Valley News -

County seeks funds from state for affordable housing projects


Last updated 4/9/2019 at 1:28pm

RIVERSIDE - Riverside County supervisors on Tuesday, April 9 authorized a $625,000 funding request to the California Department of Housing & Community Development under a program to aid localities in expanding affordable housing opportunities by taxing numerous documents tied to real estate transactions.

The Senate Bill 2 application to the state, if approved, would provide a source of funds for the county Transportation & Land Management Agency, in partnership with the Economic Development Agency, to review prospective sites for low-income housing developments in unincorporated communities.

The goal is to "streamline and facilitate housing production,'' according to TLMA documents.

SB 2, the Building Homes & Jobs Act, was signed into law by then-Gov. Jerry Brown in September 2017.

The law was one of several approved during the 2017-18 legislative session to address the state's worsening housing crisis. Under SB 2, document transfer recording fees went from about $10 per instrument to a minimum $75 and a maximum $225.

Deeds, grant deeds, trustee deeds, deeds of trust, quit claim deeds, fictitious deeds of trust, requests for notices of default, copies of judgment abstracts in foreclosure proceedings, easement notices, notices of trustee sales and other documents are subject to the tax. The revenue generated is supposed to go into a trust fund for annual distribution to counties and cities, based on size and need.

According to the legislation, funds can be dispersed for homeless reduction programs, mixed-use low- and moderate-income housing projects, and migrant farmworker housing.

A report attached to SB 2 found that, weighed against demand, California has a deficit of more than 1.5 million low-income rental units throughout the state, which also has a homeless population approaching 120,000.

According to a Senate analysis, the loss of redevelopment agencies, which the Brown administration dismantled in 2011, contributed to the affordable housing deficit.


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