This week, the State Legislature passed and Governor Gavin Newsom will sign the 2023-24 state budget deal, which contains important investments to address affordable housing needs and reduce homelessness throughout the state. The state’s housing shortage is exactly the critical environment that required us to remain steadfast with our investment commitments in the final state budget.
Key Summary The final budget includes funding for critical programs (including prior year commitments and some additional investments) that will provide relief for state residents who can’t afford California’s rising housing costs or who are experiencing homelessness. In order to meet the scale of our state’s housing needs, however, deeper investments and strategic efforts are needed. (See below, “Critical Strategy for Deeper Investments”)
What’s in the Budget NPH appreciates the work of Governor Newsom and the Legislature to maintain prior year commitments to affordable housing production and preservation, homelessness resources, and housing-related infrastructure – as well as the additional investments of $500 million in the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program and $100 million in the Multifamily Housing Program. The final $310 billion state spending plan protected several core housing programs from cuts while also covering a $30 billion-plus deficit.
Our Takeaway The budget demonstrates that Governor Newsom and state lawmakers recognize the need for progress and are working with our communities to lead the nation in common-sense, humane, and just housing solutions for all our neighbors, no matter their race, income, or background. The investments in the final budget present the possibility of health and wellness over stress and anxiety; stability and home over insecurity and injustice. At the same time, we are disappointed that the budget allocations fall short of the deep investment we need to truly meet the annual affordable housing goals our agencies have set for the state. We also join with our homelessness prevention colleagues in lamenting the lack of ongoing investment, which is critical to scale up the kind of homelessness responses we need and our unhoused neighbors deserve.
Critical Strategy for Deeper Investments The 2024 ballot will be a timely opportunity to support long term housing investments. Cities, counties, and regions are essential partners in achieving our housing goals and state leaders have a vital role to play in facilitating local communities’ ability to scale investments. This is why we support reducing the voter threshold for affordable housing bonds, to empower local governments to raise funding for their housing needs. By setting the voter threshold for local affordable housing bond measures at 55%, we have the potential to unlock billions of dollars of local funding for affordable housing.
The 2023-24 state budget includes the following budget allocations:
(The finalized state budget agreement takes effect immediately with the end of this fiscal year on June 30.)
Our Conclusion We appreciate that this budget protects and strategically expands investments for the interest and well-being of our state’s residents who require the most assistance now. Collectively, these investments will make an important difference for everyday Californians who need relief; but moving forward, deeper investments will be needed to meet our state’s housing needs at scale.
What’s Next NPH will continue to work diligently with our partners and allies to make the case for affordable housing because all our neighbors deserve a decent place to live. NPH looks forward to continuing our work with state lawmakers so that affordable housing solutions become the norm and an undisputed necessity for our communities all across California.