Affordable housing advocates should take part in these two California conversations

580 200 Mary Ellen Shay

Affordable housing complex in San Diego (Photo Credit: SDIHF)

Affordable housing finance and development is a big topic in the State Capitol this year, and it is also a big topic for affordable housing advocates around the state. With state and federal funding for affordable housing continuing to be unpredictable and inadequate, robust housing solutions on the local level have proven to be the most productive.

Two groups advocating for more solutions — the California Economic Summit and the California Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies — are actually holding slightly overlapping conferences this year, with CAL-ALHFA hosting it’s two-day event in Sacramento on November 1-2, and the California Economic Summit holding its event on November 2-3 in San Diego.

The CAL-ALHFA events include:


Local Agencies: Managing the Complex World of Planning, Land Use, and Affordable Housing

Local Agencies: Understanding and Using Affordable Housing Resources
Sacramento, CA

Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 8:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Pre-Conference Information



Local Responsibility – Local Control
Thursday, November 2, 2017, 8:00 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Conference Registration

The Economic Summit events include:

2017 California Economic Summit


San Diego, CA

Thursday, November 2, 10:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday, November 3, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Summit Registration

The Economic Summit and CAL-ALHFA share a strong commitment to affordable housing, and also recognition that most of the successful efforts to develop affordable housing resources this year have been locally generated. Indeed, the only new housing resources developed in 2016 were locally generated – the results of successful local bond and tax measures in Alameda County, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County and the cities of Berkeley, Oakland and Los Angeles. All told, more than $5 billion for affordable housing development were generated locally. New money generated through state or federal sources so far — ZERO.

The Big Three – the Governor, the Assembly Speaker and the Senate President Pro Tem are currently finalizing and promoting a package of housing legislation.

The California Economic Summit recently wrote a letter to Governor and Legislative Leaders urging them to move forward with investments in affordable housing and innovative ideas to connect housing goals with accelerated approvals.

CAL-ALHFA agrees. The Legislature and the Administration must come together and do the very difficult work of getting two-thirds votes for SB 2, Senator Atkins’ Permanent Source Bill; getting SB 3, Senator Beall’s General Obligation Housing Bond signed by the Governor; and making SB 35 a workable streamlining bill.

By the time our conferences are held in November, we will know more details on how the affordable housing package will shape up. Even if the main housing package described above as well as several other very important bills, including AB1505 (Inclusionary Zoning), are enacted, we will still be a very long way from achieving our goal of One Million More Homes. We will both be offering many presentations on how to get more housing built. Some of these topics include:

  • Developing Affordable Housing for the Missing Middle – Housing for households up to 150% AMI
  • New Housing Financing Initiatives
  • Local Initiatives – Local Housing Bonds, Inclusionary Zoning, Fair Housing Implementation
  • The Housing Accountability Act – A Hope or a Joke?
  • Review and Analysis of State and Federal Actions and Recommendations on What Should Happen Next

Our conferences also feature a “Who’s Who” of affordable housing experts, including Senator Toni Atkins and Carol Galante, the I. Donald Terner Distinguished Professor of Affordable Housing and Urban Policy at UC Berkeley

We urge you to take advantage of both of these informative and vital conversations in November. These will be days of empowerment for all affordable housing advocates.

Mary Ellen Shay is executive director of the California Association of Local Housing Finance Agencies.


Mary Ellen Shay

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