"Cap and Trade" Pollution Permits May Provide New Housing Funding Source
Assembly Speaker Perez Introduces AB 1532
fall, Housing California, Transform, and the Planning and Conservation League began developing a joint proposal to use new state revenues to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions through expanded transit and affordable homes built in the right
locations. In January, we introduced the concept to legislators and Assembly
Speaker John Pérez, D-Los Angeles, decided to make a key piece of his AB 1532.
anticipated new revenue is generated by the "Cap-and-Trade Program,"
under which polluting entities must buy allowances if they emit more than a
specified amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs). The state Air Resources Board
created the program in order to reduce GHG emissions pursuant to the state's 2006
landmark GHG reduction law.
Jerry Brown's draft 2012-13 budget estimates the Cap-and-Trade Program will raise approximately $1 billion in the
first year. By 2020, it may bring in as much as $10 billion annually. Under
legal nexus rules, these funds must be used to reduce GHG emissions.
proposes funding "sustainable infrastructure development, including
transportation and housing," among other uses. While the administration is
in the very early stages of fleshing out what this means, staff privately say
our proposal appears to fit within their broad vision.
How will more affordable
homes and expanded transit reduce GHG emissions?
to the Air Resources Board, the transportation and land-use sector is
responsible for more than 40% of GHG emissions in the state. These emissions
are caused primarily by burning fuel in motor vehicles.
the distances Californians drive is one of three key ways to burn less fuel. The
only way to reduce driving distances is to greatly increase the affordable
transportation and housing options in every community. SB 375 created a new
joint transportation and housing planning scheme in recognition of this fact.
can achieve demonstrable GHG emission reductions, benefit disadvantaged
communities, and create good jobs by allocating a significant portion of cap-and-trade
revenues to targeted transportation and land-use investments. These investments
- Compact transit-oriented housing options
that are affordable at all income levels,
- Other housing opportunities that improve
the "fit" between rents/mortgages and the wages paid in the community,
- Expanded and
improved transit, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities within developed areas.
in these areas is the next step in on-the-ground implementation of SB 375 and
is essential for California communities to realize the benefits of SB 375's
planning scheme. It is especially important for disadvantaged communities and
individuals whose high transportation and housing costs consume the vast
majority of their modest budgets.
continue to work with Speaker Pérez's office to craft the specific language for
AB 1532 before its first hearing in April. Please
watch for an action alert in March and join us in supporting this exciting
opportunity to generate state funding for affordable-home development.
Contact: Julie Snyder, 916.447.0503 x 102 or email@example.com.