Governor Brown has signed a $156.3 billion spending plan that contains millions of dollars of funding for affordable housing during the 2014–15 fiscal year, as well as a long-term framework for housing funding through cap-and-trade auction revenues.
The budget included what housing advocates consider several major victories. First, $100 million in new funding was allocated for the Multifamily Housing Program at the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Half of this allocation will be devoted to supportive housing developments. This allocation is especially significant because it is the first general fund allocation for Multifamily programs in over a decade.
As part of the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program, the budget also allocates $75 million for weatherization and renewable energy and at least $65 million for affordable housing in transit-rich areas.
Finally, starting in 2015, the budget establishes 10% cap-and-trade auction revenues set aside for affordable housing that reduces greenhouse gases. The cap-and-trade program was created by California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 and is estimated to produce around $2 billion annually. As set forth in the budget, roughly $200 to $300 million per year will be earmarked for affordable housing.
While the allocations in the 2014-15 budget are far less than the funds once generated by California’s redevelopment agencies, and fail to provide any funding for community economic development, the numbers are nevertheless encouraging for the future of affordable housing in California.
For a complete overview of the 2014–15 fiscal year budget, including its affordable housing component, please visit the Governor’s summary.