SACRAMENTO – Last week, Assembly Member Tom Daly (D- Anaheim) and Assembly Member Bill Brough (R- Dana Point) introduced Assembly Bill (AB) 346, a bill to allow cities to extend their Low to Moderate Income Housing Fund (LMIHF) dollars towards homelessness services, transitional housing, or emergency housing – in addition to affordable housing.
This measure has been sponsored by the Association of California Cities – Orange County (ACC-OC) in order to provide more flexibility to cities across California looking to not only find solutions to the affordable housing shortfall, but also hoping to address the homelessness issues facing the state.
“California cities have fewer financial resources to use for addressing a wide range of local housing needs. Unfortunately, current law also restricts how cities can use what little revenues they have available for such purposes. AB 346 will give them some additional flexibility and local control over how those funds are best spent to address specific needs in their communities,” said, Assembly Member Daly.
Since the dissolution of redevelopment in 2012, cities and counties with redevelopment agencies have found that they had much lower contributions to LMIHF funds. Currently, LMIHF funds are only able to be used towards the development and creation of affordable housing. With a very small amount of capped dollars available for homelessness prevention and rapid rehousing services, this bill will help cities with their depleted LMIHF fund dollars.
Joint author, Assembly Member Brough, said that, “In Orange County alone, our homelessness population is near 4,500 people, and this issue is exasperated by our increasing home prices. Cities need commonsense solutions, provided in this bill, to serve their constituents.”
Now that LMIHF funds have decreased, municipalities must wait for the set-aside funds to accumulate enough money to actually build new housing units. This has left cities with underused or unusable LMIHF funds.
“Cities are unable to properly use these dollars for their sole mandated purpose,” said Heather Stratman, CEO of the ACC-OC. “Additionally, there is no flexibility to use the reduced funds in other ways to help residents who are homeless or needing housing services – which is a problem directly correlated to affordable housing needs.”
AB 346 was introduced on February 8th and is awaiting committee referral.
Assembly Member Daly represents the 69th Assembly District which includes the cities of Santa Ana, Anaheim, Garden Grove, and Orange.
Assemblyman William P. Brough represents the 73rd Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Aliso Viejo, Coto de Caza, Dana Point, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Las Flores, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, and San Juan Capistrano.
The Association of California Cities – Orange County (ACC-OC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization representing the interests of the 34 cities in Orange County. ACC-OC is committed to protecting local control and revenues while offering a vast array of benefits and resources for city staff and elected representatives. Learn more at www.accoc.org.
Contact: Diana Coronado