Sacramento, California - Today, the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development passed AB 3037 a legislative effort joint authored by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) to allow localities to establish Redevelopment Housing and Infrastructure Agencies (RHIAs) to fund affordable housing and infrastructure projects in California.
“Since the dissolution of redevelopment agencies, local municipalities across California have been in search for alternative resources to finance and spur critical growth. The opportunity to create Redevelopment Housing and Infrastructure Financing Agencies will add just such a tool into their arsenals. This measure will help equip our communities with new avenues to build affordable housing and enhance overall prosperity,” stated Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia.
This measure, authored by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco), seeks to reinvent redevelopment agencies (RDAs) which were eliminated in 2011, for the purpose of addressing our state’s severe housing and homelessness crisis while fostering much needed economic development opportunities for cities and counties.
California’s housing crisis has reached an unprecedented level. Following the demise of RDAs, homelessness has risen by 14 percent. According to a 2017 estimate our state had 114,000 homeless residents. Assemblymember Garcia noted that the impact of this spike has definitely been felt within his own district.
This measure would ensure greater accountability over the funds by establishing safeguards against abuses including strong anti-displacement policies, detailed record-keeping requirements, independent annual audits, and harsh financial penalties for record-keeping or audit violations.
Cities and counties wishing to create RHIAs must receive approval from the Department of Finance and undergo a review by the Strategic Growth Council to align their plans with California’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. RHIAs will be required to set aside 30 percent of funding for the creation, improvement, and rehabilitation of affordable housing. The amount that state would invest in RHIAs will be capped.
“We are in the midst of the worst housing crisis California has ever seen, and we lost $1 billion of annual investment in affordable housing when redevelopment went away,” said Assemblymember Chiu. “AB 3037 is about making a serious and lasting commitment to fund affordable housing and ensuring Californians who are struggling can afford to live in our state.”