The national housing finance agency failed to prevent the current housing crisis


“We are creating and funding progressive housing solutions so that more Californians have a place to call home. “~ CalHFC

“California’s worsening housing crisis thwarts state lawmakers,” a CBS San Francisco headline proclaimed last month. In a similar style, Governor Gavin Newsom said that “housing is our biggest challenge” and “it took us decades to get to this place”. The housing crisis developed despite the creation of a national housing agency in 1975.

Robert Klein, chairman of Klein Financial Corporation, “served as the Senior Consultant, Joint Committee on Community Development and Housing Needs for the California State Legislature from 1973 to 1975, during which time he served. designed, drafted and negotiated the legislation that established California Housing Finance. Agency.”

As CalHFA explains, “For more than 40 years, the California Housing Finance Agency has supported the needs of renters and homebuyers by providing finance and programs so that more low- and moderate-income Californians have a home. self. Founded in 1975, CalHFA was licensed as the state’s affordable housing lender. CalHFA is “a fully self-sufficient state agency, and its obligations are paid off by income generated from mortgages, not by taxpayers’ money.”

The Governor’s 2008-09 Budget lists total spending of $ 45,987 while explaining that “California Housing Finance Agency funding is not subject to budget law appropriation and this posting is for informational purposes only.” . Further, “as an entity funded by a state-owned enterprise, CalHFA’s support arises from tax obligations and does not depend on the faith, credit or taxing power of the State of California.” Two CalHFA programs, the California Homebuyers Downpayment Assistance Program and the Residential Development Loan Program, are “funded under the general obligations of Proposition 1C”.

According to CalHFA’s mission statement, “We are creating and funding progressive housing solutions so that more Californians have a place to call home.” CalHFC has 13 senior executives, led by Executive Director Tia Boatman-Patterson, appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2014.

Last year, Boatman-Patterson was elected chair of the board of directors of the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) and in February Governor Newsom made her her senior housing advisor. Boatman-Patterson also sits on CalHFC’s 15-member board of directors, along with former Equalization Board member, current state treasurer Fiona Ma, who is also on the ‘audit committee’ with Interim President Michael Gunning.

Regardless of the state of its finances, CalHFC has not been able to prevent the housing crisis that is currently blocking state lawmakers. As it turns out, CalHFC founder Robert Klein was also the architect of Proposition 71 of 2004, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act. The $ 3 billion measure promised life-saving cures for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other illnesses, as well as a steady stream of royalties that would cover the costs.

Proposition 71 created the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and Klein wrote the measure to install himself as president, while keeping CIRM out of state oversight. CIRM had biomedical professionals ready to serve without pay, but duly hired former state senator and Democratic Party boss Art Torres and quickly tripled his salary to $ 225,000. In 2013, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences found that the CIRM directed 91% of its research funding to institutions with representatives on its board of directors. The Institute also found that the CIRM board of directors had twice canceled the Institute’s own scientific examiners and funded a for-profit company that Klein had lobbied for.

The CIRM did not report any royalties until 2018, 14 years after its founding, and only for an amount of $ 190,345.87, which is less than Art Torres’ salary. An approximate figure for the number of life-saving remedies developed by the CIRM is zero. The $ 3 billion in bond funds could run out by September, and as David Jensen pointed out in Capitol WeeklyKlein will lobby in 2020 for “a possible $ 5 billion bond initiative to save the agency from financial death.”

CIRM failed to deliver the promised remedies and CalHFA, also founded by Robert Klein, failed to avert the housing crisis. If California taxpayers think the two state agencies are a fiasco, it would be hard to blame them.


Louis R. Hancock

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