Local developers, Realtors and city officials have mixed feelings about a package of bills signed Friday by Gov. Jerry Brown that are aimed at boosting the state’s supply of affordable housing.
Senate Bill 2, authored by Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, is a prime example. The measure will create a permanent source of funding for affordable housing by imposing fees of $75 to $225 on a variety of real-estate transactions, such as a mortgage refinancing or deed of trust. Home and commercial real estate purchases would not be subject to the fee.
“We support that very strongly,” said Mel Wilson, broker and owner of Mel Wilson & Associates Realtors in Northridge. “Local cities have been trying to find another source to create more affordable housing since we lost the funding from community redevelopment agencies which were closed down by the state. We’re hoping that these funds will be used to spur the building of more homes for middle-class and lower-income people. We think this is a good outcome for the state.”
A housing buyback?
Tom Adams, who is both the owner of Century 21 Adams & Barnes and the mayor of Monrovia, doesn’t agree.
“I find it interesting that Sacramento took away redevelopment — which included our low- to moderate-income housing fund — and now they’re basically selling back to us what they took away,” he said. “It’s their attempt at solving a problem that Sacramento created. Monrovia had a great history of supporting low- and moderate-income housing projects and Sacramento took all of that away.”
Adams said the legislation will create a financial hardship for many of the people it’s intended to help. Tacking fees onto a mortgage refinancing, deed of trust, notice of trustee sale or declaration of homestead, he said, would make things more difficult for residents who are already financially strapped.
“So much of this will fall hard on low-income families,” Adams said. “If you are a widow who just lost your…