Mar 04 2021
Washington—Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla and Representatives Jared Huffman and Mike Thompson (all D-Calif.) this week introduced the Affordable Housing Redevelopment Act, a bill to reauthorize the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and authorize $1.5 billion to help create new affordable housing through the rehabilitation or redevelopment of old, vacant or foreclosed properties.
“The lack of affordable housing is a key driver of our homelessness crisis, both in California and across the country,” said Senator Feinstein. “But the high cost and slow pace of building new affordable housing units has been an obstacle in addressing this shortage. This bill directs federal funds to local governments and nonprofits so they can acquire existing properties and turn them into affordable housing as quickly and efficiently as possible. We cannot overcome the homelessness crisis without addressing our housing affordability crisis, and I’m proud to introduce a bill that addresses this issue head on.”
“Increasing access to affordable housing is an urgent priority as we recover from this pandemic,” Senator Alex Padilla said. “Reauthorizing the Neighborhood Stabilization Program will allow more development of affordable housing for California’s most vulnerable communities. Federal support for local redevelopment projects is a critical long-term investment in our economic stability.”
“The lack of affordable housing is an all-too familiar crisis in California. But with the COVID-19 pandemic threatening the livelihoods of millions and countless families at risk of eviction or foreclosure, affordable housing options are needed more than ever,” said Representative Huffman. “This bill not only establishes smart long-term investments, but it also focuses resources on more immediate solutions to meet the urgent needs of the current housing crisis.”
“Our region is far too familiar with the devastating impact of the lack of affordable housing, a problem that has only been exacerbated by the recent fires and by the Coronavirus pandemic. We need solutions to help families afford housing now more than ever,” said Representative Thompson. “That’s why I am proud to be a coauthor of the Affordable Housing Redevelopment Act, which reauthorizes the important Neighborhood Stabilization Program and provides $1.5 billion to turn old and vacant properties into affordable housing specifically to help those with the greatest need. This will be vital for our district and our entire region and I thank Senator Feinstein for her leadership on this bill in the Senate.”
“The pandemic has only reinforced what we already knew: homelessness is a widespread crisis in need of creative, lasting solutions -- and Senator Feinstein's legislation delivers the kind of bold action we need right now,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “By assisting those struggling with the high cost of housing in L.A., converting distressed buildings into affordable options, and investing in critical services, these proposals will mark a down payment on more stable communities, a more equitable recovery, and a more promising future for our most vulnerable neighbors.”
“With the Affordable Housing Redevelopment Act, Senator Feinstein is championing legislation that speaks directly to my top priorities as Mayor of San Diego. This bill will provide local communities with desperately needed funding to turn underdeveloped properties into affordable homes. This is precisely the kind of federal-local partnership that will help us solve our most daunting regional challenge – chronic homelessness,” said San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria.
“I applaud Senator Feinstein for introducing legislation to reactivate the Neighborhood Stabilization Program” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “Federal dollars invested in Sacramento’s underused properties will accelerate efforts to provide desperately needed affordable housing. Local job creation, building wealth through home ownership, and an opportunity to electrify existing housing stock and meet the City’s climate goals are all co-benefits that underscore the urgency to pass this legislation.”
“The best way to prevent is to be prepared -- and in order to prevent the tides of speculation from washing away communities most at risk of displacement, we must prepare funding to support them. By establishing funds to support acquisition and rehabilitation of distressed and foreclosed properties, Congress will produce more permanently affordable housing for Americans struggling the most to afford a home. By raising their voices to support this legislation, Americans will ensure neighbors stay stabilized in their communities,” said Lisa Hershey, executive director of Housing California.
“The Local Initiatives Support Corporation is proud to support the Affordable Housing Redevelopment Act, since we’ve seen firsthand how covid-19 has economically impacted communities and increased the need for affordable housing. Our nation was experiencing an affordable housing crisis before the pandemic and the resources provided under this legislation will allow local communities to acquire and rehabilitate at risk properties, so they can expand housing opportunities for their most vulnerable residents. We applaud Sen. Feinstein for her leadership in providing communities the support necessary to respond to covid-19 and increase affordable housing,” said Ricardo Flores, executive director of Local Initiatives Support Corporation San Diego.
The Affordable Housing and Redevelopment Act is supported by: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria, California State Association of Counties, City of Long Beach, City of Merced, City of Red Bluff, City of Sacramento, City of San Diego, City of San Francisco, City of Thousand Oaks, City of Ventura, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, County Welfare Directors Association of California, Housing California, Humboldt County, Marin County, San Diego County, San Diego Housing Commission, San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara County, Solano County Board of Supervisors, Sonoma County, Southern California Association of Non Profit Housing, Stanislaus County, Tuolumne County, United Way of Greater Los Angeles and Ventura County.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program was created after the 2008 financial crisis to help build new affordable housing and improve blighted neighborhoods. Given the expense of new construction, rehabilitation of old buildings and the redevelopment of abandoned, foreclosed and bank-owned properties has proven to be a more cost-effective way to add affordable housing in areas struggling with housing shortages.
Specifically, the bill would:
- Reauthorize the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and authorize $1.5 billion to fund the rehabilitation of old buildings, redevelopment of distressed properties, and the conversion of commercial and other non-residential properties to create new affordable housing.
- Ensure all housing created through the program would serve households with income below area median income, and at least 25 percent of housing must serve households with income below 50 percent of area median income.
- Distributes funding through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Program Office as a competitive grant to state and local governments.
- Gives preference to projects that:
- are located in areas with high levels of cost-burdened households;
- will be located in rural communities, or in close proximity to high-frequency public transportation;
- are located in communities where local land-use policies encourage adaptive reuse or other means to achieve greater housing production; or
- have a higher proportion of low-income units.