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The Madera Tribune

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Chowchilla officials applaud Senate Bill 5, urge Governor Newsom to sign it

September 28, 2019

SB 5 provides funding to help local governments subsidize affordable housing for working class families and those facing homelessness 

 

The City of Chowchilla thanked members of the Legislature for passing Senate Bill 5 (Beall, McGuire, Portantino), a bill that establishes a state partnership with cities and counties to provide ongoing, sustainable funding to subsidize affordable housing in the City of Chowchilla and communities throughout the state. 

 

The City of Chowchilla urged Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign this legislation that will go a long way in helping cities address their affordable housing and homeless crises. 

 

“SB 5 is the only piece of legislation this year that will directly result in affordable housing being built right away,” said Mayor John Chavez. “We’re struggling to build the housing we need in Chowchilla to help lower-income families and those facing homelessness. SB 5 will provide us needed resources to house those most in need.” 

 

SB 5 establishes a new, state-backed financing program that provides cities and counties resources to subsidize affordable housing, invest in infrastructure needed to support housing, and invest in housing near job centers. SB 5 commits $200 million in funding annually to cities and counties beginning in 2020, eventually capping at $2 billion annually. 

 

When the state abolished redevelopment in 2011, it wiped out the only source of ongoing funding available to local governments to build affordable housing and supporting infrastructure. 

 

More and more families have been priced out and the homeless population has exploded. Today, more than 2.2 million extremely low-income and very low-income renter households are competing for only 664,000 affordable rental homes. That leaves more than 1.5 million of California’s lowest-income families without access to housing, forcing many into homelessness. 

 

“The state’s housing and homelessness crisis is impacting every community throughout the state and is an issue of statewide importance,” said Acting City Administrator Dave Riviere. “SB 5 brings the state in on a long-term basis as partners with local governments to build the housing we need. We urge Gov. Newsom to sign this critical legislation.” 

 

SB 5 contains strong accountability provisions. The legislation creates a statewide oversight body to approve or reject all projects proposed by local governments. Additionally, cities and counties must submit annual reports to the Legislature. SB 5 creates an annual cap on funds available, and the Legislature can suspend funding for new plans during fiscal downturns. Lastly, SB 5 provides state resources to ensure funding for schools and community colleges is not impacted. 

 

SB 5 is supported by a broad coalition of cities, counties, business, labor, local governments, housing advocates, and community leaders.

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