California continues to experience an extreme lack of affordable housing, for example, according to “Out of Reach 2013,” by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in California is $1,341. (For Bay Area residents, this number is far higher- ask anybody trying to find housing in San Francisco, Oakland, or San Jose right now). The report authors explain: “In order to afford this level of rent and utilities – without paying more than 30% of income on housing – a household must earn $4,469 monthly or $53,627 annually.”
Because of the lack of affordable housing, CRC supports efforts to increase affordable housing (in fact, some of CRC members develop affordable housing) and sent the letter below to Governor Jerry Brown, urging him to sign AB 1229, which clarifies state law and states that local jurisdictions can choose the affordable housing policies that fit the development context of their communities.
September 13, 2013
The Honorable Jerry Brown
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento CA 95814
RE: AB 1229 (Atkins) – Inclusionary Housing – SUPPORT
Dear Governor Brown,
On behalf of the California Reinvestment Coalition, I write to express our strong support for Assembly Bill 1229 (Atkins) and urge you to sign this bill into law.
The California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC), based in San Francisco, is a nonprofit membership organization of over three hundred (300) nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the state of California. We work with community-based organizations to promote the economic revitalization of California’s low-income communities and communities of color. CRC promotes increased access to credit for affordable housing and community economic development, and to financial services for these communities.
AB 1229 simply clarifies state law and allows local jurisdictions to choose the affordable housing policies that fit the development context of their communities. It does not require cities or counties to adopt inclusionary ordinances or to do anything for that matter.
Currently in California, inclusionary zoning ordinances are experiencing a wave of litigation and uncertainty due to conflicting court decisions. Since 1970, over 150 jurisdictions have adopted inclusionary policies as a tool to provide affordable homes. Over 80,000 Californians currently live in a home made affordable through an inclusionary policy.
AB 1229 does not require adoption of inclusionary policies or alter the state’s rent control laws at all; it simply clarifies legislative intent and allows the policies that have been effective at creating affordable housing for the last 40 years to continue at the local level without fear of litigation.
Governor Brown, we urge you to sign this important piece of legislation that will ensure local jurisdictions have the option to use this effective tool to provide much-needed affordable housing.
Very Truly Yours,
Ms. Claudia Cappio, Executive Director, California Housing Finance Agency
Ms. Camille Wagner, Deputy Legislative Affairs Secretary to the Governor
Shamus Roller, Housing California
Michael Lane, NonProfit Housing of Northern California
Laura Nunn, San Diego Housing Federation
Brian Augusta, Western Center on Law and Poverty