Housing Shortage: New Report Shows How California Cities and Counties Stack Up

Posted on February 05, 2018 in Uncategorized | Add Your Voice
Housing Shortage: New Report Shows How California Cities and Counties Stack Up
Nearly all the cities and counties in California — 97.6 percent — are failing to approve the housing needed to keep pace with population growth and will be subject to a new law that aims to fast-track development, according to a report released by the state Thursday.

The state’s housing department released lists showing that more than 500 cities and counties are not on track to meet guidelines for the development of market-rate housing, affordable housing or both. Those jurisdictions will now lose the ability to reject certain types of development projects under legislation that was signed into law last fall.

Only 13 cities and counties, including Foster City, Hillsborough, San Anselmo and Beverly Hills, made the grade.

“When 97 percent of cities are failing to meet their housing goals,” the bill’s author, Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, said in a statement Thursday, “it’s clear we need to change how we approach housing in California.”

Senate Bill 35, which Wiener carried last year, kicks in when cities or counties lag behind on annual progress reports. It applies only to projects that comply with a city’s zoning rules, pay the prevailing wage, and ensure that at least 10 percent of the new units are affordable, or priced below market rate. (The prevailing-wage requirement only applies to projects with more than 10 units.)

read more: The Mercury News

Senate Bill Would Reverse FHLB Membership Rule
Three senators have unveiled a bill that would allow captive insurance companies to regain full membership in the Federal Home Loan Bank System.

The Housing Opportunity Mortgage Expansion Act, sponsored by Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Tim Scott, R-S.C., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., would reverse a January 2016 decision by the Federal Housing Finance Agency that restricted certain captive insurers from borrowing from the Home Loan banks. A similar bill was introduced in the House last year by Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Ill.

The FHFA final rule was aimed at stopping mortgage real estate investment trusts from creating captive insurers to gain Home Loan bank membership and access to low-cost funding from the regional Home Loan banks.

The FHFA phased in the membership and borrowing restrictions to soften the impact on the 11 regional Federal Home Loan banks.

“The FHFA rule in question would gut the Chicago FHLB’s membership and funding source, which could fundamentally impair its ability to support affordable housing options and small business lending — two services vital to a strengthening local and state economies,” Duckworth said in a Jan. 31 press release.

read more: American Banker

Mulvaney Shakes Up Consumer Bureau Office That Polices Racism in Lending
The acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has stripped an office devoted to lending discrimination of its enforcement power, according to an email released Thursday.

Acting CFPB chief Mick Mulvaney told bureau staff in a Tuesday email that he would transfer the agency’s Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity to a department under his purview in an effort to streamline the agency.

Mulvaney said the fair lending office will focus on consumer education and advocacy under control of the office of the director. The bureau’s supervision, enforcement and fair lending division, a separate unit outside of the director’s office, will take over policing the lending market for racial discrimination.

“These changes are intended to help make the Bureau more efficient, effective, and accountable, and I plan to seek both internal and external input as I continue to evaluate how we work,” Mulvaney wrote, saying he didn’t expect layoffs from the move but also could not rule them out.

read more: The Hill

Job and Wage Gains Deliver a Promising Start for the Year
As the unemployment rate has fallen in recent months and the economy has roared, one central question has bedeviled the American job market: Where is the wage growth?

New data on Friday suggested an answer: It is here, and it is now.

Average hourly earnings jumped 2.9 percent in January from a year earlier, the Labor Department said Friday, the latest sign that the long, slow economic recovery is at last reaching Americans’ pocketbooks. Separate data released earlier this week showed that private-sector wages and salaries rose 2.8 percent in the final three months of 2017 compared with a year earlier, the fastest growth since the recession.

“People have been wondering when the wages are going to start to rise,” said Catherine Barrera, chief economist of the online job marketplace ZipRecruiter. “I think that over the first six months of this year, we’re really going to start to see the wages rise.”

read more: NY Times

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Cecilia Panozzo
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