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California Governor signs historic new housing legislation

On Friday, September 29, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed 15 bills into law to address the needs of Californians most impacted by the state's worsening housing catastrophe.  These new laws provide additional funding opportunities for affordable and supportive housing developers, give local governments greater authority to impose inclusionary housing requirements, mandates action by cities and counties to address housing needs and remove barriers to housing development. Below is a summary of the bills Govern Brown signed into law:

  • SB 2 - Building Homes and Jobs Act: Creates a new $75 fee on real estate transaction documents -- excluding home sales -- up to 3 ($225) per transaction, projected to raise $200-300 million per year.
  • SB 3 – Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2018: Would place a $4 billion dollar general obligation bond on November 2018 ballot, with $1 billion set aside for a veterans' home loan program.
  • AB 72 – Housing: Requires the CA Dept. of Housing and Community Development to review local governments' general plans and actions on housing proposals for compliance with state law, and allows it to report violations to the Attorney General.
  • AB 1397 - Inventory of land for residential development: Limits cities and counties from counting locations without a realistic capacity for new housing toward their general plan's inventory of potential housing units.
  • AB 1397 - Inventory of land for residential development: Requires the CA Dept. of Housing and Community Development to review local governments' general plans and actions on housing proposals for compliance with state law, and allows it to report violations to the Attorney General.
  • AB 1397 - Inventory of land for residential development: Limits cities and counties from counting locations without a realistic capacity for new housing toward their general plan's inventory of potential housing units.
  • SB 166 - Residential density and affordability: Requires cities and counties general plans to always ensure their general plans include enough potential development sites to meet their unmet housing needs.
  • AB 879 - Planning and zoning, housing element: Requires local governments to include an expanded analysis of nongovernmental constraints on housing development in the housing elements of their general plans.
  • SB 35 - Affordable housing, streamlined approval process: Forces cities and counties that fail to meet state-mandated housing production goals to approve multi-family, urban development projects that meet certain requirements, such as paying construction workers a prevailing wage.
  • SB 540 - Workforce Housing Opportunity Zone: Allows cities to create priority housing zones with front-loaded planning and environmental reviews, so development projects that meet certain requirements would win expedited approval.
  • AB 73 - Housing Sustainability Districts: Would provide state incentive payments to cities that rezone more densely with a certain level of affordability, particularly around transit, and improve environmental reviews. Similar setup to SB 540, but with incentives.
  • SB 167 / AB 678 - Housing Accountability Act: Increases the burden of proof a city or county must meet to deny a housing project, awards damages to developers if local governments act in bad faith, and requires courts to fine cities and counties for not complying with the Housing Accountability Act.
  • AB 1515 - Planning and zoning, housing: Requires courts to give less deference to local governments in legal challenges when a city or county determines a housing project is inconsistent with its general plan and zoning standards.
  • AB 1521 - Land use, notice of proposed change, assisted housing developments: Strengthens Preservation Notice Law to give advance notice of subsidized rental units returning to market-rate pricing, and requires owners to sell to qualified buyers who make fair market value offers.
  • AB 1505 - Land Use, Zoning Regulations: Would restore right of cities and counties to apply inclusionary housing policies to rental developments, overturning 2009 appellate court ruling.
  • AB 571 - Farmworker housing tax credit: Expands a state income tax credit intended to encourage developers to build farmworker housing projects.

 

 

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