CHC's Industry Insight
A Note from our Executive Director

Preparing for CHC's 20th Anniversary has afforded me a tremendoous opportunity to learn from our founding and long-term board members about CHC's evolution over two decades.  Most striking has been the universal view that CHC's mission and the founders' foresight to bring the diverse voices of the housing industry together to speak with one message are even more relevant and crucial today.  As CHC founding member Dianne Spaulding reflected:

"The work isn't done, but the reasons for creating the California Housing Consortium are probably more valid today than they were 20 years ago."  

Looking at the housing landscape California families are facing, and the challenges our members experience in breaking ground on urgently needed affordable homes, I couldn't agree more.  As Ben Metcalf, California's Director of Housing and Community Development says, " The facts on the ground for a typical California family are really as bad as they've ever been in the state's history."  CHC's board had a chance to hear directly from Director Metcalf at our board meeting this month, and to commit to work together for the benefit of California's struggling families and our State's future.  We share his view that because significant barriers to building are "challenges that have been created through policies, we know we can fix them."  

We were also pleased to welcome Assembly Housing Committee Chair David Chiu (D-San Francisco) to the meeting to join forces on moving AB 71.  As you know, Asm. Chiu is the author of our sponsored legislation that would redirect state funds currently used to subsidize second, vacation houses and invest these dollars in building homes for families who currently lack any affordable, safe place to live.   Bringing the state's leading housing professionals together with policymakers to solve problems that leave families without a place to call home is, after all, why CHC was founded.

In the coming year, I look forward to sharing more of our members' insights and reflections from 20 years of advocacy for affordable homes and the people and families who need them. I also invite you to share your perspectives on CHC's history and future at our events, on  Facebook  or  Twitter with the hashtag #CHC20


  Ray Pearl 
  CHC Executive Director 
In Case You Missed It...
  • CHC Executive Director, Ray Pearl's Op-ed was featured in the Sacramento Bee. He called on our elected leaders to make good on their commitment to preserve California values of inclusion, health and economic opportunity by fixing broken policies that deprive too many Californians of a place to call home. Read the entire article here. 
  • CHC has announced longtime California champion, Barbara Boxer, as our keynote speaker at the 2017 Policy Forum & CA Housing Hall of Fame Awards on May 11th, 2017. A forceful advocate for families, children, consumers, the environment and her State of California, Senator Boxer became a United States Senator in January 1993 after 10 years of service in the House of Representatives and six years on the Marin County Board of Supervisors. In January 2017, she stepped down after four terms in the Senate. Read more here
CHC's Adopt-a-Legislator
Throughout the state, members of CHC's Board and Board of Governors are working to establish relationships with the 20 new Assemblymembers and 9 new Senators. Meetings to discuss affordable housing policy and legislation have been taking place in the district offices of new members since the beginning of the year. 
For most new legislative members, creating contacts with constituents that are experts in their respective fields is very important. In fact, the Congressional Management Foundation found that in-person visits from constituents are the most influential way to communicate with a elected official on an issue. 

So far, nineteen meetings have been scheduled or have already taken place, seven are in the process of being scheduled, and three meetings have yet to be scheduled. If you have any questions about CHC's Adopt-a-Legislator Program or would like to contact your elected officials to schedule a meeting, please contact CHC Communications and Policy Associate  Andy Russell.
Federal Housing Policy Update
Guest Column by  David Gasson,  Executive Director of the Housing Advisory Group  

With so much rancor and noise coming out of Washington, DC, it is an unexpected pleasure that the LIHTC industry is continuing to advocate for the LIHTC and bond programs without being included in the fray.  Our conversations with the tax writing staffs in both the House and Senate have proceeded with no speedbumps to date and we remain optimistic that the LIHTC will be included in the tax reform proposal currently under consideration by the House Ways and Means Committee.  As part of this process, our industry ad-hoc working group is working with the Committee staff on the potential future structure of the LIHTC program so that it continues to be an effective incentive for the production and rehabilitation of affordable housing across the country.

As for everyone's favorite question regarding timing of tax reform, the House leadership continues to target an early August deadline for action.  While many believe this timeline is very aggressive, it would be a mistake to dismiss it in the current political climate. 

House Ways and Means Committee members and staff have been doggedly working on drafting a proposal while continuing ongoing conversations on specific elements of the House plan - including the controversial border adjustment provision.  This proposal moves toward a cash-flow tax approach for businesses that would focus on where goods and services are consumed, not where they are produced.  Border adjustments would exempt exports from the tax base, but would not allow a deduction for imported goods or services.  While acknowledging the challenges border adjustments may pose to some industries, the House leadership, including Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady(R-TX), has not budged on the provision as they view it as a domestic job creator and economic engine.  It is also the revenue generator they are counting on which will allow them to lower the corporate tax rate.

While the action seems to be focused on the House, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said the Committee hopes to have a tax reform proposal to discuss in the "near future."  He also suggested that a tax reform bill that can get through the Senate will almost surely look different than the House-passed bill.  The Finance Committee tends to move more slowly and traditionally tries to be bipartisan in its approach to passing legislation, so it will be interesting to see how this dynamic affects the timing of tax reform.

As far as our affordable housing agenda, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) has indicated she will be reintroducing her LIHTC legislation again this year with Chairman Hatch joining her once again as the lead Republican sponsor.  We are hopeful that our House champion, Congressman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) will offer similar legislation in the Ways and Means Committee.
Stay tuned.
Affordable Housing in the News

The San Francisco Chronicle asked the question on the mind of many Californians, "Do we have the collective will to change the dynamic (severe shortage of affordable housing), when it results in the nation's highest poverty rate, our children unable to settle down near us and businesses struggling to recruit and retain workers in a transient economy?" While the article answers in the negative, we are seeing an increasing number of proposals to finally prioritize solutions to the state's housing crisis. The San Francisco Chronicle  published an op-ed by Senator Scott Weiner about new legislation he is authoring to strengthen incentives for local communities to build much-needed housing, and the  Sacramento Bee's Editorial Board  applauded Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg's effort to house more of the city's homeless population by changing how federal housing assistance is given out.
Celebrating CHC's 20th Anniversary

As we celebrate 20 years of advocacy for affordable homes, we would like to look back and share some reflections from the individuals who were there when it all started:

"CHC is still evolving and really focused on a conversation about a really pressing problem, but the CHC forum creates an opportunity talk about solutions not just problems. CHC has that political lens, focused on building more housing as opposed to tinkering around the edges. The work isn't done, but the reasons for creating the organization are probably more valid today than they were 20 years ago." 

-Dianne Spaulding, Emeritus Boardmember 

CHC is a non-partisan advocate for the production and preservation of housing affordable to low- and moderate-income Californians. We represent the development, building, financial, and public sectors united in their goal that every Californian has a safe, affordable place to call home.