Little Pink Houses for You and Me
The pace of home sales slowed during the past year, as the price of homes continued to rise. Mayor Hahn unveiled his solution to help homebuyers finance their dream: tax them more.
The Mayor proposed putting a $500 million housing bond before voters sometime in 2006. In addition to the bond, the proposal includes a $10 million no-interest loan program to help moderate income first-time homebuyers. If the bond passed, it would work in concert with the city’s $100 million housing trust fund, and cost current homeowners $34 a year more in property tax.
Los Angeles’ current homeownership rate is the nation’s lowest at 39%. The bond would underwrite home ownership for low to moderate income individuals, including teachers, nurses, firefighters, and police officers, providing them an incentive to buy a home and invest in their community.
Speaking of police officers, as both Hahn and Antonio Villaraigosa failed in their attempts to pass Measure A, the half-cent sales tax increase to fund a bigger police force, the Mayor hopes the bond will coax the 80% of officers that currently live in the suburbs to move to the city. Hey, if he can’t pay for more officers, he’d better try to keep the ones he’s got happy.
This is all supposition, of course, as conventional wisdom has the bond going the way of A: meaning the Mayor won’t be able to come up with the required two-thirds majority to pass it.
Antonio also offered his proposal to voters today. His solution to the widespread housing problem? Well, he didn’t offer a new program or a new idea, he wants to fully fund the $100 million housing trust fund THAT ALREADY EXISTS. Oh yeah, he wants to create some ‘partnerships’ (I’m sure his ambiguity is intentional). Yeah, that’ll build better, cheaper houses and make better neighborhoods. Partnerships between unnamed partners. He must have used his thinking cap to come up with that idea.
*Note the pic is from the first time Hahn promised the trust fund...