SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — A bill ready for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature may help keep homes in the hands of residents if a foreclosure crisis occurs, according to the office of state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, who sponsored the legislation.
SB 1079, titled “Homes for Homeowners, Not Corporations,” would give tenants, families, housing nonprofits and local governments first dibs on foreclosed properties before corporations.
The bill modifies how foreclosed properties are sold at an auction.
“We can’t afford a repeat of the foreclosure crisis when corporations gobbled up tens of thousands of homes, and significantly reduced home ownership among California residents,” Skinner said in a statement.
The bill would also give local governments the authority to fine firms or other owners of properties for leaving homes vacant or blighted instead of refurbishing, renting or selling them. Fines could be up to $2,000 a day.
Skinner’s office said many U.S. families lost their homes in the Great Recession of 2007-09 and Wall Street firms benefited by buying them.
Home ownership took a nosedive in California between 2006 and 2012, when the number of owner-occupied homes fell by 320,000 and the number of rented single-family homes grew by 720,000, the senator’s office said.
Skinner’s bill would prohibit sellers from bundling homes for sale to one buyer. Homes would have to be sold one at a time to give people who want to live in them a chance to buy them.
Following the first bids at a foreclosure auction, tenants, families, nonprofits, community land trusts and local governments would have 45 days to top the highest bid for the home.
The bill would apply to all homes with as many as four units and it would sunset in five years.
The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 30-9 and the Assembly by a vote of 49-17.
© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.