Assembly Member Juan Carrillo, UnidosUS and California Community Builders Announce Bill to Study Transformative Homeownership Opportunities
Under AB 2140, California will study how to create a new financing program to build affordable homeownership
Sacramento – Assemblymember Juan Carrillo (D-Palmdale) today announced the introduction of AB 2140 – legislation that would direct California to study the creation of a large-scale homeownership financing program designed to ease California’s critical homeownership gap.
Homeownership is the primary tool to build wealth and financial stability for most U.S. families. California’s extreme housing shortage has put homeownership out of reach of many hard-working Californians, including teachers, nurses, first responders and their families. Fewer than 55% of Californians live in homes they or their families own, the second lowest homeownership rate in the U.S. Communities of color fare even worse: Only 35% of Black and 43% of California Latino families own their own homes. Many Asian American communities face similar struggles.
“Most Californians, and especially communities of color like the ones I represent, who want to achieve the American Dream and experience the wealth-building benefits of homeownership are blocked by extremely high housing costs,” said Assemblymember Juan Carrillo (D-Palmdale). “AB 2140 is the first, crucial step in creating a new financing program to enable the development of affordable for-sale units throughout California, similar to what the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program has done for affordable rentals.This study is a step in the right direction in making it easier and more affordable for hardworking low- and moderate-income families to own homes near their jobs, schools, and existing communities.”
Homeownership, with its opportunities to build wealth, achieve financial security and stabilize neighborhoods,is now at its lowest level in California since the 1940s. In 1969, the average California home cost 2.6 times a family’s annual income. In 2020, the average home cost 8.5 times a family’s annual income.
For decades, redlining – the practice of intentionally denying mortgages to people of color – prevented non-white families from buying homes in desirable neighborhoods (or at all). This led to a massive wealth gap. As of 2023, Black households had just 12 cents for every dollar of wealth the average white family had, and Latino households had just 21 cents.
Existing tax credit programs such as the Low Income Housing Tax Credit focus primarily or entirely on rental housing. AB 2140 will direct the state to study which aspects of such programs could be adapted to homeownership needs in California. The study would also review federal legislation being considered by Congress,including the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act and the Workforce Housing Tax Credit Act, to determine how it could be leveraged for California.
Assemblymember Juan Carrillo in partnership with UnidosUS and California Community Builders announced this transformational legislation.
“Homeownership is how most Americans build wealth, but Latinos have been left out of this crucial opportunity,” said Esmeralda Lopez, California State Director, Policy & Advocacy at UnidosUS. “That’s why UnidosUS launched its Home Ownership Means Equity (HOME) initiative, to add four million new Latino homeowners by 2030. AB 2140 will provide direction and momentum for a potentially transformative homeownership solution in the coming years.”
“The legislature has shown great leadership in tackling issues of zoning, housing supply, and down payment assistance in past years,” said Adam Briones, CEO of California Community Builders. “Now is the time to take on an issue that hasn’t had nearly as much attention: How California can finance the construction of more housing that allows low- and moderate-income Californians to build wealth through homeownership, helping to stabilize communities and create generational change.”
About California Community Builders
California Community Builders seeks to close the racial wealth gap by focusing on the core issue of housing and homeownership. Taking a data-driven, outcomes-focused approach, we research and advocate for policies that promote wealth-building and tear down barriers created by redlining, exclusionary zoning, and all forms of discrimination. For more about California Community Builders, visit ccbuilders.org.