Housing advocates hoping for encouragement in the state’s revised 2017-18 budget didn’t get it Thursday from Gov. Jerry Brown.
In releasing a revised budget that noted a moderately more positive financial position than the initial budget in January, Brown said allocating more money for housing wouldn’t come before reform.
More than 100 bills related to housing have been introduced in the Legislature this year. But Brown said he was still skeptical reform will happen.
“I think it’s always difficult,” he said. “People rail against red tape, but they become very accustomed to it. They even become addicted to it.”
Brown’s revised budget presentation did not include details on what kinds of reform he wanted to see to speed housing development. Housing experts, however, have pointed to high costs in California, regulation and especially roadblocks thrown up using the California Environmental Quality Act as severely restraining the state’s new housing supply.
General fund expenditures for state business, consumer services and housing programs are pegged at $382 million in the revised budget proposal, down $112 million from the 2016-17 budget. With $856 million in special funds and $414 million in bond funds for that area, the total in the 2017-18 budget would be $1.65 billion.
The budget revision does include policy changes for a state program to provide transitional housing for recently released state prisoners. That appears to be the only notable change outlined for state housing policy within the budget.