Bill Enacted to Create New Housing Solutions Agency for Los Angeles County

One of the bills signed into law last week was Senate Bill 679 (Kamlager—Los Angeles), which creates the Los Angeles County Housing Solutions Agency (LACAHSA), a new independent regional agency with the authority to provide funding and technical assistance for affordable housing throughout the County and its 88 cities. Importantly, LACAHSA will have the authority to issue bonds and raise revenue through a variety of sources, including bonds (general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, mortgage revenue bonds, and private activity bonds), parcel taxes, gross receipts business license taxes, or a documentary transfer tax. All of these sources would require a vote of the public and/or a nexus study that identifies the linkage between the tax being charged and how the funds will be used.

The bill’s author stressed the challenge of addressing the County’s affordable housing needs with so many different agencies working in silos. She advocated for the creation of LACAHSA to centralize both affordable housing funding and implementation efforts across the County. While LACAHSA will provide funding and technical assistance, land use authority will stay with individual jurisdictions.

To jumpstart this new agency, the Legislative Analyst’s Office has projected the need for at least $1 million annually for startup costs and initial staffing until a revenue measure is passed by the voters and LACAHSA is self-sufficient. It is expected that this funding will come from the General Fund.