SACRAMENTO — After years of havoc caused by budget-busting rents and runaway home prices, a collection of affordable-housing bills negotiated with Gov. Jerry Brown passed the Assembly late Thursday night.
With much suspense and arm-twisting, the Assembly narrowly passed the most controversial legislation: Senate Bill 2, a bill to create a permanent funding source for affordable housing through a new real estate fee. The last two lawmakers — Assemblymen Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, and Adrin Nazarian, D-Van Nuys — created an hour of drama by waiting to cast their deciding votes.
“For any of you who are not yet ready to vote for this bill,” said Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, “I ask you to do one thing — to think about the face of your constituents.”
One Republican lawmaker, Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, of San Diego, supported it.
“To do nothing for me is not an option,” Maienschein said. “I wouldn’t even be considering this if we didn’t have a state of emergency in the city of San Diego” over hepatitis A deaths in homeless people, he said.
The proposal, Senate Bill 2, was perhaps the toughest sell and what had been holding up the vote for weeks. It would create a new fee of up to $225 on certain real estate transactions, such as mortgage refinancing, to fund affordable-housing projects. (Home sales and commercial real-estate sales are exempt from the bill.)
Carried by Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, it would collect $200-$300 million per year in real-estate fees. The state estimates the bill would generate more than $5 billion over the next five years once the new fees are matched with federal, local and private matching funds. And…
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