On September 29, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed a 15-bill housing package to start the State’s renewed focus on addressing housing needs. The housing package offers an injection of new financial resources based on needs identified in the Statewide Housing Assessment. Part of the housing package was Senate Bill 2, the Building Homes and Jobs Act, which implemented a $75 fee on real estate documents and created a new revenue source statewide to address housing needs.
Established under SB 2, the Permanent Local Housing Allocation (PLHA) Program creates a source of funding that provides financial assistance to local governments for eligible housing-related projects and programs to address the unmet housing needs of their communities. The City of Bakersfield is eligible to a receive $1,730,902 million annually in PLHA funds over the next five years.
The City is proposing that PLHA funds be placed into a local Affordable Housing Trust Fund as part of the City's Affordable Housing Financing and Incentive Plan (SB2 Planning Grant). The City is establishing a local Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) and an Affordable Housing Incentive Program to streamline and off-set the costs for the construction of new Affordable Housing units including Accessary Dwelling Units (ADU). The construction of new affordable housing and the incentive program will be funded from the trust fund. 75% of PLHA funds invested in the trust fund will target households with no more than 60% AMI; the other 25% is available up to 120% AMI in high-cost areas, if needed. The AHTF will also leverage other funding sources such as local City funds, State matches, private and non-profits, to increase the source of funds available for the creation of affordable housing in the City of Bakersfield.
Under the new Affordable ADU Incentive Program, the City will offer a soft loan or forgivable loan or grant for ADU construction, if the developer would agree to sign a covenant or deed restriction for the unit to be affordable to low or very low incomes or commits to rent the ADU to a homeless family/individual or participant in the housing choice voucher program. To help offset the costs of development impact fees for affordable rental housing developments, the City will provide a grant to projects with a signed covenant or deed restriction for the unit(s) to be affordable to moderate, low or very low incomes.
Staff is recommending approval of the resolution authorizing the City's application and five-year plan for PLHA funds.