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Affordable Housing and Education Blog
California Legal Documents

 

Orange County's Affordable Legal Document Assistant 

 

The Pate Foundation is excited to announce the upcoming launch of California Legal Documents.  California Legal Documents is a registered Legal Document Assistant that provides self-help legal services to the members of the Orange County Community.  Any resident of an affordable housing community in Orange County is entitled to services at a reduced rate.  Stay tuned for the official launch of California Legal Documents.

 
SB 654 Introduced To Preserve $2 Billion In Redevelopment Funds For Cities And Counties

On January 4, 2012 Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg introduced Senate Bill 654, which (if passed) would allow municipalities to permanently retain the portion of redevelopment dollars earmarked for affordable housing projects. According to Steinberg, the bill is intended to preserve for affordable housing the roughly $2 billion in outstanding balances in the Low and Moderate Income Housing funds maintained by redevelopment agencies throughout the state.

 

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Veterans Need Affordable Housing

Approximately 150,000 of our nation’s veterans are homeless, and 25% of those veterans are located in California. In fact, California has the most homeless veterans of any state, according to a joint report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The data also showed that young veterans only make up 5% of the nation’s veteran population, but constitute nearly 9% of all homeless veterans. Veterans are twice as likely to fall into chronic homelessness, as compared to other Americans. Former service members are forced to turn to emergency shelters or transitional housing, or struggle without any shelter at all, due to lack of affordable housing. The study noted that more than 90% of veterans in homeless shelters are men, and more than half of those men are disabled.

 

A number of bills have been introduced to the US House, to provide funding for our veterans and end homelessness within the population within five years. But as more service members return home from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries around the world, it is essential that affordable housing funds be set aside specifically for this growing population to prevent veterans from struggling with poverty and homelessness—especially in California, where the numbers are staggeringly higher than in any other state in America. Many homeless veterans are single men with no family support, and most have a disability, either from physical injury, mental illness, or substance abuse problems.

 

Thus, we propose that funds be set aside specifically for veteran housing, to create incentives for developers to finance projects that can cater specifically to veterans. Since most veterans are disabled, it is not enough to merely provide affordable housing. Social Services must also be implemented for these veterans, and establishing veteran communities would be beneficial for former servicemen and women, as well as the state. Funds from affordable housing should then be allocated towards veterans programs, so the issue of veteran homelessness can be eliminated.

 
Housing Affordability on the Rise in California, Industry Group Says

From San Fernando Valley Business Journal:

 

Low home prices and interest rates in California are making homes increasingly affordable for potential buyers, the California Association of Realtors said Thursday.

 

During the third quarter, the number of home buyers who could afford a $292,120 single-family home — the state-wide median — was 52 percent, a one percent increase from the previous quarter, the organization said.

 

Still tight lending restrictions are holding back purchases.

 

“While housing affordability has improved in most areas of the state, would-be buyers, especially first-timers, are having difficulty getting loans,” Beth L. Peerce, the association’s president, said in a news release.

 

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California Seeks Ruling to Use Development Funds for Budget

From Bloomberg Businessweek:

 

California, seeking to avoid a shortfall in money for schools, roads and fire departments, asked the state’s highest court to uphold two laws allowing it to seize $1.7 billion from state redevelopment agencies.

 

The agencies, which have grown to control billions of public dollars while money for schools and fire protection dropped, are a luxury that California, facing the largest budget gap in its history, can’t afford, state lawyers said in court filings. The redevelopment program was created by the Legislature and can be voided by lawmakers, they said.

 

“They may change the rules, they may change the redevelopment scheme,” California Deputy Attorney General Ross Moody said at a hearing today before the San Francisco-based court. “That’s what they have done here.”

 

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