Tag Archive: No Place Like Home

  1. Yes on Props 1, 2: Ballot Measures Critical to Developing Housing

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    San Diego Square Senior ApartmentsThis November, the decisions voters make about two ballot measures—the Housing Assistance Bond and No Place Like Home—the Proposition 1 Housing Assistance Bond and Proposition 2 No Place Like Home—have significant implications for California communities as they address housing affordability.

    Proposition 1: Housing Assistance Bond, would allow the state to issue $4 billion in general obligation bonds to investors to fund existing affordable housing programs. Specifically, the bond would provide:

    • $1.8 million to build or renovate affordable multifamily housing;
    • $450 million for transit-oriented infrastructure development;
    • $450 million for down payment assistance or other funding to assist low- and moderate-income homebuyers;
    • $300 million for rental and owner-occupied housing for farmworkers; and
    • $1 billion for home loan assistance for veterans.

    The measure, which qualified for the ballot based on a two-thirds vote from the Legislature and approval by Governor Jerry Brown as part of the 2017 Housing Package, would support an estimated 30,000 multifamily units, 7,500 farmworker households, 15,000 homebuyers, and 3,000 veterans. If passed, the measure would enable the state to provide grants or low-cost loans to local governments, nonprofits, and developers through a competitive process to fund a portion of construction costs. Interest on the bond would be repaid using the state’s General Fund at approximately $170 million annually for 35 years. While opponents chafe at the cost burden to taxpayers, supporters such as United Way, the League of Women Voters, the League of California Cities, and the California State Sheriffs’ and Firefighters’ Associations view Proposition 1 as a much-needed measure to address the affordable housing crisis and argue that a portion of the funds will be recouped as payments on home loans.

    Proposition 2: No Place Like Home, if passed, would allow the state to redirect $140 million per year in Mental Health Services Act funding to repay up to $2 billion in bonds to fund permanent supportive housing for people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness who need mental health services. Counties would be able to use these funds to acquire, design, construct, rehabilitate, or preserve permanent supportive housing. Only those supportive housing developments that use low-barrier tenant selection practices and provide voluntary, individualized supportive services would be eligible for funding. Counties would also need to commit to providing mental health services and coordinating other supportive services as a condition of funding.

    Currently, the state needs court or voter approval to use Mental Health Services Act funds for permanent supportive housing through No Place Like Home (NPLH). Counties will be able to apply to the California Department of Housing and Community Development for NPLH funds, which are categorized as loans repayable to the state, on either a non-competitive or competitive basis contingent on voter approval.

    Research has shown that housing paired with treatment, commonly referred to as permanent supportive housing, helps people with severe mental illness live healthy, stable lives and reduces public health costs. Supporters of the measure include the California affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Opponents argue that the measure, if passed, would shift funding away from treatment for people with severe mental illness to pay for housing and does not address restrictive zoning laws that make it difficult to build housing.

    Together, Propositions 1 and 2 provide significant revenue streams to address California’s growing housing affordability and homelessness crisis and aim to produce housing types California’s private market has failed to adequately produce in California. The propositions have received widespread support from organizations and elected leaders statewide, including Assm. David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Senate President pro tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego).

    Diana Elrod, Principal, brings more than 30 years of consulting and public sector experience to her work co-leading LDC’s housing policy and real estate finance team. Before joining LDC, she provided strategic counsel and conducted research on Housing and Community Development for the Cities of Lafayette, Belmont, Palo Alto, San Jose, San Mateo, and the County of Santa Clara. She also has completed Housing Elements and Consolidated Plans for jurisdictions throughout California. She can be reached at diana@lesardevelopment.com.

  2. Governor Brown’s Last Budget Invests $5 Billion in Housing

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    Photo of Gov. Brown Signing the 2018 California Budget with State Legislative LeadersWhen Governor Jerry Brown signed the 2018 California State Budget on June 27, he cemented an agreement he made with Democratic legislative leaders earlier in June that will pump $5 billion into programs that aim to increase housing production and reduce homelessness, including a one-time Homeless Emergency Aid Block Grant, first-year funding from SB 2: The Building Homes and Jobs Act, and a variety of programs funded through the Cap and Trade Program.

    Homeless Emergency Aid Block Grant

    The budget allocates $500 million to the Homeless Emergency Aid Block Grant, which will provide jurisdictions with a one-time flexible block grant to tackle immediate challenges related to homelessness. Of these funds, $150 million will be distributed to cities and counties with populations over 330,000 that meet specific requirements based on their regional proportion of the statewide Point-In-Time (PIT) Count. Other jurisdictions will split $250 million based on their homeless populations, with funding ranging from $2 million dollars for jurisdictions with a PIT Count of 250 or fewer people to $60 million for jurisdictions with a PIT count of 4,000-19,999. An additional $100 million will be distributed among Continua of Care with funding proportionate to its percentage of the PIT Count.

