March 6, 2018
Elimination of State Investment in Affordable Housing Foreshadowed Jump in Homelessness

A new report from the California Housing Partnership shows a marked rise in homelessness following the elimination of state redevelopment and bond funding for affordable homes, with homelessness jumping 14 percent statewide from 2016 to 2017.
The report points out the connection between the state's shutdown of redevelopment agencies in 2012 and failure to pass a new state housing bond and the beginning of the dramatic rise in homelessness.
"Once the state shut down the funding of new affordable homes for low-income families, seniors, and veterans, we saw homelessness numbers start to climb -- the correlation is clear," said California Housing Partnership President & CEO Matt Schwartz.
The report also finds that a clear imbalance remains in how the state invests in homeowners versus renters. The state spends $929 per homeowner household (in tax deductions) versus just $71 per renter household.
Schwartz and other affordable housing industry leaders call on state leaders to take immediate action to undo the damage and reinvest in affordable homes. Specifically, they urge state leaders to:
  • Invest $1 billion of the state budget surplus in existing programs supporting the development and preservation of affordable homes.
  • Bring back redevelopment funding only for affordable housing at an initial amount of $1 billion annually.
  • Aggressively campaign for the passage of the $4 billion housing bond (SB3) on the November ballot.