California Democratic lawmakers, led by Speaker Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), unveiled an ambitious plan Wednesday to increase affordable housing throughout the state by creating permanent funding through a new real estate fee and increasing tax credits to spur new building.

 Although we have not been able to do a review of the proposed legislative language, on the surface, this idea sounds very similar to a measure that was pushed last year, but did not pass.  That bill, SB 391, attempted to generate as much as $700 million for affordable housing through a $75 recording fee on real property documents.

 As an industry we want to play a positive role in helping solve issues related to affordable housing in this state, and are amenable to several ideas that have been floated, but ultimately were unable to come to agreement on the measure last year.  We look forward to working with the Speaker on this issue this year, and hope we can be part of a positive solution that works for all parties.

 Identifying statewide permanent funding sources to backfill the loss of redevelopment is a critical issue, especially because many local jurisdictions are actively pursuing fee and tax hikes on our industry locally to pay for affordable housing.  We hope a fair and comprehensive solution can be found.

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