California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger this week announced the award of $73 million for 40 affordable housing projects in 26 cities in the state and also announced $5.6 million in federal money to train laid-off mortgage and banking industry workers for jobs in other industries.

Earlier this month, the state announced the availability of $69.5 million worth of permanent low-interest loans that will support 14 affordable multifamily housing projects. Both investments in affordable housing projects will create an estimated 5,300 jobs in the state and about $244 million in wages, according to the Governor’s Office announcement.

Funding for the projects is generated through state propositions 1C and 46. Proposition 1C provided $2.85 billion to finance affordable housing and is part of a $42 billion bond package approved by voters in November 2006.

The job training for unemployed mortgage and banking industry workers will be paid through a National Emergency Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. These grants are intended to assist unemployed workers when states are not able to assist the unemployed workers using existing state funds.

An estimated 8,400 workers in California’s mortgage lending industry have been laid off since July 1, according to the Governor’s Office announcement.

“Many of these laid-off workers have skills that are transferable to jobs in high-growth, high-demand industries, such as healthcare and biotech. We want to do whatever is possible to help them make this transition,” said Victoria Bradshaw, the state’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency secretary, in a statement.

The job-training grant will focus on 12 areas within the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Sonoma and Stanislaus.

The office has also engaged in other efforts related to the mortgage crisis, calling on federal officials to pass legislation to raise the loan limits in government loan programs and announcing an agreement with major loan services to streamline the workout process for some subprime borrowers to help them avoid foreclosure.

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