For the purpose of providing deferred payment loans pursuant to this chapter for the development costs of rental housing developments utilizing moneys transferred to the Rental Housing Construction Fund pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 53130 and paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 53130, the following special provisions shall prevail over conflicting provisions of this chapter:

(a) (1) Applications for fund commitments shall be accepted by the department at any time. Fund commitments shall be based on a ranking of applications which shall occur at least once every three months until there are insufficient funds available to make commitments according to the ranking. In making this ranking, notwithstanding Sections 50737 and 50737.5, priority shall be given to projects which (A) maximize program benefits to eligible households, as defined in Section 50105 with the lowest incomes, (B) maximize program benefits to eligible households needing assisted units with three or more bedrooms, (C) are located in areas where the housing need is great, as determined by the department, taking into consideration, among other factors, variations in local development costs, low vacancy rates, high market rents, and long waiting lists for subsidized housing, (D) complement the implementation of an existing housing program, (E) maximize private, local, and other funding sources, (F) are economically feasible given local market conditions, and (G) maximize the number of units which can be assisted under the program, relative to variances in market conditions for the development of rental housing. Subparagraph (B) above does not apply to applications for residential hotels.

Terms Used In California Health and Safety Code 50771.1

  • Annuity: A periodic (usually annual) payment of a fixed sum of money for either the life of the recipient or for a fixed number of years. A series of payments under a contract from an insurance company, a trust company, or an individual. Annuity payments are made at regular intervals over a period of more than one full year.
  • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
  • area median income: means the median family income of a geographic area of the state, as annually estimated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to Section 8 of the United States Housing Act of 1937. See California Public Resources Code 4649
  • Beneficiary: A person who is entitled to receive the benefits or proceeds of a will, trust, insurance policy, retirement plan, annuity, or other contract. Source: OCC
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • County: includes city and county. See California Education Code 24937
  • Deed: The legal instrument used to transfer title in real property from one person to another.
  • department: means State Department of Health Services. See California Education Code 24943
  • Interest rate: The amount paid by a borrower to a lender in exchange for the use of the lender's money for a certain period of time. Interest is paid on loans or on debt instruments, such as notes or bonds, either at regular intervals or as part of a lump sum payment when the issue matures. Source: OCC
  • Obligation: An order placed, contract awarded, service received, or similar transaction during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period.
  • Personal property: All property that is not real property.
  • Real property: Land, and all immovable fixtures erected on, growing on, or affixed to the land.

(2) All loans shall be made directly from the department to the housing sponsor which applies to the department and will own, operate, and develop the housing development. The sponsor shall notify the local legislative body of its loan application prior to the funding award.

(3) A sponsor may apply for awards for one or more rental housing developments.

(4) The department shall evaluate the capability of the sponsor to own, construct, and manage the rental housing development.

(b) (1) A rental housing development may utilize any combination of federal, state, local, and private financial resources necessary to make the development affordable, for the term of the state’s regulatory agreement, to eligible households.

(2) (A) Loans to sponsors of housing developments shall be for a term not less than 40 years. After 30 years from the time the loan is made, the sponsor shall begin to repay the loan in accordance with a payment plan, as determined by the department, that will maintain the rents affordable to eligible households.

(B) The term of the loan and the time for repayment may be extended by the department for additional terms as long as the rental housing development is operated in a manner consistent with the regulatory agreement and the sponsor requires an extension in order to continue to operate in a manner consistent with this chapter. Each extension shall be for a period of not less than 10 years and the total term of the revised loan shall not exceed 55 years.

(C) Loans provided under this section shall bear an interest rate of 3 percent per annum. The department, by regulations, shall establish the conditions under which the interest may be reduced, waived, or deferred. At the request of the sponsor, the department may charge a higher interest rate.

(3) (A) Development costs shall include reasonable consulting fees, and other reasonable administrative expenses in connection with the planning and execution of the rental housing development, as determined by the department, and initial funding of emergency reserves, as required by the department. The development costs also shall further include the acquisition and completion of construction of a rental housing development where construction has halted due to financial distress, as determined by the department.

(B) A rental housing development shall include residential hotels, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 50669, and group homes.

(4) The sponsor shall maintain an emergency reserve to defray unanticipated cost increases or revenue shortfalls to maintain the fiscal integrity of the rental housing development and maintain affordable rents for eligible households.

