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State Senate Approves Santa Monica Lawmaker's Affordable Housing Bill

 

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By Lookout Staff

September 15, 2017 -- -- A bill authored by Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom that would channel more money to local governments to finance construction of affordable housing was appproved by the State Senate this week.

AB 1568 -- which allows local governments to use new sales tax and increased property tax revenue to finance infrastructure improvement projects -- passed out of the Senate on a 29-11 vote on Wednesday.

The bill, Bloom said, “gives local governments a creative and sustainable way of generating funds for affordable housing in dense, transit areas.”

“Funding for affordable housing is pivotal to addressing the state’s housing affordability crisis," said the former Santa Monica mayor. "Although reliable sources of funding have been elusive, AB 1568 is a promising step in the right direction.”

If enacted, the Neighborhood Infill Finance and Transit Improvements Act (NIFTI) would require local governments to use 20 percent of the bounty for housing for extremely low- to moderate-income earners.

Bloom’s bill comes at a time when city and county governments across California -- including Santa Monica -- are scrambling to replace the state funding for affordable housing that dried up after redevelopment agencies were abolished in 2011 ("Santa Monica Will Pay $57 Million to End Battle with State Over Redevelopment Agency Funds," October 25, 2013).

It also comes as the homeless population in both LA County and Santa Monica rose by nearly 25 percent ("Santa Monica Homeless Count Mirrors Los Angeles County Increase, Officials Say," June 1, 2017).

NIFTI would "create new opportunities for local governments and the private sector to work together to revitalize communities, create good jobs, and build affordable homes," Bloom's office said in a statement.

“As housing costs continue to soar across the state and affordable housing becomes further out of reach for many Californians, cities and counties need every tool available to tackle this problem,” said Bloom.

 


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