With the June 15th constitutional deadline for adoption of the State budget just around the corner, we are on alert with the expectation of significant funding to support local efforts to respond to our affordable housing and homelessness crises.

We have reason for hope. Governor Newsom’s May budget revision called for, among other items, a $500 million expansion of the State Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, a $500 million allocation for the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Infill Infrastructure Grant (IIG) Program, an allocation of $650 million for the Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP), and $355 million in funding for a variety of homelessness prevention program.

In addition, we are encouraged that legislation reflecting the “3Ps” of Tenant Protections, Affordable Housing Preservation, and Housing Production continues to move through the State Legislature. Here are a few key bills we are supporting that have moved from their house of origin to the next house—meaning they are still alive!

AB 1482 (Chiu)—This bill would limit rent increases to 7% + CPI for a three-year period. The bill would not impact existing local rent control measures, and would apply to nearly five million units throughout the State that are not currently subject to rent control.

SB 5 (Beall)—This bill would create the Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Program as a new local tax-increment financing tool without reducing funding for schools. At least 50% of the funds collected would need to be set aside for affordable housing. According to a recent study, over a ten-year period, this bill would create up to 86,000 new and rehabilitated homes, 329,000 jobs, and $60 billion in economic development.

SB 330 (Skinner)-This bill, known as the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, would, for five years, encourage more production by prohibiting jurisdictions in tight rental markets from downzoning residential sites or imposing moratoria on residential development. The bill would also prohibit jurisdictions from imposing new or increased parking requirements on residential development.

AB 68 (Ting)- This bill would make it easier to develop ADUs by, among other provisions, allowing two Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) on lots with single-family homes and multiple ADUs on lots with multi-family dwellings; allowing ministerial review of ADUs in some cases, requiring that ADU permit applications be approved within 60 days,  and authorizing HCD to notify the Attorney General when a jurisdiction is in violation of this law.

AB 69 (Ting)- In an effort to bring down the cost of construction of ADUs, this bill would require HCD to develop alternative “small home building standards” that would achieve the most cost-effective construction possible and allow detached ADUs less than 800 square feet to use less restrictive building standards.

SB 13 (Wieckowski)— This bill would make developing ADUs faster and easier by, among other provisions, prohibit local owner occupancy requirements and prohibit fees on ADUs less than 750 square feet. It would also reduce the application approval time to 60 days and provide that, if a local agency has not acted within that time, the application shall be deemed approved.

AB 1483 (Grayson)- This bill would add transparency to the housing process, by requiring each city and county to make available on its website the current schedule of fees it charges for new housing developments, as well as all zoning ordinances and development standards. The bill would also require jurisdictions to submit information annually to State and regional agencies, including data on units permitted and units receiving certificates of occupancy.

AB 1485 (Wicks)—This bill would make it easier to develop housing for “missing middle” households by streamlining approval of mixed-income housing developments where a minimum of 20% of the units are affordable to moderate-income households earning 120% of Area Median Income or below. The bill impacts jurisdictions that have not met their above-moderate income RHNA housing goals. Rents would be required to be 20% below market rate.

AB 1486 (Ting)—This bill would expand access to local and publicly-held “surplus” lands available for affordable housing development to address one of the biggest challenges affordable housing developers have—finding affordable land. Among other provisions, this bill would establish a Statewide database of surplus land and set standards for the amount of surplus property that is set aside for affordable housing each year.

AB 1487 (Chiu)— This bill would establish, the Housing Alliance for the Bay Area (HABA), a 9-County Bay Area regional housing agency with authority to seek voter approval for revenue measures in support of affordable housing production and preservation as well as tenant protection programs. HABA would not have authority over local land use decisions.

These and many other bills related to housing and homelessness continue to make their way through the legislative process, ensuring that this is definitely still the #Year4Housing. If you want a deeper dive, check out the 3Ps website here.

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