John Chiang | In the News

John Chiang pitches billions in new low-income housing spending and homebuilding incentives

12/08/17

Los Angeles Times

California gubernatorial candidate John Chiang wants to tackle the state’s housing affordability crisis by spending billions more on low-income development and offering greater financial incentives to cities that permit new building.

“The housing shortage in this state is a drag on our economy and is a barrier to climbing the socioeconomic ladder for thousands of families in California,” Chiang said in a statement.

Chiang, the state treasurer, released the plan on his campaign website Friday. The policy changes he wants to make include:

Promoting a $9-billion bond to help fund new low-income housing development and an additional $600 million in annual spending through a low-income housing tax credit. Chiang said these proposals would be on top of the $4-billion housing bond that will appear on the statewide ballot in November 2018. California’s low-income housing spending needs have been estimated conservatively at $15 billion a year.

Offering local governments more sales tax revenue and transportation funds if they approve more housing. This is an effort to change the state’s tax system, which currently provides more tax revenue to cities that approve more hotel and office development than housing.

Modeling new state laws after programs in Massachusetts and New York City. The Massachusetts law allows the state to override local decisions to deny low-income housing projects if a city is behind on its housing goals. The New York City law provides property tax breaks to apartment developers who reserve a certain portion of their project for low-income residents.
Creating a state rapid rehousing program to help the homeless with short-term rental assistance and with utility and security deposits.
Chiang estimated his efforts would house 4 million additional Californians.

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