Governor Brown Signs Bonta Bill to Build Affordable Housing

Friday, September 23, 2016

AB 2031 Enables Local Solutions to Affordable Housing Crisis

(Sacramento, CA) – Today Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) is proud to announce that Governor Brown signed his bill, AB 2031, to empower cities and counties across the state to address California’s housing crisis. 

“We are facing an unprecedented crisis in housing affordability,” said Bonta.  “One-third of our working families are paying more than half of their income towards housing and are having to choose between having a roof over their heads and putting food on the table. I don’t believe that’s right.”

Since the economic recovery, housing and rental prices have skyrocketed leaving many Californians behind.  According to a 2013 study, a Californian working full time at minimum wage must work 130 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom rental, which was the second highest rate in the nation. 

“It’s critically important that we do everything we can to keep cities like Oakland affordable so that people can live close to where they work and choose to stay in neighborhoods where they grew up,” said Bonta.

Last year, Alameda County experienced a net gain of more than 15,000 new residents. Between 2010 and 2014 the Bay Area added roughly half a million private-sector jobs, but only 54,000 more units of housing.

“AB 2031 speeds up the process to construct desperately needed affordable housing,” said Bonta.  “The bill allows local governments to pass an ordinance to issue bonds for affordable housing.”

“With the dissolution of redevelopment agencies, there is currently no permanent source of funds from the state to support the construction of affordable and workforce housing,” said Bonta. “Our current policy tools are not sufficient, it takes years to put enough new housing on the market to make an impact on prices.”

AB 2031 allows cities and counties to pass an ordinance establishing a special housing district to issue bonds for affordable housing without raising taxes or diverting property taxes from other sources.  The special housing district receives leftover revenues from redevelopment agency dissolution that can be used to guarantee bonds to rapidly construct affordable housing. 

“I am grateful that state lawmakers recognize that we in local governments can’t solve the regional affordability crisis or address the fallout from growing income inequality on our own,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “AB 2031 gives us a much-needed mechanism to more rapidly fund and build new affordable housing so we can meet the most basic need of working families and other vulnerable Californians.”

“When hardworking people are spending most of their money just to keep a roof over their heads, California families lose,” said Bonta.  “AB 2031 will provide cities and counties with an innovative new tool to address the housing crisis and will help us create the affordable California we all want.”

Assemblymember Bonta represents the 18th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Oakland, Alameda, and San Leandro. Bonta Chairs the Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, Assembly Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security Committee, and the Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color.