The major components of a legislative package aimed at addressing California’s housing affordability crisis cleared their biggest hurdle late Thursday night when the Assembly passed six bills in a tight vote.
Legislative leaders had previously negotiated with Gov. Jerry Brown over measures to generate money for low-income housing development, fund housing programs and streamline the approval process for new projects.
But Democrats in swing districts hesitated for weeks to pass one funding bill that could be described as another tax hike, after earlier this year raising the gas tax and renewing a climate change program that could also increase prices at the pump.
Senate Bill 2, from Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, imposes a $75 to $225 fee on real estate transactions and is expected to generate as much as $258 million per year for low-income housing development and programs to combat homelessness. Atkins and others have long argued that the state needs a sustainable funding source for housing after the elimination of redevelopment agencies.
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