Mercury News: “Even Habitat for Humanity Can’t Build Cheaply Enough: ‘Roughest patch’ in state history for affordable development”

Mercury News: “Even Habitat for Humanity Can’t Build Cheaply Enough: ‘Roughest patch’ in state history for affordable development”

“Rising construction costs and a big drop in public funding is forcing an organization that builds inexpensive homes for low-income buyers to sell them for higher prices than many of those people can afford…

Like Habitat for Humanity, other developers of affordable housing also are finding the margins between housing costs and prices getting squeezed.

“I think we’re just coming out of the roughest patch” in history for producing affordable housing in California, said Michael Lane, policy director for the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California. He noted that because no major bonds were passed between 2011 and 2017, public funds to help pay for affordable housing dried up.

The problem was compounded when the Legislature decided in 2011 to eliminate local redevelopment agencies, which provided more than $1 billion annually to help cities cobble together land and create affordable housing projects

“It’s like a perfect storm,” Lane said.

But some help is on the way.

November’s election passage of state Propositions 1 and 2 will result in billions of dollars for affordable housing subsidy supply, he said.

And county bonds passed in 2016 to fund affordable housing, including Alameda’s $580 million Measure A1 and Santa Clara County’s $950 million Measure A, are starting to flow into communities…”

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Alina Harway