Assemblymember Miguel Santiago Applauds Passage of Historic Housing Package

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Bring California Home housing package includes Assembly Bill 72, authored by Santiago

(Sacramento, CA) – Earlier today, the California State Legislature approved passage of a historic package of bills intended to target the lack of housing in the state. The Bring California Home package includes Assembly Bill 72 and a number of other measures authored or co-authored by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles).

“It makes no sense – no sense -- that we are the 6th largest economy in the nation and yet we have people who live on the streets in California because they cannot afford a place to live,” said Assemblymember Santiago. “I represent Skid Row, and the faces of people living there have changed over the years,” continued Santiago. “Now, amongst the 8,000 people living in homelessness in that area, we see young families and small children who cannot afford a house, an apartment, or even a garage where they can lay their head at night.” The Los Angeles Unified School District has reported at least 16,000 homeless students enrolled this year.

A March 2015 report by the state’s non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office concluded that the state would need to build millions more homes – including more than a million in Los Angeles County alone – to keep housing prices in line with the rest of the country. Those million construction starts would only just meet the population’s demands for housing. Furthermore, in many cities, vacancy rates have dropped dramatically due to the lack of new construction, making it difficult for individuals, students, seniors, and families to find a place to live close to their schools or jobs.

Santiago further noted that “Housing should not be for the privileged few who can afford a place to live. Housing should be a right ensuring that any person who tries hard, works hard, and plays by the rules has the ability to sleep with a roof over their head.”

AB 72 appropriates funds to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to more effectively enforce the state’s current housing laws and regulations. Other measures included in the Bring California Home housing package include, among other things, a $4 billion housing bond announced by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) and Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles), $1 billion to extend the CalVet Home Loan Program which is set to expire soon, and a measure to spur production of housing on infill sites around public transportation.

Assemblymember Miguel Santiago is the Chair of the Assembly’s Committee on Communications and Conveyance. He represents the 53rd District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon.