State Democrats Propose $1.3 Billion Affordable Housing Plan

A sign shows the design for Harper Crossing, a new affordable housing structure for seniors near the Ashby BART station.

The site of Harper Crossing, an affordable housing building for seniors in Berkeley. A proposal in the Legislature would help fund housing developments across the state. (Amy Mostafa/KQED)

A group of Democratic state lawmakers wants to tackle the California housing crisis by using money from this year’s state budget surplus.

Bay Area Assembly Democrats David Chiu of San Francisco and Tony Thurmond of Richmond unveiled the $1.3 billion plan at a news conference in Sacramento on Monday.

“I don’t think there’s anyone here in 2016 who thinks a roof over your head should be a luxury. That is not the California dream,” said Chiu, citing the state’s housing costs and failure to curb homelessness.

The sweeping package, co-sponsored by 12 Democratic legislators from around the state, would shore up existing programs to build and rehabilitate housing for low-income and homeless Californians. The legislation calls for increased investment in both urban and rural areas.

Local housing programs have been struggling since the state dissolved local redevelopment agencies to balance the fiscal 2012 budget.

Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed several recent housing bills. The Chiu-Thurmond proposal honors his request to make housing legislation part of the budget negotiation process, though his office declined comment on the new legislation.

The plan’s supporters, who include Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, have requested a hearing next month.

  • WIltonguy45

    I think a more appropriate title for the article would be “State Guts Taxpayers For Illegals Free Apartments”

    • lunartree

      We have a housing crisis in this state, and it has nothing to do with immigrants, but rather restrictive zoning and lack of adequate transportation to regions with job growth. I’m sorry that your need to shoehorn racism into everything prevents you from understanding these concepts.


Stephanie Martin Taylor

Stephanie Martin is a radio news reporter and anchor, and an occasional host of the KQED Newsroom television program. While she currently focuses on housing and development issues, she has also reported on topics rangingĀ  from state and local politics to religion to arts and culture.

Prior to joining KQED in 2005, Stephanie was an anchor and reporter for WFDD, the NPR affiliate in Winston-Salem, NC. She also spent several years as a television anchor, reporter and producer at various stations around the country.

Stephanie has received numerous awards for her reporting, including two National Headliner Awards, the Religion Newswriters Association's Best Radio Reporting Award and honors from the Associated Press and the Radio and Television Digital News Association. A series she produced from Iraq in 2005 earned a Best of Radio Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Stephanie received a graduate degree in Journalism from Columbia University. As an undergraduate at Colgate University, she worked and studied in Paris and Dijon, France, and spent a summer interning in the White House Press Office.

Stephanie grew up in Dallas, TX, and now lives with her husband in San Francisco.

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