Irvine, CALast week, Gavin Newsom signed a SB 196 into law, creating new opportunities for affordable housing throughout the state. The new law provides a property tax exemption for developers of affordable housing during the construction phase—the first three to five years after purchasing raw land. The legislation is expected to go a long way in fueling more affordable housing development.

Organizations like the Irvine Community Land Trust have been advocating for like legislation for years. “We have been looking at legislation to support community land trusts for many years,” Mark Asturias, executive director of the ICLT, tells “Our land trust was looking at the welfare exemption specifically because of the high property tax carry cost here in Orange County. Many people understand that the cost of land and housing is very expensive in Orange County, and in our world, we can’t carry the cost of market-rate land. Because most of our land is developed through a public partnership, we hoped to get this in place to use money to pay for the construction of new projects.”

Asturias anticipates that the legislation will be successful in generating more affordable housing, which the state of California desperately needs. “This is a wonderful opportunity for us. We are now going to be able to develop properties without paying taxes on the property at market rate while we are trying to get our entitlements in place,” Asturias. “In California, it takes three to five years to get through the process from the day you buy the property to the day you can actually finish the construction of the house.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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