Governor to Partner With Cities to Develop Affordable Housing on State Owned Property

Lake County Record Bee
April 12, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Following a review of every parcel of state-owned property to determine viability as possible housing sites, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Thursday that the administration will partner with local cities to release at least three Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for new housing construction to aid California families within a year, with the first parcel identified and an RFP issued by Sept. 30, 2019.

“Housing is a basic human right, and in California, we simply don’t have enough of it,” said Newsom. “The cost of housing and rising rents are squeezing family budgets. My administration is using every tool at our disposal to combat the housing affordability crisis our families face. We’re working hand in hand with local leaders who are stepping up for their communities and pushing for affordability for their residents.”

In January, Newsom signed an executive order to develop affordable housing on excess state lands. The executive order directed the Department of General Services (DGS) to create an inventory of all state-owned lands that may be available for potential development no later than April 30, 2019.

Today, more than two weeks before that deadline, DGS has developed an initial inventory of vacant state-owned parcels, utilizing county assessor data. A county-by-county map of the entire property inventory is available here.

The Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and DGS have developed a screening tool to further evaluate these state properties. They will work with other state agencies and local governments in the coming weeks to determine viability of specific parcels for affordable housing development.

The governor also announced today that the administration has partnered with the Mayors of Chico, Fresno, Oakland, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco to closely examine the parcels identified in their cities for expedited development of much-needed new housing. The governor invites other local jurisdictions to partner with the state in this endeavor.

In consultation with HCD and in close coordination with local government leaders, DGS will issue three RFPs within a year, with the first parcel identified and an RFP issued by September 30, 2019, and accept proposals from developers of affordable housing interested in entering into low-cost, long-term ground leases of parcels on the priority map.

“The Governor’s Excess Property plan for developing affordable housing will help to rebuild Chico, post-Camp Fire. Real Estate is one of our most vexing problems and the Governor’s proposal speaks volumes to the partnership between his administration and local government. Between budgets pledging billions for housing and housing affordability, it is clear this governor is committed to housing. But staff at all levels are demonstrating just how resilient and creative we can all be and those efforts are bearing fruit,” said Chico Mayor Randall Stone.

“Fresno welcomes the opportunity to work with Governor Newsom and his administration on strategies to address the state’s housing crisis. By exploring possibilities such as using excess state land for housing, Governor Newsom is showing that he is willing to think outside of the box to find solutions. As Fresno’s mayor, I look forward to working with the governor to see how these ideas can benefit not only this community, but the greater San Joaquin Valley and the entire state of California,” said Fresno Mayor Lee Brand.

Previously, in his State of the State address, Newsom called on cities and counties across the state to do their part to address California’s housing crisis. In his speech, he lifted up local leaders who are going above and beyond to meet housing demand and highlighted the $1.75 billion in major assistance and incentives that his budget would provide to municipalities that plan and zone for housing production.

The governor has also offered the state’s assistance to cities whose housing plans are currently in violation of California housing law – all while acknowledging that cities whose plans remain out of compliance will be held to account.

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