Affordability/Housing

The 24th Assembly District is a wonderful place to live. Our economy is strong, many communities have high-performing public schools, and our open space and coastline are breathtaking. But these positive qualities have combined to create a housing and affordability crisis that we must address before it threatens to undo much of the progress we’ve made. Rents have increased 43-63% across the district over the past five years.

Marc has tackled this challenge head-on in Palo Alto, including:

  • Leading the effort on the City Council to put a plan in place to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2018.

  • Opposing the city’s vehicle habitation ban so people with nowhere else to go could sleep in their cars rather than on the streets. The ban was eventually overturned.

  • In order to foster a community discussion on the housing crisis, Marc helped create a group of Palo Alto residents focused on finding solutions to the housing crisis.

  • Protecting Palo Alto’s small businesses by prioritizing ground floor retail in the city’s commercial corridors.

Solving this crisis means taking a balanced approach that prioritizes affordable housing, transit-oriented development, investing in public transportation, and better pay and benefits for workers, including:

  • Increasing the state affordable housing tax credit. Last year the legislature passed two bills with overwhelming bipartisan support, Assembly Bill 35 and Senate Bill 377, that would have increased the affordable housing tax credit by $500 million, leveraged an additional $1 billion in federal funds, and increased the value of the state affordable housing tax credit by 40%. Unfortunately, Governor Brown vetoed the legislation. California must increase the amount of affordable housing tax credits to a level capable of sustaining necessary development.

  • Passing an affordable housing bond. In 2014, Californians approved Proposition 41 to provide $600 million in funding for affordable housing for veterans, and last year San Francisco passed a $310 million affordable housing bond. We need to broaden that approach to provide funding and financing for affordable housing projects across the state. We should pass a statewide affordable housing bond measure, and by 2028 we should be well on our way to meeting current and future affordable housing needs.

  • Improving access to child care. The skyrocketing cost of housing is exacerbated for working families by the expense and lack of access to high quality child care services. Without subsidies, child care is only affordable for 20% of California families, and current subsidies often aren’t enough to make up the difference. We can close the gap through tax credits for employer-funded child care, expanded subsidies, and finally offering universal preschool. By 2028, high quality child care should be accessible and affordable for every child in California.

 

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