Governor Gavin Newsom Signs 18 Bills to Boost Housing Production

Legislation builds on urgent action undertaken by the Administration to tackle California’s housing affordability crisis

By: The Office of the Governor
October 11, 2019 —

SACRAMENTO – Building on the state’s historic actions and investments this year to tackle the housing affordability crisis, Governor Gavin Newsom today signed 18 bills designed to help jumpstart housing production. Included was SB 330, major legislation aimed at removing local barriers to housing construction and speeding up new development.

”Since taking office in January, my Administration has been urgently focused on California’s housing affordability crisis,” said Governor Newsom. “The high cost of housing and rent is putting the squeeze on family budgets, and our housing shortage threatens our economic growth and long-term prosperity.”

“In 2019, California has taken urgent action to address this challenge. We’ve invested more in new housing than at any point in our history, and we have created powerful new tools to incentivize housing production. Now, we are removing some key local barriers to housing production. This crisis has been more than a half century in the making, and this Administration is just getting started on solutions,” added Governor Newsom.

Today, at the Legal Aid Society of San Diego, the Governor signed SB 113 by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, which will enable the transfer of $331 million in state funds to the National Mortgage Special Deposit Fund, and establishes the Legislature’s intent to create a trust to manage these funds to provide an ongoing source of funding for borrower relief and legal aid to vulnerable homeowners and renters. This follows the Governor’s proposal in August to provide a new, sustainable, ongoing source of funding for legal aid for renters and homeowners through local nonprofits, and builds on the state budget’s additional $20 million in legal assistance to help California renters fight unjust evictions.

The Governor today signed the following bills to remove barriers and boost housing production:

  • SB 330 by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) establishes the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, which will accelerate housing production in California by streamlining permitting and approval processes, ensuring no net loss in zoning capacity and limiting fees after projects are approved.
  • AB 1763 by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) creates more affordable housing by giving 100 percent affordable housing developments an enhanced density bonus to encourage development.
  • AB 116 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) removes the requirement for Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFDs) to receive voter approval prior to issuing bonds.
  • AB 1485 by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) will build on existing environmental streamlining law and encourage moderate-income housing production.
  • AB 1255 by Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) requires cities and counties to report to the state an inventory of its surplus lands in urbanized areas. The bill then requires the state to include this information in a digitized inventory of state surplus land sites.
  • AB 1486 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) expands Surplus Land Act requirements for local agencies, requires local governments to include specified information relating to surplus lands in their housing elements and annual progress reports (APRs), and requires the state Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) to establish a database of surplus lands, as specified.
  • SB 6 by Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) requires the state to create a public inventory of local sites suitable for residential development, along with state surplus lands.
  • SB 751 by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) creates the San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust to finance affordable housing projects for homeless and low-income populations and address the homelessness crisis in the region.
  • AB 1483 by Assemblymember Tim Grayson (D-Concord) requires local jurisdiction to publicly share information about zoning ordinances, development standards, fees, exactions, and affordability requirements. The bill also requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to develop and update a 10-year housing data strategy.
  • AB 1010 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) will allow duly constituted governing bodies of a Native American reservation or Rancheria to become eligible applicants to participate in affordable housing programs.
  • AB 1743 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) expands the properties that are exempt from community facility district taxes to include properties that qualify for the property tax welfare exemption, and limits the ability of local agencies to reject housing projects because they qualify for the exemption.
  • SB 196 by Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) enacts a new welfare exemption from property tax for property owned by a Community Land Trust (CLT), and makes other changes regarding property tax assessments of property subject to contracts with CLTs.

The construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) can also help cities meet their housing goals and increase the state’s affordable housing supply. The Governor signed the following bills to eliminate barriers to building ADUs:

  • AB 68 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) makes major changes to facilitate the development of more ADUs and address barriers to building. The bill reduces barriers to ADU approval and construction, which will increase production of these low-cost, energy-efficient units and add to California’s affordable housing supply.
  • AB 881 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) removes impediments to ADU construction by restricting local jurisdictions’ permitting criteria, clarifying that ADUs must receive streamlined approval if constructed in existing garages, and eliminating local agencies’ ability to require owner-occupancy for five years.
  • AB 587 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) provides a narrow exemption for affordable housing organizations to sell deed-restricted land to eligible low-income homeowners.
  • SB 13 by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) creates a tiered fee structure which charges ADUs more fairly based on their size and location. The bill also addresses other barriers by lowering the application approval timeframe, creating an avenue to get unpermitted ADUs up to code, and enhancing an enforcement mechanism allowing the state to ensure that localities are following ADU statute.
  • AB 671 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) requires local governments’ housing plans to encourage affordable ADU rentals and requires the state to develop a list of state grants and financial incentives for affordable ADUs.

On Tuesday, the Governor kicked off his statewide tour to sign a series of bills that build on his Administration’s efforts to tackle the housing affordability crisis. In Oakland, he signed the nation’s strongest statewide renter protection package and a number of other bills to address the rising costs of rent and housing. AB 1482 by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) creates a statewide rent cap and eviction protections that are critical to combatting California’s housing and cost-of-living crisis.

Housing affordability has been a top priority for Governor Newsom. The state budget signed in June made a historic $1.75 billion investment in new housing and created major incentives – both sticks and carrots – to incentivize cities to approve new home construction. The budget also provided $20 million for legal services for renters facing eviction as well as $1 billion to help cities and counties fight homelessness.

The high cost of housing and rent has also been the focus of executive action. In the first weeks of his administration, Governor Newsom signed an executive order that created an inventory of all excess state land in order to find parcels to develop into affordable housing, launching partnerships with six California cities in April to develop affordable housing on that land and, last week, announcing the first Request for Proposal (RFP) on state-owned land will be issued in the City of Stockton. The Newsom administration has also enforced state housing law – putting more than forty cities on notice that they were out of compliance with state housing requirements and in jeopardy of legal action.

In total, the Governor signed the following housing bills:

  • AB 68 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) – Land use: accessory dwelling units.
  • AB 116 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) – Local government.
  • AB 587 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) – Accessory dwelling units: sale or separate conveyance.
  • AB 671 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) – Accessory dwelling units: incentives.
  • AB 881 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) – Accessory dwelling units.
  • AB 1010 by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) – Housing programs: eligible entities.
  • AB 1255 by Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) – Surplus public land: inventory.
  • AB 1483 by Assemblymember Tim Grayson (D-Concord) – Housing data: collection and reporting.
  • AB 1485 by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) – Housing development: streamlining.
  • AB 1486 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) – Surplus land.
  • AB 1743 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) – Local government: properties eligible to claim or receiving a welfare exemption.
  • AB 1763 by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) – Planning and zoning: density bonuses: affordable housing.
    SB 6 by Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) – Residential development: available land.
    SB 13 by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) – Accessory dwelling units.
    SB 113 by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review – Housing.
    SB 196 by Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose) – Property taxes: community land trust.
    SB 330 by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) – Housing Crisis Act of 2019.
    SB 751 by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) – Joint powers authorities: San Gabriel Valley Regional Housing Trust.

This article courtesy of the Office of the Governor Gavin Newsom


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