Ownership housing is the best strategy to help low-income Californians escape poverty
SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, a coalition of REALTORS®, homebuilders and affordable housing producers commend Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Senate Budget and Fiscal Committee Chair Nancy Skinner for a budget proposal that calls for allocating a greater portion of the state’s projected budget surplus to the construction of affordable owner-occupied homes and down payment programs. The “Putting Wealth to Work” Senate budget proposal is a strong first step to addressing budget requests made by the housing coalition, and a bi-partisan group of State Assemblymembers and State Senators.
“California REALTORS® appreciate the Senate’s recognition that far too many Californians cannot afford to purchase a home and the public demands more owner-occupied homes,” said Otto Catrina, President of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. “When homeownership is out of reach, Californians are denied the opportunity to generate equity in a home and intergenerational wealth. Ownership housing is the best strategy to help working Californians have true economic security.”
State housing policies have added to California’s housing crisis by directing a very small percentage of state housing construction funding to owner-occupied homes. This comes as the median home price in California is expected to surpass $830,000. California’s overall homeownership rate has declined to just 55% and among the state’s largest ethnic groups, only 17% of Latino and Black households could afford to buy a median-priced home last year.
“Increasing homeownership is critical to California’s future and the key to economic stability for working families. But first, the homes must be built. We applaud the Senate’s budget priority to invest in affordable homeownership supply through the CalHome program, which is the only state program that actually allocates funding toward affordable home building for first-time owners,” said Debbie Arakel, Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity California. “The CalHome budget commitment allows Habitat for Humanity throughout California, and other nonprofit builders to build more affordable homes for more California families to own, but we’re still a bit shy of the $400 million that’s needed.”
In the “Putting Wealth to Work” budget proposal, Senator Atkins and Senator Skinner call for $1.5 billion to support homeownership in the 2022-23 state budget, including $350 million for the development of ownership housing and $200 million for the state’s existing down payment assistance programs. In addition, $1 billion is being allocated to the California Dream for All Program, a new revolving fund for first-time homebuyers to partner with the state and purchase homes with little or no down payment and reduce mortgage costs by more than 20 percent.
“We appreciate the focus on homeownership in the Senate budget proposal,” said Dan Dunmoyer, president and CEO of the California Building Industry Association. “This priority has the support of a growing number of leaders in both houses of the Legislature, and we urge the Governor to include adequate funding for homeownership in the May Revise. This investment is needed to address the housing crisis and help more Californians achieve the dream of homeownership.”
About the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than 110 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with more than 200,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.
About Habitat for Humanity California
Habitat for Humanity California is a statewide coalition of independent Habitat affiliates that serve communities across California. Habitat affiliates bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Habitat California advocates for affordable housing with specific focus on homeownership opportunities for families with limited incomes.
About California Building Industry Association
The California Building Industry Association is a statewide trade association based in Sacramento representing thousands of member companies including homebuilders, trade contractors, architects, engineers, designers, suppliers and industry professionals in the homebuilding, multi-family and mixed-use development markets.
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SOURCE CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.)