January 25, 2019

Governor’s Budget: A “Marshall Plan” for Housing

After being sworn in as California’s 40th governor, Gavin Newsom, in his inauguration speech on Monday, January 7th, called for a “Marshall Plan” to address the state’s housing affordability and homelessness crises.

Governor Newsom then followed three days later with his first budget, which includes major funding and policy initiatives for homelessness and affordable housing. In contrast with his predecessors, Newsom’s budget narrative explicitly states, “housing is a statewide issue and a lack of affordable housing directly contributes to the increased homelessness seen across the state.”

Some highlights from the budget include:

  • $600 million for various proposals to address homelessness (including $100 million for Whole Person Care Pilot Programs) and reward regional coordination.
  • $500 million increase (ongoing) in the State Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program.
  • $500 million for CalHFA’s Mixed-Income Loan Program.
  • $750 million to accelerate and reward new housing production (including $250 million in planning grants for local jurisdictions).

Newsom has also proposed an overhaul of the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) methodology, a committee to review excessive development fees on new housing, and CEQA streamlining for homeless shelters.

In the budget, Newsom also called for State-held excess properties to be made available for the development of affordable housing and followed this up by issuing an executive order during a meeting in San Jose on January 15th with Mayor Sam Liccardo and individuals impacted severely by soaring rents and long commutes to work.

This is definitely shaping up to be the #Year4Housing!