    The program will be administered by the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency in consultation with the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council. An additional $500,000 will provide for the expansion and staffing of the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council, which provides guidance on developing a statewide plan to address homelessness issues.

    Cap and Trade

    Since 2014-2015, the Strategic Growth Council (SGC) has received a continuous appropriation equal to 20 percent of the Cap and Trade Expenditure Plan for its Sustainable Communities Program, which facilitates transit-oriented housing and development. The FY 2018-2019 budget include $455 million.

    SB 2: Building Homes and Jobs Act

    The 2018 budget also includes $250 million in first-year funding from SB 2: The Building Homes and Jobs Act, which is expected to generate $250 million annually from a real estate recording fee. Half of the funds will go toward housing and homelessness planning grants. The Emergency Solutions and Housing Program, which will be administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, and Housing for a Health California Program will each receive $57.5 million. An emergency shelter in Orange County and a navigation center in Merced County will each receive $5 million.

    Technical Changes to SB 35

    In addition, SB 850—a housing-related trailer bill necessary to implement the budget—made several clarifying changes to the approval process for affordable multifamily housing projects outlined in SB 35 (Wiener), which was passed as part of the 2017 housing package.  The bill clarifies the percentage of affordable units required for ministerial approval when a locality is not meeting either its moderate-income or its low-income housing allocations, and identifies special flood hazard zones where projects are prohibited from using the streamlining provisions of SB 35. Finally, the bill clarifies that CEQA does not apply to actions taken by a state or local government to provide financial assistance to a development using the streamlining provisions.

    Housing Measures on the November Ballot

    Finally, the FY 2018-2019 budget places two housing-related measures on the November 2018 ballot. Proposition 1, the Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act, would authorize a $4 billion general obligation bond to fund affordable housing and the CalVet veterans homeownership program. If passed, the bond would provide $277 million in funding in 2018-2019. Proposition 2, the No Place Like Home bond, would speed up the release of $2 billion in bond funding for supportive housing for individuals with mental illness.

    The following table provides a complete summary of the $5.1 billion in state and federal funds for housing and homelessness programs included in the FY 2018-2019 budget.[1]

    2018-2018 Housing and Homelessness Funding
    (in millions)
    Department Program Amount
    Department of Housing and Community Development Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act Programs (SB3) $277
    No Place Like Home Program $262
    Building Homes and Jobs Fund Programs (SB2) $255
    Federal Funds $122
    Housing for Veterans Funds $75
    Infill Infrastructure Grant Program Reappropriation $51
    Multifamily Housing Program – Supportive Housing $39
    Office of Migrant Services $6
    Housing Related Parks Program Reappropriation $2
    Various $15
    California Housing Finance Agency Single Family 1st Mortgage Lending $1,500
    Multifamily Conduit Lending $300
    Multifamily Lending $200
    Single Family Down Payment Assistance $108
    Special Needs Housing Program $30
    Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council Emergency Homeless Aid Block Grants $500
    Strategic Growth Council Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities $455
    Tax Credit Allocation Committee Low Income Housing Tax Credits (Federal) $259
    Low Income Housing Tax Credits (State) $97
    Farmworker Housing Assistance Tax Credits $3
    Department of Veterans Affairs CalVet Farm and Home Loan Program $264
    Department of Social Services CalWORKS Housing Support Program $71
    CalWORKS Homeless Assistance Program $43
    Senior Home Safe Program $15
    CalWORKS Family Stabilization, Housing Component $3
    Department of Health Care Services Homeless and Mental Illness Program $50
    Whole Person Care Pilot Program, Health Homes Program, Mental Health Services Act Community Services and Supports, California Community Transitions Program N/A
    Office of Emergency Services Domestic Violence Housing First Program $13
    Transitional Housing Program $10
    Domestic Violence Shelters and Services $10
    Specialized Emergency Housing $5
    Homeless Youth and Exploitation Program $2
    Department of Public Health Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) $3
    Housing Plus Program $2
    California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Integrated Services for Mentally-Ill Parolees $3
    Specialized Treatment of Optimized Programming, Parole Service Center, Day Reporting Center, Female Offender Treatment and Employment Program N/A
    Total   $5,050
    [1] State of California. California State Budget – 2018-2019

    Diana ElrodDiana Elrod, Principal, brings more than 30 years of consulting and public sector experience to her work co-leading LDC’s housing policy and real estate finance team. Before joining LDC, she provided strategic counsel and conducted research on Housing and Community Development for the Cities of Lafayette, Belmont, Palo Alto, San Jose, San Mateo, and the County of Santa Clara. She also has completed Housing Elements and Consolidated Plans for jurisdictions throughout California. She can be reached at diana@lesardevelopment.com.