(5) The department, by regulation, shall specify minimum equity requirements not to exceed 10 percent of total project development costs. This requirement does not apply to proposed projects where assisted units are less than 80 percent of the total number of units.

The department, by regulation, shall define “equity” for the purposes of this section, which shall include, but shall not be limited to, cash, real property, items of personal property having monetary value contributed by the sponsor and applied toward project costs, and the capitalized value of any exemption from local taxes on real property.

(6) The department, by regulation, may specify per-unit loan limits and circumstances under which it may grant exceptions to, or variances from, these limits. The loan amount shall not exceed either 100 percent of the development costs attributable to the assisted units or the amount necessary to maintain affordable rents for the assisted units, as determined by the department.

(c) (1) Initial rents, including a reasonable utility allowance, for assisted units reserved for occupancy by very low income households, and for all assisted units in residential hotels and group homes, shall not exceed 30 percent of 35 percent of area median income, adjusted by unit size. Initial rents, including a reasonable utility allowance, for assisted units reserved for occupancy by lower income households shall not exceed 30 percent of 60 percent of area median income, adjusted by unit size. The department, by regulation, shall specify the method for adjusting rents by unit size and for computing allowances for utility costs.

(2) The department shall develop an inflation index reflecting the annual anticipated changes in rental housing development operating costs from a base year. The inflation index shall be used by the sponsor to adjust the initial rent of each unit occupied by an eligible household to determine the annual rent. Any sponsor may appeal to the department for a greater adjustment in rents necessary to ensure the fiscal integrity of the housing development. If the department does not respond within 60 days, the request shall be deemed approved. A 30-day written notice shall be given to each eligible household prior to an adjustment in the amount of rent.

(3) Upon prior written approval by the department, a sponsor may set income limits for occupancy of assisted units designated for lower income households at a level below the limit specified in Section 50079.5. If a tenant’s income exceeds this income limit established by the sponsor, but does not exceed the limit specified in Section 50079.5, that fact alone shall neither constitute cause for the tenant’s eviction, nor be a violation of the sponsor’s loan agreement.

(4) The monthly rent including a reasonable utility allowance may be reduced by the sponsor, to make the units affordable to the lowest income household possible as long as the project remains economically feasible.

(5) (A) If a household’s income exceeds the standard pursuant to which it was accepted for tenancy, that fact alone shall neither constitute cause for the household’s immediate eviction nor be a violation of the owner’s or sponsor’s loan agreement.

(B) If, after annual income certification, an assisted unit becomes occupied by a household which does not meet the income limits specified in Section 50105, that household shall be permitted to continue to occupy that assisted unit. When there is a vacancy in an assisted unit formerly occupied by a household which meets the income limits specified in Section 50079.5, that unit shall be rented to a household which meets the income limits specified in Section 50105.

(C) If, after annual income certification, an assisted unit becomes occupied by a household which does not meet the income limits specified in Section 50079.5, that household shall be provided a six-month notice of termination. That period may be extended for an additional six-month period in high cost rental areas with low vacancy rates, as determined by the department. That household shall have first right of refusal to occupy any nonassisted unit which becomes available during both periods.

(D) In the case of limited equity housing cooperatives, the provisions of subparagraph (C) shall apply, except that tenants whose incomes, upon recertification, exceed the limit specified in Section 50079.5 shall not be required to vacate their units. Instead, and upon six months’ notice, these tenants shall be required to pay rent in an amount equal to the market rate rent for comparable units, as determined by the department. When a tenant’s income exceeds the limit specified in Section 50079.5, the next available membership share for occupancy in a comparable unit shall be sold to a household with an income at or below this limit.

(d) (1) The department may contract with the sponsor to pay all or a portion of the development costs incurred in connection with the construction of a rental housing development consistent with the requirements of this article. The department shall include such provisions in the contract as are necessary to ensure compliance with the requirements of the program.

Any rental housing development assisted pursuant to this article shall be governed by a regulatory agreement between the sponsor and the department. The regulatory agreement shall be recorded or referenced in a recorded document in the office of the county recorder for the county in which the rental housing development is located. The regulatory agreement shall contain at least all of the following:

(A) Restrictions on occupancy of dwelling units within the rental housing development, to meet the requirements of Section 50736 and this section for a period of at least 40 years.

(B) Provisions governing standards for tenant selection to ensure occupancy by eligible households of very low and low income for the term of the regulatory agreement.

(C) Provisions governing occupancy standards and rental agreements.

