Coalition Opposing AB 199 Includes Prolific Civil Rights Leaders, Affordable Housing Advocates, Hispanic Chambers of Commerce

The growing opposition to Assemblyman Kansen Chu’s (D – San Jose) legislation to subject private residential housing projects to prevailing wage today announced a formal coalition – the Coalition for Affordable, Reliable and Equitable Housing or CARE Housing. The coalition members include a broad group of organizations and individuals that includes the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce; noted Latino civil rights pioneer Herman Gallegos, who helped found the National Council of La Raza; retired California Supreme Court Justice and civil rights lawyer, the Honorable Cruz Reynoso; and the Honorable Joe Coto, a former member of the California State Assembly who also served as Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus.

“AB 199 is a terrible and short-sighted idea. Instead of working towards a comprehensive solution to the housing crisis and expanding homeownership opportunities for all income levels, this bill benefits some at the expense of all. We can and must do better to close the wealth gap and reducing housing prices so that more income levels can use homeownership to build wealth is essential to that effort,” said Robert Apodaca, Vice President of California Community Builders.

CARE Housing recently launched its web site – www.careabouthousing.org – where coalition members are urged to sign the petition against AB 199, send a letter to their state legislator expressing their opposition to the bill, and to share on social media their reasons for opposition.

“If you make housing more expensive, you are going to drive more people into economic distress. When housing prices go up, families are forced into terrible decisions between making rent or buying food or medicine. This is a crisis that must be addressed and AB 199 makes it worse by being counterproductive to helping families make ends meet,” said Frank Montes, Chairman of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce.

According to building experts that testified at the bill’s first committee, AB 199 could increase building costs by an additional $44-77 per square foot and a 2016 Beacon Economics report showed that a construction project’s costs in Los Angeles would increase by as much as 46% due to a prevailing wage mandate. With California grappling with a housing crisis due to a severe lack of supply, AB 199 could further drive up costs, which could slow or stop the completion of needed housing projects.

The coalition list can be found here.

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About the Coalition for Affordable, Reliable and Equitable Housing

The CARE Housing coalition consists of a broad, diverse group of organizations that strongly oppose AB 199, a measure that could further drive up the cost of housing and exacerbate the current housing shortage crisis. You can learn more about the coalition and obtain a full list of coalition members at its website www.careabouthousing.org.

About California Community Builders

Founded in 2006, California Community Builders is an outgrowth of the Greenlining Institute with its own independent 501(c)(3) non-profit status, board of directors and mission. CCB is a non-profit organization seeking to decrease the home-ownership gap for low-income residents in California beginning with pilot projects in the Central Valley. CCB strives to create positive change at a familial, communal, and regional level through holistic development, home ownership opportunities, and a new high density model for affordable housing development. Specifically, CCB launched The Two Hundred, a project that brings together prolific civil rights leaders to advocate for a state housing program that will reverse the subtle, but insidious actions that have destroyed the homeownership dream for many people of color. The Two Hundred aims to implement a plan that will address the barriers and obstacles that minority families face today to enter the middle-class through homeownership and the associated wealth accumulation opportunity.

About California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce

Founded in 1978, a group of local Hispanic chamber leaders from throughout California convened to discuss the lack of representation of Hispanic businesses in state government and also recognized the need for an organization that would effectively represent the interests of Hispanic-owned businesses in California. Through its network of Hispanic chambers and business associations, the CHCC represents the interest of over 800,000 Hispanic business owners in California. The CHCC is the premier and largest regional ethnic business organization in the nation that promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs and California’s Emerging Businesses.

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