The Latest News
August| 2022
Federal Highlights
New Reconciliation Package Addresses Climate Impact on Low-Income Communities
The U.S. House of Representatives will start a month-long recess starting August 1st, and the Senate is poised to follow, beginning its recess on August 8th. However, before leaving town to go to their home districts, members of Congress took a few important actions: 
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Joe Manchin agreed on the reconciliation package (now called the Inflation Reduction Package of 2022). The agreement focuses on Senator Manchin’s priorities—drug prices, climate change, increased taxes on corporations, and deficit reduction. While there was no explicit funding towards housing production or preservation, there are a number of provisions that addressed increasing housing resilience and environmental justice for low-income communities, including:
State Highlights
Yes In God’s Backyard Bill Signed by Governor 

Last month, Governor Newsom signed a key bill that would enable churches and other religious institutions to build affordable homes on land they own. Dubbed “Yes in God’s Backyard,” the bill authored by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (Oakland) allows developers to reduce parking for new churches by as much as 50% if they also build affordable housing. This bill only applies to religious land where they are building new churches and also want to build affordable housing. It does not apply to affordable housing built when a church is already in existence. Previous law allowed for the reduction of parking spaces for affordable housing being built on sites with existing places of worship, not new development. Read the new bill here
Senator Scott Wiener (San Francisco) tried for the second time to move a bill that would have enabled housing development by right on religious lands and land held by nonprofit colleges, even if local zoning would otherwise not allow. By right development exempts a developer from having to receive local discretionary approvals and going through the California Environmental Quality Act process, though there are objective standards that would preclude development on environmentally unsafe or sensitive areas and required that the development occur on infill sites. The Senator’s bill-- SB 1336died in committee, but it is expected that it will be reintroduced later this year. 
Housing Finance Bills Move Forward 

Following the successful creation of a new regional housing finance agency in the San Francisco Bay Area—the Bay Area Housing Finance Agency, or BAHFA—two efforts are underway to create similar organizations in Southern California. In San Diego, a bill authored by Senator Ben Hueso (San Diego) would create the San Diego Regional Equitable and Environmentally Friendly Affordable Housing Agency (SD-REEF-AHA) with the purpose of raising funds to support production, preservation, and protection efforts, with a focus on equity and the environment. In Los Angeles, a bill authored by Senator Sydney Kamlager (Los Angeles) would create the Los Angeles County Housing Solutions Agency (LACAHSA), with the purpose of providing funding and technical assistance to produce, preserve, and protect affordable housing opportunities throughout the County and its 88 cities. Neither entity would have jurisdiction over land use decisions.
Housing JPA Bills Make It to the Next Step 
Two other bills making their way through the legislative process propose a different mechanism for raising funding for affordable housing. They are SB 1177 (Portantino) and SB 1444 (Allen).
Reports and Blogs
Several key reports were released over the summer—
The National Low Income Housing Coalition just released Out of Reach 2022: The High Cost of Housing, which dives deep into the housing challenges facing all parts of the country. While the report finds that it takes a housing wage of $25.82 an hour to afford a modest two-bedroom home and $21.25 an hour for a one-bedroom, those are averages for the nation as a whole. California ranks second in costs, with a two-bedroom home requiring an income of $39.01 an hour. For a minimum wage worker earning $15/hour, it would take 83 hours to afford a one-bedroom apartment. Explore the details here.      
Up For Growth released a comprehensive look at the housing shortage across the country with its report Housing Underproduction in the U.S. 2022. The report, which includes data from 800 cities, found that housing underproduction more than doubled between 2012 and 2019 with an estimated deficit of 3.8 million homes including 987,000 in California. The report proposes a policy framework that recommends prioritizing development in areas that are rich in jobs, transportation, infrastructure, and community assets at a density scaled to fit into the existing neighborhood while increasing housing options. 

The Terner Center for Housing Innvovation, in partnership with SPUR, released a new Research and Policy report entitled The ABCs of JPAs. The report details a new model for preserving middle-income housing for households earning between 80-120% of Area Median Income where the property receives a property tax exemption and acquisition funds are raised through tax-exempt bond issuances. This new model has been used throughout the State, with 40 projects totaling more than 13,800 new homes approved since 2019. Although progress is being made, some cities have been reticent to use this new model, with concerns that underwriting may be overly aggressive, the level of affordability is not deep enough, the fees generated by the model are too high, and the enforcement of affordability restrictions may not be sufficient. The report describes the model and concludes with a series of principles that are intended to address these concerns. 
Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast recently focused on the drought and its relationship to housing development. Manuela Tobias from CalMatters and Liam Dillon from the Los Angeles Times dove into this issue with Ellen Hanak, Director of the Public Policy Institute of California’s Water Policy Center. While many opponents of housing growth raise the issue of water availability and the drought, new research has shown that there is sufficient water for new development as long as Californians continue to conserve. Read more from the Los Angeles Times here.    
Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future ((SAHF) released an overview of community solar programs and affordable housing, looking specifically at policy and programmatic barriers that prevent affordable housing residents from accessing the full benefit of these programs. The analysis describes that lack of guidance from HUD on how community solar benefits affect resident utility allowances and income have limited participation in these programs. In response, HUD has released national and state level guidance to provide affordable housing residents and owner/operators with this information. overview report from SAHF and the HUD guidance

Articles of Note
Cause of homelessness? It’s not drugs or mental illness, researchers say-- Los Angeles Times—July 11, 2022— 
The Housing Crisis isn’t Just a Coastal Issue Anymore —New York Times— July 14, 2022-- 
Housing Shortage Spreads Across US, Becoming Coast-to-Coast Crisis—Bloomberg—July 14, 2022 
Inflation is Making Homelessness Worse—Washington Post—July 3, 2022-- 
CA Lawyers Launch First-Ever Website to Help Tenants Fight Evictions—LA Magazine—July 19, 2022-- 
LeSar Special Announcements
GPLA Selected for the 10th StartOut Growth Lab Accelerator Cohort 

On July 11, 2022, Start Out selected our sister company, the Global Policy Leadership Academy, as one of ten companies to participate in the StartOut Growth Lab Accelerator. The Accelerator is a six-month virtual program providing LGBTQ+ early-stage businesses with mentorship, education, networking, and resources to drive sustainable growth. To date, the program has helped 56 companies create nearly 3,650 new jobs and raise $756MM. StartOut is the largest nonprofit organization focusing on accelerating the growth and economic empowerment of the LGBTQ+ community. Working in partnership with DLA Piper, JP Morgan, and Comcast NBCUniversal, StartOut seeks to build a future where every LGBTQ+ entrepreneur has equal access to lead, succeed, and shape the workforce of the future. For more information about our sister company, the Global Policy Leadership Academy, visit
Expand Your Organization’s Ability to Take Advantage of Policy and Funding Opportunities 

With continuous competition for financial investments from public and private sources, organizations are faced with the ongoing challenge of identifying new approaches and revenue streams to fund their programs and initiatives.  
LDC’s Capital Mapping Subscription Service enables organizations to position themselves strategically by identifying funding sources from federal, state, local, philanthropic, and private entities and tracking applicable legislation to identify relevant trends. The service provides a synopsis of each opportunity, including a rolling 24-month timeline with critical milestones (for example, proposed and final funding guidelines, workshops, submittal due dates) to support the client’s strategic goals. Additional services available upon request include strategic assistance in acquiring and applying for funding and deep-dives on specific topics of interest.  
To learn more and obtain custom pricing, contact Jacqueline Woo, Senior Associate, at 
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