| May 28, 2015
The Honorable Toni Atkins
Speaker of the California Assembly
State Capitol, Room 219
Sacramento, CA 95814
Dear Speaker Atkins,
I am a member of the Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club, composed of East Bay progressive individuals working together to renew and invigorate the Democratic Party. Our club counts hundreds of California residents among its membership.
I am writing you in support of the Affordable Housing package of AB 35, AB 90, AB 1335 and AB 1056. Our community desperately needs the jobs and affordable places to live that these important bills will generate.
AB 1335 will create 29,000 jobs annually and leverage $2.78 billion in federal, local, and private investments for affordable housing, while AB 35 will create much-needed very-low and extremely low-income housing credits and AB 90 will designate the state Department of Housing and Development as the agency to accept and administer newly-available Federal Housing Trust Fund revenues. For its part, AB 1056 will reduce recidivism by helping house the formerly incarcerated through Proposition 47 savings.
Millions of Californians are caught in the “perfect storm” — mortgages remain out of reach, credit standards have tightened, and the foreclosure crisis has pushed more people into a rental market already suffering from decades of short supply — leading to record-setting rent increases. The most vulnerable, who struggled to make rent before the foreclosure crisis, face even more uncertainty in today's rental markets. They risk joining the 130,000+ Californians who are homeless on any given night.
Rents and mortgages within the reach of working families are critical to maintaining California’s business competitiveness. The Orange County Business Council and other prominent business groups say California needs to increase the supply of housing options affordable to workers, so companies can compete for the talent that drives California’s economy.
Failure to act now will leave too many Californians without an affordable place to call home and make it difficult for California businesses to remain competitive. With funds from state housing bonds running dry and the elimination of redevelopment, state dollars to leverage federal funds and private investment are at their lowest level in years. This threatens housing production and the jobs that go with it.
Thank you for your leadership in expanding affordable home development here in California. I am proud to strongly support you and the Affordable Housing Legislative Package.
Cc: John Bauters, Policy Director, Housing California (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Marina Wiant, Policy Director, California Housing Consortium (email@example.com)
Michael Lane, Policy Director, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California