August 31st, 2017

We’re in the final weeks of the legislative session, and perhaps within days of critical solutions to the state’s housing crisis coming together and being voted on by the Legislature.

The details that come out of a final housing package will matter, a lot, of course. Much will be written in the days and weeks ahead on what is or is not in the final deal, and what it means for local communities.

But we also can’t lose sight of the big picture. What matters at the end of the day is whether we – housing advocates, legislative leaders, and community partners – took any steps forward to ease the plight of the thousands of Californians struggling to keep a roof over their heads. Will we have put forward solutions that start to turn the tide on this housing catastrophe?

I believe we will.

As of the publishing of this blog, a housing deal will reportedly include¬†a general obligation bond, permanent funding source for affordable housing and regulatory reforms. These are the steps we have long said needed to be taken to help the one in three Californians who can’t afford their rents; to ease the burden for the 1.7 million households spend more than 50 percent of their incomes on housing costs; to start to make up for the more than $6 billion in disinvestment in affordable housing funding at the hands of the Legislature over the last decade.

We’ve always known a crisis of this magnitude couldn’t be resolved in one legislative session. We had to start somewhere, and this is finally the year.

An announcement on a housing deal, votes in the Legislatures and signing of the package may come this week and grab headlines for a news cycle. We know it’s just the beginning to ensure we create affordable housing opportunities that will benefit families, seniors, and veterans for years to come.

-Ray Pearl