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California Legislature

Gov. Jerry Brown, California legislative leaders commit to push an affordable housing plan next month

A gardener works in the yard at the former Linda Vista Hospital that is now affordable housing. (Christina House / For The Times)
A gardener works in the yard at the former Linda Vista Hospital that is now affordable housing. (Christina House / For The Times)

With time running out before lawmakers break for summer recess, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders announced Monday that they were postponing a vote on a package of bills to address the state’s housing affordability crisis until August.

“The package of legislation we are all working on will help ensure Californians won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to have a roof over their head,” Brown, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) said in a joint statement.

The package of housing bills, the statement said, will include ongoing funding for low-income development, a bond on the 2018 statewide ballot and regulatory changes to make it easier to build housing. Notable is Brown’s support for a bond measure, which he has been resistant to in the past.

“This comprehensive approach does what's long been needed in California — build new homes and improve access to housing,” the statement said.

The bond will require a two-thirds supermajority vote of the Legislature to pass and it is likely so will a decision to create a new funding source for low-income projects.

Some Democratic lawmakers had pushed for a vote on a housing package prior to leaving for the summer at the end of the week. But a deal to extend cap and trade, the state’s signature program to combat climate change, has controlled the discussion at the Capitol. Legislators were debating the cap-and-trade extension when Brown, De León and Rendon released their statement.

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