In California, the housing crisis has reached alarming levels. Skyrocketing rents and home prices have left many residents struggling to find affordable places to live. The demand for suitable property far outpaces the supply. To address this urgent problem, the state has just passed a groundbreaking new law that empowers churches and other religious institutions to repurpose surplus property for affordable housing.
Many churches own extensive properties in desirable parts of their community. With the decline of many mainline denominations and other trends in how Americans gather for worship, many churches are finding that they are not making much use of their property. Pro-active churches are now looking to repurpose their property in a host of different ways. From their excess land to their expansive parking lots, many churches are looking for opportunities to realize the potential of what is often their primary asset. And some have sought to use their properties to help alleviate the housing crisis only to run into opposition and prohibitive red-tape.
California’s new law facilitates the repurposing of surplus church properties for affordable housing. The law streamlines the process for churches to convert surplus land or buildings into affordable housing units.
Key Features of California’s New Law
Reduction of Red Tape: The law simplifies the often complex zoning and permitting processes, making it easier for churches to repurpose their surplus property for affordable housing.
Financial Incentives: Churches can benefit from financial incentives, such as tax credits and grants, to support the development of affordable housing units.
Collaboration with Developers: The law encourages churches to partner with experienced developers to ensure that affordable housing projects are efficiently and effectively managed.
Affordability Requirements: Affordable housing units created under this law must meet specific affordability criteria, ensuring that they are accessible to individuals and families with limited incomes.
Other states may follow California’s lead if the new law moves the needle on the affordable housing problem. In the meantime, churches that want to be good stewards of their property must find new and better ways to use it. At Dalton & Tomich, we help churches and ministries all across the country use their properties in new and better ways by helping them overcome the legal hurdles and restrictions which may stand in their way. If your church needs help navigating the legal issues which could prevent it from making better use of its primary asset, please give us a call.