California Legislature Approves Legislation to Increase Financing for Affordable Housing
SACRAMENTO – As several affordable housing financing bills continue to be debated, the California State Senate approved AB 1568 yesterday on a 29-11 vote. The measure, authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) will give local jurisdictions the ability to finance infrastructure and affordable housing using new sales and use tax increment, within qualifying enhanced infrastructure improvement districts (EIFD). Simply put, the bill allows a portion of sales and use tax revenue to be spent on infrastructure and affordable housing.
“AB 1568 gives local governments a creative and sustainable way of generating funds for affordable housing in dense, transit areas,” said Assemblymember Richard Bloom. “Funding for affordable housing is pivotal to addressing the state’s housing affordability crisis. Although reliable sources of funding have been elusive, AB 1568 is a promising step in the right direction.”
AB 1568 creates the Neighborhood Infill Finance and Transit Improvement Act of 2017 (NIFTI), and authorizes local communities to use their local share of tax dollars to address the housing and infrastructure needs in their area. The NIFTI districts must be located in qualified infill locations and 20 percent of revenue is required to be spent on affordable housing.
Since the dissolution of redevelopment agencies in 2011, local governments have struggled to find reliable financing mechanisms for new construction and infrastructure improvements. Many of these neighborhoods lack sufficient resources to spur private investment, economic development and affordable housing. NIFTI will create new opportunities for local governments and the private sector to work together to revitalize communities, create good jobs, and build affordable homes.
“As housing costs continue to soar across the state and affordable housing becomes further out of reach for many Californians, cities and counties need every tool available to tackle this problem,” said Bloom.
AB 1568 now heads back to the Assembly for concurrence.
Richard Bloom represents California’s 50th Assembly District, which comprises the communities of Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga, West Hollywood, and West Los Angeles.