CHC's Industry Insight
One of the greatest rewards of leading this organization is seeing our members from across the state come together each year for the Policy Forum & California Housing Hall of Fame Awards. Taking time to honor the collaboration and innovation tirelessly done each day is important as we continue building momentum and urge action on fixing California's affordable housing crisis.
 
While the forum appropriately honors the work of individuals, we also get to reflect on what we are collectively doing as the united voice for affordable housing.
 
As California's just-retired Senator and long-time affordable housing champion Barbara Boxer said during her keynote speech at the forum: "Don't try to be someone, try to do something."
 
That's why your involvement and engagement in CHC matters - we're all trying to do something to make affordable housing a reality for thousands of Californians. We're championing critical legislation - AB 71, AB 72 and SB 2 - and we are calling on policymakers to take bold action too. We're making it clear now is the time to act and help ease the poverty and housing crisis low-income families, seniors, veterans and students face in every community.
 
CHC has a strong 20-year history of collaboration, innovation and advocacy that has led to many advances in affordable housing. We can't let up. Let's heed Sen. Boxer's call to "do something" now:
 

Thank you for your commitment to take action at every opportunity.

 


  Sincerely,
  





  Ray Pearl 
  CHC Executive Director 
In Case You Missed It...
  • With today's deadline for bills to pass out of the Appropriations Committee, we are pleased to report that both CHC co-sponsored SB 2 & CHC supported SB 3 were approved by a party line vote of 5-2.
  • The Governor released his revised budget May 11th. The revised budget did not mention housing with the exception of, "Finally, California housing growth continues to lag population growth, raising housing costs and potentially limiting the number of jobs that companies can add. In 2016, the state added 89,000 net housing units, but population increased by 335,000. Housing costs are a major component of consumer spending, and have also been increasing faster than inflation since 2012, a trend that is expected to continue." Read CHC's response to the release of the Governor's revised budget here.
    • Together with partner organizations Housing California, Western Center on Law & Poverty, and California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, CHC sent a letter to the Governor and leaders of the legislature establishing a framework within the Governor's principles of the large-scale policy shifts needed to alleviate California's poverty-inducing affordability crisis. 
  • The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) is seeking public input on the design of the new "No Place Like Home" (NPLH) Program -- a program for counties to fund the development of permanent supportive housing for persons with mental illness who are chronically homeless, at risk of chronic homelessness, or homeless.  View draft guidelines and more details about the program at the  NPLH webpage . HCD will be accepting comments to  NPLH@hcd.ca.gov  through May 30, 2017.
Federal Policy Update from David Gasson, Boston Capital 

It is hard to imagine Capitol Hill being any more chaotic then it was at the time of our last update yet as of the drafting this update, chaos has reached a new level.

Let us take politics out of the equation for now and just focus on policy. The President released his budget which calls for significant (may I say draconian) cuts to safety net programs, including housing. It would eliminate the HOME, CDBG, VASH and Choice Neighborhoods programs among others. This is in addition to severe cuts to RD at USDA and other safety social net programs. While disappointing to say the least the Administrations budget should be taken for what it is and what it is not. The Administration may be willing to sacrifice safety net programs for the sake of their other priorities but from what we have heard and been told, this is not the vision of the appropriators in Congress. Congress appropriates funds and it is their priorities and the needs of their constituents that will dictate funding levels for the FY 2018 budget.


That being said, we are still skeptical of the course ahead for this budget. The forces in Congress working against each other regarding funding levels, sequestration and reconciliation are significant and may lead to a continuing resolution (CR) to start the fiscal year on October 1. Then again, President Trump has also threatened to shut down the government if his funding requests are not met. And this does not include the pending debate over the debt ceiling. Hold on, it is going to be a ride to remember.

On the tax side, there has been no measurable progress on tax reform and if anything it seems the House leadership (Speaker Ryan and W&M Chairman Brady), Senate (Senator McConnell and Finance Chairman Hatch) and administration (Secretary Mnuchin) are growing further apart when it comes to payfors, deficit neutral reform, and tax reform versus tax cuts. All of this along with the shrinking legislative calendar (only 79 scheduled legislative days left in the House) make tax reform challenging to say the least. Still, it would be unwise to assume reform is unattainable as anything is possible in this environment and much depends on who gets to decide what qualifies as reform.

As for the LIHTC, members of the Tax Reform Working Group of the ACTION campaign have had a couple of meetings with senior Ways and Means committee staff and staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation to review our proposal for the LIHTC within tax reform. Much of the conversation has been centered on the staff understanding the affect lower rates will have on pricing and thus the need to compensate for such changes. We believe these conversations have been productive and will continue in conjunction with the tax reform effort.

Regarding the expansion legislation, our efforts are focused on securing more Republican cosponsors for the Cantwell/Hatch bill (S.548) and the Tiberi/Neal bill (H.R. 1661). Anything you can do to aid in this effort would be greatly appreciated.


Thank You.
Affordable Housing in the News

California's affordable housing crisis continues to be the focus of headlines across the state and through legislation at the Capitol. CHC Boardmember and Policy Chair Robin Hughes, CEO of Abode Communities, writes that after the Governor and legislators boldly took action to fix roads, "leaders must now prioritize Californians who live in their cars and are at risk of being forced into homelessness." Read her piece in the  Los Angeles Daily News. Meanwhile, the cost of housing is on the minds of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers as they plan for retirement. The Silicon Beat reports 42 percent of those surveyed by the AARP listed housing costs as an obstacle for saving for retirement. "Housing costs and retirement savings go hand-in-hand," states the report, titled "California Dreaming or California Struggling?" Finally, the  Los Angeles Daily News showed how much affordability can vary by neighboring counties. The report found just 29% of Los Angeles County households could afford to buy the county's median-priced home of $485,800 during the first quarter of 2017. For comparison, 52% of San Bernardino County residents could afford their county's median-priced home. 

CHC's 20th Anniversary

CHC's 20th Anniversary video offers  a look back to the founding of CHC and highlights two decades of  representing the development, building, financial, and public sectors united in their goal that every Californian has a safe, affordable place to call home.
 
20th Anniversary California Housing Consortium
20th Anniversary California Housing Consortium

Thank you to the sponsors of CHC's 20th Anniversary:


Is your CHC membership current? If you would like to join CHC or have questions on your membership, please contact Nancy Martin.  
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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.