Special to the Vanguard
Sacramento, CA — Governor Newsom made history this week by signing Senator Wahab’s (D-Hayward) Stable Affordable Housing Act (SB 555), making California the first state to explore the intersection of long-term affordability and state-supported housing.
“The solution to our housing crisis is in creating long-term affordability—it is the issue this legislature has long danced around—and I’m proud the State of California is ready to evaluate how we can play a pivotal role in providing that long-term affordability,” says Senator Wahab.
The Stable Affordable Housing Act identifies pathways for 1.4 million stable, affordable homes for Californians via public, nonprofit, cooperative housing production, and acquisition. These pathways integrate state-level support in myriad configurations, and SB 555 will explore these configurations to determine how best to maximize housing units and affordability for California’s most vulnerable residents.
Most Californians pay more than 30% of their income on rent; this housing model would be permanently affordable to rent and mortgage burdened Californians across many income levels. California’s most recent Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) cycle targets at least one million units of low-income housing and 400,000 units of middle-income housing to be produced by 2030 to serve Californians who cannot afford the private market.
“Our current housing system is driven by greed and needs a full-scale transformation. Social housing at scale will mean a stable, affordable home for everyone who can’t afford one today,” said Richard Marcantonio, Managing Attorney for the Metropolitan Equity Team at Public Advocates. “This bill puts California on the path to that future.”
“California tenants and workers have been fighting on the ground for permanently affordable social housing for years. With his signature, Governor Newsom shows California continues to be a leader in innovating housing solutions for the Americans who need it most,” added Shanti Singh, Legislative and Communications Director for Tenants Together
Rev. Rae Huang, Senior Organizer for Housing Now! Coalition said, “Social housing is a century-old, tried and true solution to combat housing unaffordability across the globe. Led by our communities who are expanding stable affordable housing across the state, SB 555 puts California on the path to finally solve our affordable housing crisis.”
“We have more than enough data to demonstrate that market-dependent strategies are not solving our affordable housing crisis, and it’s time we put new strategies into play. We are incredibly relieved that the Governor signed SB 555 (Wahab), putting the state on a path to develop new and expanded approaches to social housing, that is publicly funded and off the private for-profit market,” said Christina Livingston, Executive Director for Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE).