“Among the most basic of human needs is a place to call home. And nowhere in the United States is this need harder to satisfy than in California. The lack of affordable housing is so severe that it threatens the health and welfare of thousands of Californians, as well as the state’s long term prosperity.”
-The Little Hoover Commission, independent state oversight agency
More than 6 million Californians are living below the federal poverty line of $22,113 for a family of four. According to the nonpartisan California Budget Project, the number of Californians living in poverty has grown every year since 2007. This means that 16.7% of California’s population is living in poverty, and nearly one-third of them are children. As people continue to lose wages and jobs, the price of housing remains incredibly high. The Public Policy Institute of California reports that the average home in California is 1.8 times more expensive than the national average, and rental prices continue to remain incredibly high despite the drag on the housing market.
Affordable housing developers, who provide safe, habitable and high-quality living opportunities to those most in need, are a solution to this problem. CRC supports the development of affordable housing opportunities by negotiating with lenders and backing policies that promote and/or create lending products for affordable housing development; low-cost home-mortgage loans for low-income borrowers and borrowers-of-color seeking to attain or maintain homeownership; investments in Community Development Corporations and Community Development Financial Institutions that support affordable housing opportunities; and access to insurance for affordable housing developers and homeowners who need insurance to get a loan.
California’s affordable housing industry is very sophisticated and recognized as a national leader by lending, regulatory and investor institutions. California’s nonprofit housing developers need support from the government and private sector in their efforts to house residents most in need, and to revitalize communities with stable housing and jobs. Unfortunately, the state budget cuts to redevelopment agencies and the difficulty in accessing construction and permanent loans, limits the amount of affordable housing that Californians can expect to see. CRC will continue to fight against this trend, advocate with banks for increasing affordable housing underwriting, and support affordable housing developers in their work.
More than 6 million Californians are living below the federal poverty line of $22,113.