signature_68626544NPHS Community Land Trust       


May 26, 2020


Honorable Gavin Newsom

Governor, State of California

State Capitol Sacramento, CA 95814


Honorable Toni Atkins                                 Honorable Anthony Rendon

President Pro Tempore, California State Senate        Speaker, California State Assembly

State Capitol, Room 205                                State Capitol, Room 219

Sacramento, CA 95814                                     Sacramento, CA 95814


Re: A Framework for COVID Recovery without Displacement

Dear Governor Newsom, President Pro Tempore Atkins, and Speaker Rendon:

COVID-19 has underscored the urgent need for a strong, community-focused response to ensure long-term housing stability in California. Our state leads the nation in recognizing that everyone’s health depends on bold collective action in the face of this public health and economic crisis. Just as we’ve taken decisive action to preserve our collective health and safety, taking strong steps now to preserve our homes is essential to strengthen our communities and create a stable foundation for California’s recovery. Together, we can prevent the widespread displacement, foreclosures, and the widening of the racial wealth gap that we saw as a result of the Great Recession.

As we move into an economic downturn with likely significant implications for our real estate industry, there is both a need and the opportunity to advance policy that takes housing out of the speculative market and creates affordable housing for the long-term. Without state intervention, the same exploitative private equity funds and Wall Street landlords that purchased so many of our homes a decade ago will be allowed once again to engage in speculative purchasing without any guardrails or protections for communities that are already struggling.

The following is a framework that we urge you to adopt to stabilize our communities, preserve homes, and expand our affordable housing stock by removing housing from the speculative market:

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, Californians have pulled together in support of the most vulnerable among us. We are acutely aware that this historic crisis has had disproportionate impacts on low-income communities and communities of color, the very same communities that have repeatedly suffered disproportionate impacts past crises. To avoid a repeat of this pattern in the long term, we must center racial equity in our COVID recovery strategies and focus on serving those most in need. We urge the legislature to consider this community-minded framework to protect our people, stabilize our communities, and preserve our affordable homes, which will ensure better health, better economic security, and a better future for generations to come.