[Hpn] Sacramento, CA - Gov. Davis Signs Major Housing Legislation - Office of the Governor - September 20, 2002

Editor Editor <hccjr@bellsouth.net>
Sun, 22 Sep 2002 17:56:56 -0500


GOVERNOR DAVIS SIGNS MAJOR HOUSING LEGISLATION

Millions Used for Low-Income Housing; Creates Process to Repair
Construction Problems
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By Press Writer - Office of the Governor - September 20, 2002

Governor Gray Davis signed a series of bills that provides grants
to increase the affordability and availability of housing throughout
the State.

"When Californians can't afford to put a decent roof over their
heads, it's a problem," Gov. Davis said.

"When home-to-work is a two-hour commute, it's a problem.

When homeowners have to sue to correct construction defects, it's
a problem.

"I've invested more in new housing programs than any Governor in
history and my Administration continues to work hard to find
responsible solutions to California's housing problems."

The following bills would be funded by and take effect only if
California voters approve the $2.1 billion Housing Bond Act on
the November 2002 ballot.

AB 1891,

by Assemblymember Manny Diaz (D-San Jose), allows the Department
of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to provide grants of
between $1 and $2 million to existing and new housing trust funds
operated by local governments and certain non-profit
organizations.

The total amount of grants is $25 million. All funds must be used
to finance rental housing developments for low-income households
for a period of 55 years and all State funds must be matched
dollar-for-dollar by the local trust fund.

AB 1170,

by Assemblymember Marco Firebaugh (D-East Los Angeles), allows up
to $75 million in down-payment assistance grants. The bill allows
HCD to provide grants to local governments and authorize them to
assist low and moderate income households in becoming first-time
homeowners.

To be eligible for the grant, a local government must have
removed regulatory barriers resulting in the new development of
housing.

Down-payment loans will be made to acquire units in the projects
that resulted from the removal of regulatory barriers.

Homebuyers assisted by the program will be required to repay the
loans upon sale of the unit and local government may them make
other loans to assist homebuyers.

SB 423,

by Senator Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch), authorizes HCD to provide
up to $100 million in the form of grants to local governments to
reward the issuance of building permits for new affordable
housing as follows:

$65 million would reward cities and counties for low-income
housing permitted after January 1, 2004;

$25 million would retroactively reward communities for increasing
average annual building permits in calendar year 2001, as
originally anticipated from the Jobs-Housing Balance Incentive
Grant Program; and

$10 million would reward local governments that qualified for
grants if it increased its average annual building permits, but
also achieved results in low-income housing.

SB 372,

by Senator Joe Dunn (D-Santa Ana), creates two pilot programs
that preserve low-income housing that is at risk of conversion to
market rate housing. A total of $50 million would be available
for these programs.

Under one program, the California Housing and Finance Agency
would make two-year loans at 3 percent interest to allow
nonprofit organizations to purchase housing when it becomes
available, allowing the non-profit the time to arrange more
permanent financing during the two years that the loan is
outstanding.

Under the second program, HCD would select a nonprofit
organization from a competitive field to acquire and manage a
portfolio of "at risk" housing developments. In this program HCD
would make a five-year loan at 3 percent interest. See signing
message.

AB 1008,

by Assemblymember Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), modifies two
existing code enforcement programs operated by HCD that
facilitate the use of November 2002 bond funds for code
enforcement programs.

The bill removes a sunset on existing programs, modifies the date
by which local governments receiving code enforcement funds must
report to HCD, and allows HCD to make smaller loans for code
enforcement-related repairs and equipment (because bond funds
cannot be used to fund salaries.)

This bill, among other things, provides needed flexibility so
that if voters approve the housing bond, the Department could
make grants for capital expenditures that are related to code
enforcement.

Gov. Davis also signed the following two general housing bills:

SB 800,

by Senate President Pro Tempore John Burton (D-San Francisco),
establishes a series of performance standards for homeownership
housing construction that differs from building code requirements,
and limits actionable items to those performance standards.

The bill is likely to reduce expensive litigation by providing for a
pre-trial system of allowing builders to fix defects before
homeowners may sue.

The bill may bring some insurers back into the market to provide
liability coverage to builders of homes and condominiums. 

If insurers return to the marketplace or reduce the cost of
coverage, this will encourage the development of condominiums,
which are frequently a source of affordable housing.

AB 2787,

by Assemblymember Dion Aroner (D-Berkeley), directs HCD to
develop model ordinances on universal design. The models would be
developed in consultation with a long list of state departments
(e.g., Departments of Aging and Rehabilitation) and with
stakeholder groups (e.g., architects, builders and disabled
community representatives.)

Local governments would be allowed, but not required, to adopt
the model ordinances as their own one year after the model is
completed by HCD. Encouraging universal design - which has as its
objective the design of facilities so that most people with the
widest range of abilities may use them - will make homes usable
even if the occupants have permanent or temporary mobility
impairments.

Governor's remarks http://makeashorterlink.com/?W2D2260E1

SB 372 signing message http://makeashorterlink.com/?E2E2610E1

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source page:  http://makeashorterlink.com/?T2A2420E1

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