New CA Bill Empowers School Districts to Build Affordable Housing

One of California’s most recent bills has been given the green light to boost teacher housing projects in the state. Workforce housing has previously been excluded from low-income housing tax credits due to strict equal housing laws, but AB 3308 loosens those restrictions for developments built on school district-owned land. The bill, which received bipartisan support, adds to earlier legislative measures intended to empower school districts to provide subsidized housing in areas of the state where high costs of living can cause problems hiring and retaining quality teaching staff.

What exactly has changed?

There’s nothing new regarding California’s low-income housing tax credits themselves, but AB 3308 allows the use of existing tax credits for school district-led projects that plan to restrict or prioritize occupancy for school employees. The bill also clarifies that schools can work with local governments to create mixed low-income housing; that is, for both teachers and the general public. The effect will be to encourage new affordable housing developments on existing school district land, as well as potentially reducing the rent costs for teachers living in those developments.

Why was this bill needed?

California’s housing crisis is an ongoing problem for many in the state, but it has particular implications for school districts and the teachers that work for them. Affordable workforce housing can help make school districts more competitive in the hiring market and provides much-needed support for essential employees. While this solution has become more popular with school districts in recent years, the shock that COVID-19 has had on California’s economy means districts are facing even bigger financial hurdles than in the past. For that reason, AB 3308 provides a much-needed financial boost to school districts and their employees.

To learn more about how your school district can start planning to build affordable housing, check out our other blog posts or contact us to find out how DCG Strategies can help.