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Commentary: California housing law helps new homebuyers

May is the month when we honor all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while wearing the uniforms of our nation’s military. 

As someone who is proud to come from a military family and to represent an amazing military district, Memorial Day is one of the most special and significant days of the year for me. 

May also is AAPI Heritage Month, when we celebrate the contributions of our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities here in San Diego and throughout California. 

We also stand with our AAPI community against the alarming and hateful acts that continue to impact our neighbors, and commit ourselves to working toward a future for AAPI communities that is free from hate, and inclusive and equitable for all.

Last year, I proposed the California Dream for All Program to allow California to partner with first time homebuyers to expand homeownership and be another tool to chip away at California’s housing shortage. 

The program is off to an incredible and inspiring start — during the first two weeks of it its launch, more than 2,400 first-time homebuyers were helped with their down payments. 

That rapid response, and resulting use of the $300 million in funding currently identified, is a testament to just how critical this program is for California families — especially those who historically have faced systemic barriers to home ownership — and the need to continue to fund the program. 

The 2022-23 state budget appropriated $500 million for the program, but the remaining $200 million has not yet been released. 

I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Legislature and the Governor to release the additional $200 million appropriated in the 2022-23 budget for the program. 

I also plan to work to secure more state funding and explore additional private sector options to bolster the program and help even more families achieve the dream of home ownership.

State Sen. Toni Atkins represents District 39 in the California Senate.

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