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Senior Advocates Press Governor to Sign Housing Bill

A new survey shows high housing costs are preventing a majority of working Californians from saving enough for retirement. (Seemann/Morguefile)
A new survey shows high housing costs are preventing a majority of working Californians from saving enough for retirement. (Seemann/Morguefile)
September 21, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Senior advocates are asking Gov. Jerry Brown to do something about the housing crisis - and are pushing him to start by signing Senate Bill 2.

The bill would increase the fee for recording certain types of real estate documents, excluding the sale of commercial and residential property. It would raise about $250 million a year - money that would then be put toward affordable housing.

AARP California state director Nancy McPherson said the median price of a home is now north of $450,000 - more than twice the national average. But in major metropolitan areas, the prices are even higher.

"If you look at the Bay Area, Silicon Valley, where the median price of a home is $1.1 million, and in Los Angeles County, where the median price is pushing $700,000, it's astounding what it costs to live here compared to other parts of the country,” McPherson said.

AARP recently conducted a survey called "California Dreaming, or Struggling." It polled working adults ages 30-70, and found more than half say they're paying so much for housing they can't save for retirement. And 61 percent have considered moving out of state because of the high housing costs.

McPherson said AARP is also trying to combat the not-in-my-backyard syndrome - where people support affordable housing in theory, but balk when it's about to be built in their area.

"How can we help residents understand the benefit of having varied housing stock that supports people at all levels who provide services that they need and want in their community?” She said. "How can they afford to live in their neighborhoods?"

SB 2 is part of a series of bills aimed at addressing various aspects of the housing crunch. The governor has until next week to sign the bill, veto it or let it become law without a signature.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - CA