(D) Provisions for setting initial rents and rent increases consistent with paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 50771.1. Prior to the time any rent increase is effective, the sponsor shall notify every affected tenant, in writing, of the availability of informal meetings with the sponsor to review the proposed rent increase. Each tenant, upon request, shall be provided the information submitted to the department pursuant to this subdivision.

(E) A requirement that the sponsor submit to the department for review and approval, annual operating budgets and periodic reports, which shall at a minimum include information on the fiscal condition of the rental housing development, the maintenance of the development, and the number of units occupied by eligible households.

(F) Provisions limiting distribution of sponsor’s earnings as specified in paragraph (4).

(G) A provision which specifies the conditions under which the department and any intended beneficiary may enforce the regulatory agreement.

(H) Any other provisions necessary to carry out the purposes and to exercise the powers granted by this chapter.

The regulatory agreement shall be recorded against the property and shall be deemed a covenant running with the land and shall be binding upon the sponsor and any and all successors in interest in case of sale or transfer of the rental housing development for the original term of the loan, and any extensions thereof, regardless of any prepayment of the loan.

The department, by regulation, may require such other documents, instruments, and agreements as are reasonable and necessary to ensure compliance with the program requirements.

(2) The contract for the award of development funds to be provided as construction financing for a rental housing development shall contain at a minimum the provisions specified in Section 50766, excluding therefor subdivisions (j), (k), and (l).

(3) All state contracts and regulatory or development agreements subject to this article shall contain provisions requiring that assisted units remain affordable to eligible households for 40 years plus any permitted extension.

(4) A nonprofit sponsor, other than a governmental agency, may maintain a debt service coverage ratio of not more than 115 percent and distribute earnings from both assisted and nonassisted units in an amount no greater than 8 percent of the nonprofit sponsor’s actual investment in the rental housing development. A for-profit sponsor may choose between the following options:

(A) It may distribute earnings from both assisted and nonassisted units in an annual amount no greater than 8 percent of its actual investment in the rental housing development.

(B) It may forego distribution of earnings from assisted units, and not be subject to any limitation on the amount of distributions it receives from nonassisted units.

(e) Where loans will be used in conjunction with federal and other state housing assistance or tax credit and a conflict exists between the other state and federal program requirements and this chapter regarding the test for determining a qualified low-income housing project, the requirements of the Rental Housing Construction Program may be waived only to the extent necessary to permit the federal or other state financial participation or eligibility for tax credits.

(f) (1) The department shall establish specific minimum development criteria to (A) ensure that the useful life of the rental housing development is at least equal to the term of the loan; (B) enhance the physical security of the tenants; (C) minimize long-term operating and maintenance costs; and (D) ensure that project design features and amenities are modest.

(2) No energy standards shall be required of any housing development in excess of the energy standards required for housing developments financed by conventional funding sources.

(3) The department shall employ a licensed architect or an experienced building inspector, or both, to review plans, inspect, and monitor construction of, rental housing developments.

(g) A sponsor of a housing development may receive payments from the annuity fund pursuant to Section 50738 to the extent that there are unobligated moneys available in the fund.

(h) The department shall establish an emergency reserve account in the Rental Housing Construction Fund established pursuant to Section 50740 equal to 3 percent of the moneys transferred to that fund pursuant to Section 53130.

Moneys transferred to the fund pursuant to Section 53130 shall not be subject to the requirements of Section 50770 or be used to ensure economic feasibility or enable construction pursuant to Section 50738. Notwithstanding the provisions of Sections 53130 and 53133, the department may expend moneys in the account to defray unanticipated cost increases or revenue shortfalls not covered by a rental housing development emergency reserve to the extent necessary to maintain the fiscal integrity of a rental housing development and maintain affordable rents for eligible households.

Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 53130 which limit the use of allocated proceeds with respect to project operating costs, and Section 53133, the department may use any amounts available in the account for the purpose of curing or avoiding a sponsor’s defaults on the terms of any loan or other obligation which will jeopardize the financial integrity of a rental housing development or the department’s security in the rental housing development. The payment or advance of any funds by the department pursuant to this subdivision shall be solely within the discretion of the department, and no sponsor shall be entitled to, or have any right to, payment of these funds. Funds advanced pursuant to this subdivision shall be added to the loan amount secured by the deed of trust and shall be payable to the department upon demand.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 239, Sec. 12. (SB 562) Effective January 1, 2012.)