Realtors vote to support $1.3 billion affordable housing proposal

'Middle class workers should be able to afford to live in the communities they serve,' organization says

Directors of the California Association of Realtors have voted to support a $1.3 billion proposal by California Assembly members to create affordable housing programs.

"With a historically low home ownership rate of 54% and record high rental costs, the dream of owning a home in California is evaporating," said CAR President Pat "Ziggy" Zicarelli. "Our teachers, nurses, firefighters, police officers, and other middle class workers should be able to afford to live in the communities they serve."

"CAR recognizes the urgency of California's housing crisis and is fully supporting the proposal by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee to invest a portion of our state's budget surplus to address this housing crisis," Zicarelli added.

CAR formed an Affordable Workforce Housing Task Force last August to examine existing policies in California designed to expand the availability of "affordable housing" and to make recommendations to increase the availability of affordable work force housing in California.

This budget proposal includes:

$400 million for home ownership and rental housing opportunities - $200 million for a new workforce housing grant program to provide funding for down payment assistance, home ownership assistance and rental housing for individuals making 120% of the area median income;

$200 million for the CalHome Program which provides grants and loans to local governments and non-profit organizations for rehabilitation of existing homes, mortgage assistance, acquisition, site development, and pre-development/construction of homes;

$60 million for seismic retrofits of soft-story homes. Personal income tax credits for 30% of qualified cost incurred for a seismic retrofit;

$75 million for farmworker housing:

$50 million to finance the construction, rehabilitation, and acquisition of owner-occupied and rental units for ag workers;

$25 million for the construction, rehabilitation, and acquisition of rental housing for farmworkers and their families who make up to 60% of the area median income;

$500 million for the rental housing for lower income working families;

$300 million in low income housing tax credits to enable private developers to create more than 3,000 homes and leverage $300 million in federal tax credits and $600 million of federal tax exempt bonds, which would otherwise go unclaimed;

$200 million to fund the construction, rehabilitation, and acquisition of 5,700 multifamily rental homes, serving 62,500 families and individuals at 60% of the area median income or below;

$300 million for shelter programs, including $200 million for multifamily supportive housing, $60 million for the Medi-Cal Housing Program to provide rental assistance for people who are homeless and enrolled in Medi-Cal, and,

$40 million to assist persons at risk of becoming homeless with homeless prevention assistance and rapid re-housing.

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