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AB-2743 California School Employee Housing Assistance Pilot Program.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/20/2020 09:00 PM
AB2743:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2743


Introduced by Assembly Members McCarty and Berman

February 20, 2020


An act to add Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 50570) to Part 2 of Division 31 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to housing.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2743, as introduced, McCarty. California School Employee Housing Assistance Pilot Program.
Existing law establishes the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and requires it to administer, among other housing programs, the Multifamily Housing Program, pursuant to which HCD provides deferred payment loans to pay for the eligible costs of development for specified types of housing projects, as provided. Existing law, the Teacher Housing Act of 2016, authorizes a school district to establish and implement programs that address the housing needs of teachers and school district employees who face challenges in securing affordable housing, as provided.
This bill, upon appropriation in the annual Budget Act, would require HCD, in collaboration with the State Department of Education, to administer a competitive grant program to provide planning grants of up to $100,000 each to up to 10 qualified school districts, as defined, that partner with a developer to provide affordable school employee rental housing, as defined, to be used for specified purposes in connection with an affordable school employee rental housing project. The bill would require a qualified school district that receives a grant to submit an annual report and, no later than 3 years after receiving a grant, a final report that includes specified information. Upon completion of the pilot program established under the bill, the bill would require HCD, in collaboration with the State Department of Education and the Office of Public School Construction, to create a toolkit for school districts to use to develop strategies for providing affordable school employee rental housing.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 50570) is added to Part 2 of Division 31 of the Health and Safety Code, to read:
CHAPTER  4. California School Employee Housing Assistance Pilot Program

50570.
 The Legislature finds and declares the following:
(a) This chapter is necessary in order to provide affordable rental housing opportunities for certificated and classified school district employees.
(b) According to a recent study, 89 percent of school districts report experiencing a teacher shortage.
(c) There has been a 70-percent drop in enrollment in teacher education programs over the last decade.
(d) Research shows that housing costs, along with student debt and low salaries, contribute significantly to the teacher shortage.
(e) Given their low salaries, certificated and classified school personnel are unable to afford to live in the school districts where they work, particularly in high-cost areas of the state.
(f) Certificated and classified school employees who work in high-cost areas of the state are required to commute for hours to and from work.
(g) Such long commutes negatively impact both the physical and mental health of these school employees.
(h) Many of these school personnel leave the profession because of the toll it takes on their personal well-being and that of their families.
(i) School personnel are an important component to creating and maintaining healthy and vibrant communities.
(j) Students and parents in these school communities suffer when the employees in their schools do not live in the community.
(k) The state can play a key role in incentivizing school districts to partner with developers to build affordable housing on district-owned land that is unused or underutilized.

50571.
 For purposes of this chapter:
(a) “Affordable school employee rental housing” means rental housing for which both of the following apply:
(1) The monthly rental cost for a dwelling unit in the rental housing does not exceed 50 percent of the market rate for comparable housing in the area.
(2) The rental housing is reserved for school district employees who meet specific area median income limitations defined by the qualified school district, not to exceed 30 percent of the area median income determined pursuant to Section 50093.
(b) “Feasible” means that a project may be accomplished in a successful manner within a reasonable period of time, taking into account economic, environmental, social, and technological factors.
(c) “Qualified school district” means a school district that satisfies all of the following:
(1) The school district has in its possession unused or underutilized land that can be used for the purposes of design, construction, financing, and long-term operation of a housing development for school district employees.
(2) The school district has demonstrated to the State Department of Education that it is experiencing a teacher shortage based upon data that includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(A) A high percentage of teachers not teaching in the academic subjects or grade levels that the teachers were trained to teach.
(B) A high percentage of teachers with emergency, provisional, or temporary certification or licensing.
(C) A high turnover rate of school district employees.
(d) “Underutilized land” means property owned by a qualified school district that is not currently being used and for which the qualified school district has no planned use in its long-range plan.
(e) “School district employee” means any certificated and classified employee that works at a school site within the jurisdictional boundaries of a qualified school district.

50572.
 (a) Upon appropriation of funds for purposes of this chapter, the department, in collaboration with the State Department of Education, shall administer a competitive grant program to provide planning grants of up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) to up to 10 qualified school districts that partner with a developer to provide affordable school employee rental housing.
(b) In awarding grants pursuant to this chapter to qualified school districts, the department shall ensure that the selection process meets the following requirements:
(1) To the extent feasible, ensures a reasonable geographic distribution of funds.
(2) Requires that the proposed affordable school employee rental housing project be feasible.
(3) Requires that the planning activities related to the proposed affordable school employee rental housing project be reasonable compared to the costs of comparable projects in the area.
(4) The proposed affordable school employee rental housing project leverages other funds where they are available.
(c) A qualified school district that receives a grant pursuant to this chapter may use those grant moneys for the following purposes in connection with an affordable school employee rental housing project:
(1) Feasibility studies.
(2) Engineering studies.
(3) Financing studies.
(4) Environmental impact studies.
(5) Architectural plans.
(6) Application fees.
(7) Legal services.
(8) Permitting costs.
(9) Bonding.
(10) Site preparation.
(d) A qualified school district that receives a grant pursuant to this chapter shall submit an annual report, and a final report at the end of the planning grant process, but in no event later than three years after the receipt of a grant pursuant to this chapter, to the department, the State Department of Education, and the Office of Public School Construction that includes the following information:
(1) The use of grant moneys by the qualified school district.
(2) The progress of the qualified school district toward obtaining other private or public funding.
(3) A construction timeline for the affordable school employee rental housing project.
(4) Recommendations for future state assistance in constructing affordable school employee rental housing.
(e) Upon completion of the pilot program established pursuant to this chapter and receipt of a final report pursuant to subdivision (d) from each qualified school district that received a grant pursuant to this chapter, the department, in collaboration with the State Department of Education and the Office of Public School Construction, shall create a toolkit for school districts to use to develop strategies for providing affordable school employee rental housing.

50573.
 For purposes of making the computations required by Section 8 of Article XVI of the California Constitution, an appropriation of funds for purposes of this chapter shall not be deemed to be “General Fund revenues appropriated for school districts,” as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 41202 of the Education Code, for the 2020–21 fiscal year and annually thereafter, and shall not be included within the “total allocations to school districts and community college districts from General Fund proceeds of taxes appropriated pursuant to Article XIII B,” as defined in subdivision (e) of Section 41202 of the Education Code, for the 2020–21 fiscal year and annually thereafter.

50574.
 Implementation of this chapter shall be subject to appropriation by the Legislature for the purposes of this chapter in the Budget Act or another statute.