California Bill Would Fund Low-Income Housing by Charging for Real Estate Documents

A controversial bill working its way through the California Legislature would charge a $75 for recorded real estate documents, such as refinance, mechanic's lien, and foreclosure, to fund low- and moderate-income homes.

"A state bill seeks to replace some of those funds and create more than 10,000 low- and moderate-income homes annually through a $75 fee for recording real estate documents," reports Andrew Khouri. "The bill, SB 391, would replace a portion of lost funds, $300 million to $720 million annually, depending how many documents are recorded. Those involved in a sale are exempt from the $75 fee."

Critics say the fee would add unfairly costs for homeowners and businesses while returning minimal benefit. 

Supporters point to lack of available funding to build needed low- and moderate-income housing in the state. According to the article: "State and federal funding for below-market housing in California has plummeted 79% over the last five years, according to a recent study from the California Housing Partnership, which supports the bill. California's median inflation-adjusted rent, meanwhile, jumped more than 20% to $1,209 from 2000 to '12, according to census data."

Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) introduced SB 391, also known as the California Homes and Jobs Act, in 2013. The Senate passed the bill during last year's session, and the bill is now in the Assembly.

Full Story: Bill seeks to ease California's affordability housing crisis

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