California Realtors back affordable housing proposal

San Francisco photo

California has some of the most expensive real estate in the U.S., with seven of the 10 hottest markets measured by realtor.com.

To make some real estate a little less expensive, Gov. Jerry Brown is urging the California Assembly to approve a “build by right” proposal to streamline the building process and produce more affordable housing.

“With a historically low homeownership rate of 54% and record high rents, the dream of owning a home in California has become increasingly more difficult to attain,” said California Association of Realtors (CAR) President Pat “Ziggy” Zicarelli. “CAR recognizes the urgency of California’s housing crisis and fully supports Gov. Brown’s efforts to reduce development costs and improve the pace of housing production.”

Affordability issues

The problem is found throughout the state, but particularly in the Bay Area, where the median home price in San Francisco is approaching $1 million. The Realtors urged lawmakers to include the governor’s proposal in the final state budget.

Brown’s proposal, in the May revision to the 2016-17 budget, would exempt from detailed local government reviews developments already zoned and approved for housing when 5% to 20% of the newly constructed units are set aside for low-income residents.

CAR is already on record supporting a $1.3 billion proposal by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee to invest a portion of the state’s budget surplus to address the state’s housing crisis.

Earlier, CAR created an Affordable Workforce Housing Task Force to examine existing policies in the state designed to expand the availability of “affordable housing” and to make recommendations to increase the availability of affordable work force housing in California.

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