Budget isn’t only good news for affordable housing, with over a dozen Eden-supported bills still advancing

The state’s newly adopted budget, with more than $2 billion for affordable housing, local infrastructure, and homelessness programs, isn’t the only good news for advocates working to ensure every Californian has access to a safe, affordable place to call home.

As the Legislature moves into the second half of this year’s session, more than a dozen Eden-supported affordable housing bills are still advancing—including legislation to increase funding for affordable development, expand renter protections, improve transparency around local fees, and streamline approvals for a variety of housing types, from 100% affordable projects to accessory dwelling units (ADUs).

All of the bills supported by Eden are consistent with the principles adopted by the Committee to House the Bay Area (CASA), which we participated in last year. CASA brought together a diverse group of stakeholders to develop and promote housing policies that protect residents, preserve existing housing, and produce the affordable and market-rate housing the Bay Area desperately needs. These “3Ps” are being now promoted by a growing coalition in the Capitol.

“Since the beginning of the year, we’ve seen significantly more awareness in Sacramento about the need for affordable housing—and a lot of commitment in the Capitol to push for big changes,” says Linda Mandolini, president of Eden Housing. “Not every major policy proposal is still alive, but if you take the 2017 housing package in conjunction with this year, there has been so much progress: The budget includes literally billions of dollars in major new investments to produce more affordable housing, and the bills Eden is supporting can do a lot of good. There are political issues to deal with and housing policy is always complicated, but with Gov. Newsom and legislative leaders in both houses championing our issue, I think affordable housing is poised for some big wins in September.”

A summary of the bills supported by Eden is included below:

Funding for affordable housing:

  • AB 1487 (Chiu): Creates regional funding entity to support affordable housing in the Bay Area
  • ACA 1 (Aguiar-Curry): Amends the constitution to lower the vote threshold to 55% for local affordable housing bond measures
  • SB 5 (Beall, McGuire, Portantino): Creates a new statewide pool of funding—climbing to $2 billion annually by 2030—that could be tapped by local governments to fund affordable housing and housing-related infrastructure.

Renter protections:

  • AB 1482 (Chiu): Prevents rent gouging by capping annual rent increases at 7% plus inflation for the next 3 years, with exemptions for owners who rent 10 or fewer single-family homes. The bill prohibits landlords from evicting tenants to avoid the new rent cap.
  • SB 18 (Skinner): Allows tenants to remain in a rental property for up to 90 days after a notice of foreclosure, eliminating a provision in existing law that would cause this rule to expire this year.

Transparency around local fees:

  • AB 1483 (Grayson): Requires cities and counties to compile and post a list of all zoning and planning standards applicable to housing projects, as well as fees imposed under the Mitigation Fee Act, special taxes, and assessments.

Streamlining local approvals:

  • AB 68 (Ting): Prohibits local ordinances on accessory dwelling units from imposing requirements on minimum lot size and requires ministerial approvals of ADUs within 60 days.
  • AB 69 (Ting): Requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to develop "small home" building standards for ADUs by January 1, 2021.
  • AB 1486 (Ting): Requires local agencies of all types disposing of surplus land to send a written notice of availability to housing sponsors to promote affordable development.
  • AB 1743 (Bloom): Reduces costs of building affordable housing by exempting properties receiving welfare exemption from local Mello Roos taxes.
  • AB 1763 (Chiu): Extends existing density bonus incentives for market-rate developments to 100% affordable projects near transit.
  • SB 6 (Beall): Requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to work with state and local agencies to develop and maintain an inventory of public land suitable for residential development.
  • SB 13 (Wieckowski): Prohibits local governments from imposing limits on ADUs in a variety of ways, including requirements related to parking, owner occupancy, ministerial review, and the size of local impact fees. The bill also allows local agencies to count ADUs for the purpose of identifying “adequate sites” under RHNA.
  • SB 330 (Skinner): Declares a “housing crisis” for the next five years in cities and counties facing high rents and low vacancies—temporarily removing a range of local obstacles to development in these areas. The bill restricts local governments from downzoning parcels, imposing moratoria on new housing, and adding new design standards to prevent projects from moving forward. It also includes robust language for protecting existing residents, preventing demolitions of residential housing unless there is no net loss of affordable units, and providing current residents with a “right of first refusal” to new housing on the site.
  • SCA 1 (Ben Allen, Wiener): Repeals constitutional provision prohibiting development of low-rent housing until a majority of voters have approved it in a local election.

 

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