, and are now drafting actual bill language. The major issues we raise include:

• Sweep of the Low and Moderate Income Housing Funds.
• Removal of the requirements for successor housing agencies to enforce affordability covenants and carry out other obligations under Community Redevelopment Law.
• Refining the definition of "housing assets" that will remain with the successor housing agency.
• Requiring Oversight Board approval of the transfer of housing assets to the successor housing agency.
• Giving the Department of Finance, the State Controller, or the local auditor-controller the power to unilaterally withhold funds from cities and counties if they decide any payment is "improper," without any recourse to challenge such decisions.

The Assembly shares many of our concerns and is pushing for changes to the trailer bill language.

The League of California Cities has proposed its own changes, including authorization for successor agencies to include on their lists of "enforceable obligations" proposed housing developments that meet specified criteria.

Several Priority Bills Still Alive After House of Origin Deadline

Opportunities for funding remain possible. June 1st marked the deadline for legislation to pass out of its house of origin (meaning Assembly bills needed to pass off the Assembly floor and Senate bills off the Senate floor). Several bills of note remain viable and continue to move through the legislative process, including:

• AB 1951 (Atkins), which would allocate $30 million more into the Multifamily Housing Program (MHP).
• AB 2447 (Skinner), which would transfer $25 million from the California Homebuyer's Downpayment Assistance Program to create a state version of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to allow for the rehabilitation of foreclosed properties.
• AB 1672 (Torres), which tweaks the threshold for accessing funds from the Housing Related Parks Program in attempt to get the funds moving in a timelier manner.
• AB 2266 (Mitchell), which would require the state to apply for an Affordable Care Act option that would fund supportive housing and housing location services for homeless frequent emergency room users.
• AB 1532 (Pérez), which outlines potential uses of Cap-and-Trade auction revenues, including "sustainable development," and direct the Air Resources Board to propose an expenditure plan for the legislature's consideration.
• SB 1151 (Steinberg), which allows cities and counties to retain former redevelopment agencies' assets for enumerated purposes, including housing.
• SB 1156 (Steinberg), which allows cities and counties to create a new version of redevelopment agencies focused on development in transit areas.
• SB 1572 (Pavely), which creates a fund into which Cap-and-Trade auction revenues will be deposited.

Please stay tuned for opportunities to assist in advocating for these pieces of legislation to become law!