California Housing Advocates Release 10-Year Housing Policy Framework

The California Housing Partnership and Housing California—both NLIHC state partners—recently unveiled Roadmap Home 2030, a comprehensive framework of equity-centered, evidence-based policy solutions to create structural change in how California addresses housing and homelessness over the next decade. Roadmap Home 2030 was developed in partnership with leading policy experts, researchers, and advocates from across the state, prominently including the California Budget and Policy Center.

Roadmap Home 2030 is based on a vision that over the next 10 years, California can end homelessness, create affordable homes for those who need them the most, ensure that Californians can stay in their homes, and advance racial equity and economic inclusion. To secure this vision, Roadmap Home 2030 outlines four primary goals:

  1. Create 1.2 million new affordable homes for low-income Californians, including for those experiencing homelessness.
  2. Protect 1 million low-income renter households from losing their homes, including more than 300,000 who face eviction each year.
  3. End homelessness for more than 150,000 Californians who are unhoused every night and over 400,000 who are unhoused throughout the year.
  4. Close racial equity gaps in housing and homelessness.

The development of Roadmap Home 2030 was guided by the following core principles:

  • Reversing historic discrimination in housing policy by advancing equity
  • Approaching housing as a human right
  • Creating a path to affordable homeownership opportunities for those historically marginalized
  • Grounding solutions in and created from the experience of people most impacted
  • Grounding solutions in evidence
  • Addressing homelessness through a Housing First approach
  • Focusing on human-centered approaches to unsheltered homelessness
  • Incorporating affordable housing opportunities in resource-rich neighborhoods
  • Building cross-sector partnerships
  • Collaborating with public and private sectors and local, state, and federal agencies
  • Prioritizing organizations and housing developers which are led or owned by people of color
  • Ensuring that there are homes for all—including middle-income Californians
  • Advocating for federal funding and legislation to complement state efforts

The framework and policy package were shaped by a Policy Advisory Committee and a Research Advisory Committee—both of which are comprised of a diverse group of advocates and organizations. The Policy Advisory Committee includes representatives from affordable housing, tenants’ rights, homelessness, health, and public policy sectors. The Research Advisory Committee consists of experts on housing and homelessness from both California universities and other local and national research groups. The policy priorities and research analysis were reviewed by the Racial Equity Task Force who ensured that the analysis and policy approach advanced racial justice.

Additionally, to ensure that policy solutions effectively advance racial equity, advocates outlined policy design and implementation recommendations centered on racial equity:

  • Create a statewide racial equity framework for investment
  • Ensure that solutions are grounded in and emerge from the experience of our most affected communities
  • Extend benefits and protections regardless of immigration status
  • Use, develop, and publish disaggregate data
  • Expand capacity to robustly monitor and enforce existing and future state housing laws and regulations
  • Promote community control and public ownership of land

The organizations involved in Roadmap Home 2030 also released 12 policy priorities to urge California state legislators to prioritize housing this year and to make measurable progress towards the organizations’ goals for 2030. These priorities fall within five core areas: invest in values, promote fairness, reimagine growth, protect people, and create efficiency and accountability.

The policy priorities for the 2021-2022 legislative session are:

  1. Initiate a $10 billion statewide housing bond to fund five more years of affordable housing for low-income families and people experiencing homelessness. This bond would fund 80,000 new affordable rental homes and support for 60,000 first-time home buyers. Experts estimate that 406,000 people would be served each year if passed.
  2. Fund the conversion of commercial properties and rental properties occupied by low-income households into affordable homes. Provide tenants and affordable housing organizations the first right of offer on rental homes that are for sale.  It is estimated this provision would preserve 90,000 affordable homes and serve 261,000 people per year.
  3. Shift savings from planned and future state prison closures to fund housing and services for formerly incarcerated Californians experiencing homelessness. The savings would total several hundred million dollars in the near term and around $1.5 billion annually by 2024-2025.
  4. Make the $500 million expansion of the state Low Income Housing Tax Credit permanent. Experts estimate that this tax credit would fund 70,000 new affordable homes and service 203,000 people per year. 
  5. Build on the Bring CA Home campaign by permanently funding a flexible range of homelessness solutions, including rental assistance, interim housing, and permanent housing and services, by recapturing $2.4 billion per year lost through corporate tax loopholes. This could fund 48,000 new affordable homes and provide housing and services for 168,000 people experiencing homelessness each year.
  6. Lower the supermajority approval threshold required for housing ballot measures to 55% (the same requirement for educational facilities), generating approximately $3 billion in local revenue over the coming decade. The additional local revenue could fund an estimated 29,000 new affordable homes and serve 84,000 people per year.
  7. End exclusionary and racially discriminatory zoning by holding local governments accountable regarding implementation of current land use laws and by allowing increases in building height and density for mixed-income and affordable housing developments. Increases to building height and density could allow for 125,000 new affordable homes—at no public cost—and 500,000 new market-rate homes.
  8. Allow new apartment and condominium developments to be built in commercial and mixed-use zones when at least 20% of the homes are affordable to low-income households.
  9. Speed up affordable housing production and eliminate inequitable misuse of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by exempting new housing developments, including Project Homekey hotel conversions, that are 100% affordable to low-income households, while continuing to address environmental justice concerns.
  10. Provide ongoing eviction protections and assistance to renters by creating a standing state of-emergency Renter and Small Landlord Resiliency Emergency Program that launches upon declaration of a crisis, based on lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic and major wildfires.
  11. Increase the speed and efficiency of the delivery of emergency housing assistance by creating a revolving state fund to bridge the timing of disaster relief. A state fund would help an estimated 17,000 homes rebuild several years faster and help 48,000 people per year.
  12. Speed the construction of affordable homes and reduce uncertainty and costs by streamlining the award of state funding for affordable housing developments receiving financing from four different state agencies into one decision-making process. By speeding up the process, an estimated 46,000 new affordable homes would be built, and 133,000 people would be served each year.

To secure the policy solutions and meet the goals outlined in the Roadmap Home 2030, organizations are engaging in several advocacy efforts including an email campaign to state officials, building an organizational coalition which endorses the framework, and building awareness and support through social media.

“Past attempts at solving our homeless and housing crises have been well-intentioned but lacked two key ingredients: a clear destination and a map showing us how we get there through a sustained, long-term effort,” said Matt Schwartz, president and CEO of the California Housing Partnership. “The Roadmap Home provides both by weaving together the best ideas in the Capitol with bold, new evidence-based approaches to speed up and lower the cost of providing affordable homes for everyone at the scale we need to meet these challenges in earnest.”

“As we see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, now is exactly the time to take stock of the existing inequities that have been exacerbated – and how to resolve them,” said Lisa Hershey, executive director of Housing California. “Whether it’s earthquake safety, a reliable energy grid, overcoming drought or racial injustice, Californians have always proven not only resilient but also able to use monumental moments to reshape our state for good – IF we have a plan. The Roadmap Home is the right plan at the right time to unlock homes, health and prosperity in thriving, sustainable communities for all.”

To learn more about Roadmap Home 2030, including how to become involved, visit: