New Foreclosure Intervention Program gets $500 million – First of Its Kind Anti-Displacement Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 19th, 2021

CONTACT:

LEO GOLDBERG – leo.goldberg@cacltnetwork.org – 510-244-3784

The California Community Land Trust Network applauds the leadership of the CA legislature, particularly Senate champion Nancy Skinner, and Governor Newsom for implementing an ambitious, first of its kind anti-displacement and housing preservation strategy through the Foreclosure Intervention Housing Preservation Program (FIHPP).

FIHPP makes $500mil available to Community Land Trusts and other nonprofits to acquire and rehabilitate 1-25 unit buildings that are at risk of foreclosure. Buildings acquired through FIHPP will be reserved for low-income families for generations, creating badly needed affordable housing and providing tenants a pathway to stability and ownership rather than displacement. More information is available in the factsheet at https://www.cacltnetwork.org/fihpp/

The California Community Land Trust Network (CACLTN) is a membership organization representing 25 Community Land Trusts and collectively over $220 million of community assets throughout the state. Community Land Trusts steward permanently affordable and community controlled land and housing, creating an alternative to speculative investment and displacement from Humboldt County to San Diego.

“The Foreclosure Intervention Housing Preservation Program can be a powerful tool for preserving affordability in our neighborhoods and stabilizing at-risk renters, particularly in communities of color where foreclosure is the most imminent threat,” said Oscar Monge, President of the Board of the California Community Land Trust Network. “We are thankful for the leadership of Senator Skinner and our partners in the legislature for championing this exciting new approach to housing preservation and community ownership.”

Senator Nancy Skinner has been the FIHPP’s champion in the Senate, building on her successful SB 1079 legislation in 2020. Senator Skinner stated, “Last year’s SB 1079 showed that California is determined to avoid another foreclosure crisis that let corporations buy up thousands of homes and prevented many Californians from the dream of homeownership. Now we’re backing up that promise with $500 million to support community land trusts and other nonprofits to buy homes so tenants can avoid displacement and low-income Californians can become homeowners. I’m proud this year’s state budget creates a pathway to homeownership and ensures that foreclosed homes aren’t once again swallowed up by Wall Street.”

“With the economic impacts of COVID still being acutely felt, we know that too many residents of Los Angeles County’s First District will be at risk of mortgage default and displacement in the coming months,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair, Hilda L. Solis, Supervisor to the First District. “That’s why the implementation of FIHPP is so critical – it puts our communities in a position to get out ahead of foreclosures and evictions and to create lasting affordable housing that will serve our families that need it most. I look forward to working with the administration, with the Los Angeles Community Land Trust Coalition, and with other nonprofit affordable housing organizations to make sure these funds are rolled out swiftly and efficiently to maximize their impact.”

Jocelyn Foreman, a Pinole, CA grandmother was the first to take advantage of SB 1079 by purchasing the home she was living in with support from a network of allies and supporters and the Northern CA Land Trust. Ms. Foreman remarked, “Can we say $500 million? That’s half a billion – with a B! When I think of how many more families like mine will be able to keep their housing and keep their stability, the gratitude is more than I can put into words. SB1079 and Land Trusts are changing the face of home ownership one family, one home, at a time. The couch surfing and instability stops here!”

Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) provided critical support that helped get FIHPP across the finish line during budget negotiations. “California’s housing crisis is at a tipping point,” said Assemblymember Quirk. “Since being elected to the Assembly, there is a lot we have done to try and keep individuals off the streets and in their homes, yet it appears that we are at a point where we need to be more innovative and strategic. This is why I am so proud that my efforts to fund a pioneering and community based program to address foreclosure has been adopted in this year’s budget.”

“FIHPP provides a dedicated source of public funding to scale this critically needed approach to housing preservation and protection of residents who will otherwise be at immediate risk of homelessness,” shared Valerie Jameson from the CACLT Network and Richmond LAND. 

“We believe that the launch of FIHPP offers a chance to mitigate the forthcoming pandemic-fueled wave of foreclosures, and presents a prime opportunity for our communities to make strategic investments in affordable housing. We thank Senator Skinner and advocates for presenting this opportunity,” remarked Contra Costa Supervisor Diane Burgis.

“It’s time to break the cycle of foreclosure, speculative investment and displacement in our communities,” said Fanny Guzman Ortiz, CA CLT Network board member and staff at Los Angeles based Fideicomiso Comunitario Tierra Libre. “FIHPP offers a path forward in which tenants can actually come to own the buildings they live in rather than be forced out when the owner falls into financial trouble. Our low-income neighbors deserve that kind of opportunity for stability and ownership.”

“As the foreclosure moratoriums comes to end, FIHPP is a critical tool for CLT’s and similar community organizations to intervene and stop a wave of foreclosures that could otherwise displace thousands of California families in the coming year,” says Ian Winters, Executive Director of Northern CA Land Trust, and Board Vice President of the CA CLT Network. “NCLT saw first hand the value of this in creating the first SB-1079 acquisition with our newest homeowner, Jocelyn Foreman.”