A member of the Richmond, California chapter of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) walks by an abandoned garage during a bus tour of foreclosed and blighted properties on July 13, 2012 in Richmond, California.

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Newsom Touts $331 Million Plan For Housing Assistance

Doug Sovern
August 08, 2019 - 9:17 am

Hundreds of millions of dollars would be dedicated to rental assistance and fighting home foreclosures in California under a new plan trumpeted Wednesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom. 

He actually doesn't have much choice, because courts have ruled that California had started misusing that money under former Gov. Jerry Brown. 

Still, Newsom wants to set up a $331 million fund that would support nonprofits that help tenants facing eviction and homeowners on the brink of foreclosure. 

"We don't talk enough about protection, keeping people in their homes," Newsom said to KCBS Radio. "We'll provide tens of millions over the course of decades for rental protection."

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The money comes from the rest of California's share of a settlement with the largest mortgage lenders after the 2008 mortgage meltdown. Brown, who was governor then, diverted it to pay off housing bonds and shore up the state's general fund. 

Courts have ordered California to use the money as it was originally intended. 

Newsom said the state is "locking in" the money "to support local government and nonprofits to help tenants against unscrupulous landlords."

Newsom also came out in support of a bill to cap rent increases at no more than 7% a year plus inflation, to try to keep a rent control measure off the 2020 ballot.