According to a recent report released by Apartment List, saving up to buy a home in Los Angeles or San Francisco is increasingly challenging. First-time homebuyers, if they continue to save at the same pace, will have to wait 20 years to buy a home in Los Angeles and nearly 28 years in San Francisco.

  • CAR Board of Directors voted in favor of a $1.3 billion proposal by California Assembly members to provide homeowner assistance.
  • $500 million is proposed to fund rental housing for lower income working families making 60 percent or less of the area median income.
  • $400 million is going toward down payment assistance and homeownership assistance for California residents making 120 percent of the area median income.

According to a recent report released by Apartment List, saving up to buy a home in Los Angeles or San Francisco is increasingly challenging. First-time homebuyers, if they continue to save at the same pace, will have to wait 20 years to buy a home in Los Angeles and nearly 28 years in San Francisco.

So, is the goal of homeownership in California a pipe dream? The California Association of Realtors is aiming to ensure that it’s not.

In August 2015, CAR formed an Affordable Workforce Housing Task Force to provide California residents with the appropriate tools to find and finance affordable housing. The task force also examined the state’s current policies to make changes that could positively impact the housing market.

Pat

Pat “Ziggy” Zicarelli / Facebook

On April 29, the Board of Directors of CAR voted to support a $1.3 billion proposal by California Assembly members to provide more affordable housing programs.

“With a historically low homeownership rate of 54 percent and record high rental costs, the dream of owning a home in California is evaporating. Our teachers, nurses, firefighters, police officers, and other middle class workers should be able to afford to live in the communities they serve,” CAR president Pat “Ziggy” Zicarelli said in a statement.

“CAR recognizes the urgency of California’s housing crisis and is fully supporting the proposal by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee to invest a portion of our state’s budget surplus to address this housing crisis.”

Affordable housing programs covered by budget surplus

Rental housing, farmworker housing, shelter programs and seismic retrofits are covered under the proposal.

The largest pool of money, $500 million, is proposed to fund rental housing for lower income working families or those making 60 percent or less of the area median income.

According to the release, $300 million in tax credits would help to fund private developers to create more than 3,000 homes. Construction, rehabilitation and acquisition of 5,700 multifamily rental homes is expected to cover $200 million in funds.

The budget also includes $400 million to go toward homeownership and rental housing opportunities for individuals who need down payment assistance, homeownership assistance and rental housing. This pool is available to California residents making 120 percent of the area median income who are still unable to afford a home on their own.

Another $200 million will fund the CalHome Program, an assistance program by the California Department of Housing and Community Development intended to assist low and very-low income households with deferred-payment and direct, forgivable loans.

The budget proposal also includes $300 million for shelter programs, $75 million for farmworker housing and $60 million for seismic retrofits.

Email Kimberly Manning

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