Why are key affordable housing bills bottled up?

Think about what could be:

  • Encouraging housing to be built in place of abandoned big box stores and strip malls. 
  • Making it easier to build student housing near community colleges. 
  • Establishing an authority in Los Angeles to finance affordable housing.

These proposals all promise to ease California’s ever-worsening housing crisis by adding or preserving the already-scarce supply.

But these bills also appear to be dead in the water

They missed a key July 14 deadline to be heard in a policy committee in the state Assembly before lawmakers went on a month-long summer recess until mid-August. It’s still possible to revive the measures before the session ends in mid-September, but doing so would require a rules waiver — and political willpower. 

Northwest Montana Community Land has a new model

 A community land trust purchases properties to maintain in trust as permanent affordable housing options. Locally, buyers purchase the home itself, while the Northwest Montana Community Land Trust maintains ownership of the land, with homeowners paying a $25 monthly ground lease.

Separating the land from the structure keeps prices down. If homeowners are ready to move on, they sell the house back to the trust at a price that enables them to capture their initial investment plus 25% of the increase in appraised value since they bought the house. The trust then resells the home at no higher than the 25% in increased appraisal value. 

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