NPH Weighs in on Governor’s State of the State

Photo of houseless SF resident
The San Francisco Chronicle: S.F. has taken more than a year to open 30 beds for homeless and mentally ill
February 3, 2021
Photo of "The Gap" cover
New Report Shows Severe Shortage of Affordable Homes, Especially in California and for Extremely Low-Income Renters, People of Color
March 18, 2021
Photo of State Capitol building

Last night, Governor Gavin Newsom delivered his State of the State address, highlighting the state’s recent progress in addressing the ongoing needs of state residents as we continue to contend with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As we reflect on the Governor’s address, a key takeaway for NPH is that housing is one of the most critical tools to protect our communities from COVID-19 and is the foundation out of which our region and state can grow and succeed. 

As California continues its journey towards COVID recovery, we must prioritize housing as essential. Affordable homes are crucial infrastructure to getting people back to work, getting and keeping people housed, and ensuring that we’re prepared for the next emergency. We must also prioritize action that ensures that our neighbors that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 — Black, Indigenous, other communities of color, and low-income communities — receive the support, resources, and care that they need.

NPH is grateful for the significant investments that California has made to keep people housed, such as:

  •  eviction controls to ensure that families don’t lose their homes;
  •  billions of dollars in support to mom and pop landlords; and 
  • $2B to create more housing for those experiencing homelessness and address mental health and substance abuse. 

Even with these investments, we continue to need long term fixes to these critical issues to ensure that tenants stay housed when evictions protections expire. There also continues to be a growing need for permanent investments in affordable housing and homelessness solutions.

NPH Calls on Governor Newsom and the California Legislature to Prioritize Housing Now

As NPH kicks off the 2021-22 legislative cycle, our focus is embracing a “Housing First” strategy to the recovery by moving timely and urgent policies to make impact now, while advancing big picture, long-term shifts toward housing and racial justice.

We call on the Governor and California Legislature to support the following solutions:

  • SB 5 (Atkins): Creates a multi-billion bond for affordable housing.
  • AB 71 (L. Rivas): Creates $2.4 billion annual allocation for homelessness and housing by increasing corporate tax rate.
  • SCA 2 (Allen and Wiener): Repeals article 34 from the California constitution, which requires a vote of the people for publicly funded affordable housing developments.
  • ACA 1 (Aguiar Curry): Lowers the voter threshold for affordable housing measures to 55%.
  • AB 528 (Wicks): Improves how nonprofit affordable housing developers can get access to tax delinquent properties in order to convert them to permanently affordable housing while keeping tenants housed.
  • AB 1271 (Ting): Revises the Surplus Lands Act to ensure that surplus public land in military bases is used for the production of affordable housing and clarifies how public agencies executing long-term leases on their surplus land can prioritize housing affordability.

Please click here to learn more about NPH’s Legislative Priorities.

As lawmakers deal with multiple crises at the same time — lack of affordable housing, racial disparities, public health, the economy, school reopenings, and more — it’s up to us to come together with our affordable housing movement to show them that these issues are connected, and that housing is at the foundation.