During this final week of the 2019 legislative year, key bills promoted by the 3Ps Coalition of Production, Preservation, and Protection continue to move toward passage and to Governor Newsom’s desk.

 Here are the latest updates:

AB 1482 (Chiu, Bonta, Grayson, et. al.), is the anti-gouging rent cap bill that Governor Gavin Newsom has identified as a top priority to sign. The bill, which was approved by the Legislature this week, was amended last week to limit annual rent increases for the next ten years to 5% + CPI for tenants living in buildings that are 15 years-old and older. The legislation also includes just cause eviction requirements for those same tenants that have completed 12 months of tenancy. After the amendments, the California Apartment Association moved to a neutral position. Governor Newsom has already indicated he will sign the bill, which will become the strongest renter protection law in the country. Find the Governor’s statement here. It is important to note that the bill does not impact existing rent control ordinances that may have stricter requirements. In San Jose, for example, the units currently under rent control will continue to be subject to the City’s requirements. However, units built after November 1978 and before 2005 will be impacted by the new rules.

SB 330 (Skinner) was approved by the Legislature last week and Governor Newsom has said he will sign the bill. Known as the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, for five years the legislation, among other provisions, prohibits downzonings, housing moratoria, and caps on building permits. In Santa Clara County, this bill would have limited Gilroy’s recent actions to create a development moratorium, and brings into question Morgan Hill’s system of restricting annual housing permits issued.

SB 5 (Beall) would create the Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Program to allow local jurisdictions to invest in affordable housing and infrastructure using local property tax dollars without increasing taxes and school funding would not be affected. If fully enacted, the bill would ultimately provide up to $2 billion per year for these activities. The Legislature approved the bill this week and it now goes to Governor Newsom. Considered to be a new form of redevelopment, the funds raised would replace those lost when redevelopment agencies were dismantled by the State in 2011.

AB 1483 (Grayson) would require cities, counties, and special districts to place on their web sites the current schedule of fees, exactions, and affordability requirements to be imposed on a proposed housing development. This bill was approved by the Senate yesterday and now heads to the Governor’s desk. Sunshining the number and amount of fees required of development is important, as increasing fees are one reason that residential development has become so expensive in the Bay Area.

AB 1485 (Wicks) would allow a residential development in the San Francisco Bay Area to access a streamlined approval process if it includes at least 20% of the total proposed units affordable to households earning 120% of Area Median Income (AMI) or below and with the average income of households in the units at 100% of AMI. This bill is on the Assembly floor awaiting a vote for concurrence in Senate amendments.

AB 1486 (Ting) would strengthen the State Surplus Land Act by, among other provisions, clarifying the public agencies to which the Act applies, and revising the definitions of “surplus” and “agency use,” and list of exemptions. The bill was approved by the Senate yesterday and has been sent to the Governor’s desk. While jurisdictions are required to make surplus property available for affordable housing development, many communities have resisted the State’s requirements with San Jose currently being sued for claiming that its charter city status exempts officials from complying.

AB 1487 (Chiu) this bill, known as the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Housing Finance Act, would authorize the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to serve as the governing board of the authority and place affordable housing revenue ballot measures before the region’s voters. The legislation also authorizes the Executive Board of the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) to impose a commercial linkage fee on new commercial development in an amount not to exceed $10 per square foot, to fund affordable housing programs. The bill was approved by the Legislature yesterday and is on its way to the Governor’s desk.

AB 68 (Ting) and SB 13 (Wieckowski) are bills to facilitate the development of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). Among other provisions, AB 68 would disallow local requirements on ADUs for lot coverage and minimum lot size and would require a local jurisdiction to approve or deny a permit application within 60 days of receipt. AB 68 is currently on the Senate floor awaiting a vote. SB 13 would, among other provisions, prohibit impact fees on ADUs less than 750 square feet and create an amnesty program for substandard ADUs. The bill is awaiting a vote on the Assembly floor.

Today is the last day of this legislative year, the first year of the two-year session. Governor Newsom has until October 13 to act on the bills sent to his desk. The progress made this year is proof that the balanced and comprehensive 3Ps approach is the way to go to get real results in addressing our housing affordability and availability crisis. We know that there is more to do, so we are gearing up for a busy 2020.

 Stay tuned for a report out of the bills that are signed by Governor Newsom.

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