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Legislative Dateline: October 2, 2008

Posted By egp On October 2, 2008 @ 12:07 am In General News,Legislative Update | No Comments

Incorporating and Annexation Easing Bill Signed into Law
As of Monday, communities throughout the state will get the financial assistance needed to form new cities or annex land under new legislation signed by the governor and introduced by Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero (D-East Los Angeles).  East Los Angeles is among the neighborhoods that will benefit from Romero’s Senate Bill 301.

Prior to SB 301, state law required communities to complete incorporation or annexation by July 2009 to receive funding to cover costs associated with forming new cities or expanding into new territory.  SB 301 eliminates the deadline allowing financial possibilities for several communities to proceed with their plans, including incorporation efforts of Alamo in Contra Costa County, Eastvale in Riverside County, Rowland Heights in San Gabriel Valley and Rio Linda Elverta in Sacramento County, along with East Los Angeles.

Governor Passes Sub-prime Mortgage Relief Bill
Senate Bill 870, authored by Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles), passed last week. SB 870 was created to address the need to act quickly by eliminating the requirement to adopt new regulations, which could delay implementation by six months or longer.

SB 870 helps to quickly administer the Federal Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HR 3221) by streamlining the process by which the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) implements a $1.1 billion program aimed at refinancing the loans of distressed borrowers with sub-prime loans.

The measure allows CalFHA to establish the program by action of its Board of Directors following a publicly-noticed hearing, instead of regulation, a process that could take up to six months.  CalFHA will also be able to assist borrowers with adjustable mortgage rates who are at risk of losing their homes by way of $11 billion in new tax-exempt housing bond authority outlined in HR 3221 only available trough 2010.

The Los Angeles City Council recently joined their counterparts in Inglewood, Carson, Gardena and Culver City in lending their support for SB 870.

Barrier to Housing for Homeless is Eliminated as SB 1341 is Signed into Law
SB 1341 by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) passed into law on Sunday allowing homeless individuals on permanent or temporary assistance to save money so they can pay deposits for apartment/housing rentals through a CalWORKS program.

Prior to SB 1341, CalWORKS, a program offering one-time Homeless Assistance benefit for recipient families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, prohibits individuals who receive permanent or temporary homeless assistance from having more than $100 in their savings account.  While CalWORKS does allow for the creation of a restricted account of up to $5,000 the money can only be used for job training, education, starting a business or purchasing a home. Overall the program discourages families from stabilizing.

SB 1341 was created to maximize the effectiveness of the Homeless Assistance benefit and increase family self-sufficiency to avoid an episode of homelessness by allowing families to save for realistic entry costs of rental housing.


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