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July 6, 2020
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City of Cotati urges governor to sign affordable housing bill

September 20, 2019

Senate Bill 5 (Beall, McGuire, Portantino) will provide funding to help local governments subsidize tens of thousands of housing units affordable to working class families and those facing homelessness. 

The City of Cotati thanked members of the Legislature for passing Senate Bill 5 (Beall, McGuire, Portantino), a bill that establishes a state partnership with cities and counties to provide ongoing, sustainable funding to subsidize affordable housing in the City of Cotati and communities throughout the state. Cotati urged Governor Newsom to sign this important legislation that will go a long way in helping cities address their affordable housing and homeless crises. 

“SB 5 is the only piece of legislation this year that will directly result in affordable housing being built right away,” said Mayor John Dell’Osso. “We’re struggling to build the housing we need in Cotati to help lower-income families and those facing homelessness. SB 5 will provide us needed resources to house those most in need.” 

SB 5 establishes a new, state-backed financing program that provides cities and counties resources to subsidize affordable housing, invest in infrastructure needed to support housing, and invest in housing near job centers. SB 5 commits $200 million in funding annually to cities and counties beginning in 2020, eventually capping at $2 billion annually. 

When the state abolished redevelopment in 2011, it wiped out the only source of ongoing funding available to local governments to build affordable housing and supporting infrastructure. 

More and more families have been priced out and the homeless population has exploded. Today, more than 2.2 million extremely low-income and very low-income renter households are competing for only 664,000 affordable rental homes. That leaves more than 1.5 million of California’s lowest-income families without access to housing, forcing many into homelessness. 

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“The state’s housing and homelessness crisis is impacting every community throughout the state and is an issue of statewide importance,” said Mayor Dell’Osso. “SB 5 brings the state in on a long-term basis as partners with local governments to build the housing we need. We urge Governor Newsom to sign this critical legislation.” 

SB 5 contains strong accountability provisions. The legislation creates a statewide oversight body to approve or reject all projects proposed by local governments. Additionally, cities and counties must submit annual reports to the Legislature. SB 5 creates an annual cap on funds available, and the Legislature can suspend funding for new plans during fiscal downturns. Lastly, SB 5 provides state resources to ensure funding for schools and community colleges are not impacted. 

SB 5 is supported by a broad coalition of cities, counties, business, labor, local governments, housing advocates, and community leaders. 

For additional information contact Damien O’Bid, City Manager dobid@cotaticity.org