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Lawmakers call for Newsom to increase funding in homeownership programs

Both Republican and Democrat lawmakers took to the steps of the Capitol Tuesday. They said homeownership provides economic stability and creates generational wealth.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Both Republicans and Democrats are asking Governor Newsom to revise his budget to include more funding for affordable homeownership.

Newsom’s budget included about $70 million for affordable housing homeownership programs. On Tuesday, lawmakers called for at least $600 million. Habitat for Humanity of California said it would be in addition to rental housing.  

However unlike renting, lawmakers and CEOs said homeownership provides economic stability and creates generational wealth. 

“Families who own homes are able to build equity and accumulate wealth over time, which they can use to invest in the success of future generations,” said Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino). 

But in California, the American dream is slipping further away. 

“Housing fees and an ever-growing web of regulations continue to drive the cost of construction up to the point that low or middle-income projects simply do not get built," Democratic Assemblymember Tim Grayson said. "This disproportionately impacts first-time homebuyers, especially communities of color and working-class.”

They said the median price of a home in California is expected to surpass $830,000 this year.

"Increasing the supply of affordable homeownership is essential to permanently solving our housing crisis," Habitat for Humanity of California Executive Director Debbie Arakel said.

The request, which is sponsored by Habitat for Humanity, The California Association of Realtors, Etc., would put more money into programs that help with down-payment assistance, the construction of affordable homes, homeowners' insurance for those who protect their homes against wildfires, and more. 

“We are grateful that this call to action has been heard inside the Capitol,” said Otto Catrina, California Association of Realtors president.

It’s an effort that is supported by both sides of the aisle. 

"It's an honor to stand here with a bipartisan request that we use some of this great surplus, this record surplus that we have here in this state to invest in homeownership," Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher said.

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