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Your Voice Was Heard

Your Voice Was Heard
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California’s housing shortage will no longer be overlooked.  On September 29, 2017, Gov. Jerry Brown restored California’s commitment to taking on the state’s affordable housing crisis. Surrounded by Assemblymembers, Senate leaders, big-city Mayors, and affordable housing advocates – including our own President and CEO, Janice Jensen – Gov. Brown signed the long-awaited housing package bills into law. 

The 15 bills that make up this historic housing package aim to bolster affordable housing in different ways – create funding for the construction of new affordable housing and make housing development faster and cheaper.

While that Friday was a victorious day for Bay Area affordable housing, we know this is just step in the right direction. We have a long road ahead of us and much work to ensure that affordable housing is created for working families. 

"We applaud Gov. Brown and leaders in the legislature for taking on this affordable housing challenge with this meaningful first step," said Sharon Ellis, the chair of Habitat for Humanity California. "But by no means is the work done. While our leaders made an important down payment on affordable housing today, it's time for the monthly payments to show they are up to the long-term challenge."

More than 40 local Habitat organizations across California supported the passage of the bills, particularly SB 2, SB 3, and SB 35, which will create new sources of revenue and streamline approval processes for affordable housing across the state.

SB 2 creates a small fee on real estate transactions, except on home sales, to be used for affordable housing. SB 3 puts a measure on next November's ballot, which if passed by the voters will raise $4 billion for affordable housing and veterans. SB 35 streamlines approval processes for affordable housing projects around the state, which will help reduce the costs of development. 

To everyone who has spoken up on behalf of affordable housing, we thank you for using your voices! We especially thank the leadership shown by legislators across California– including Governor, Jerry Brown; Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee Chair, David Chiu; Senate Transportation and Housing Committee Chair, Jim Beall; Senator Toni Atkins, State Senator Scott Wiener, Senator Nancy Skinner; Assembly Speaker Pro Tem, Kevin Mullin; Assembly Budget Chair, Phil Ting; Assemblymembers Rob Bonta and Ash Kalra.