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These housing bills are still alive in California

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All of our eggs are in these baskets

california state capitol building Photo by Rada Photos/Shutterstock

When Curbed SF asked why, in a political environment where the term “housing crisis” is used repeatedly, California can’t pass more significant housing legislation, the most common response from Bay Area lawmakers was to point out that, despite high-profile losses, many housing-related bills could still reach the governor’s desk this year.

The Housing Production, Preservation, and Protection Coalition, a group of California legislator promoting the so-called “Three P’s” to tackle the crisis, backs the following bills, all of which soon face key votes in committees.

These are the potential new laws that the lawmakers speaking the loudest to promote new housing are putting their highest hopes into in the wake of the “May Massacre” earlier this year.

Some are ambitious and some are merely practical, but they all having one thing in common: They’re still in the running.

  • AB 10: Increases the state Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Program by $500 million.
  • AB 68 and AB 69: One of these bills, AB 68, decreases the amount of time it takes to process paperwork for new in-law units, the other would necessitate “small home building standards governing accessory dwelling units smaller than 800 square feet.” Both are the product of San Francisco Assemblymember Phil Ting.
  • AB 881: Does away with a rule that requires a homeowner to use a house as a “primary residence” before adding an in-law to the property.
  • AB 1482: Chiu’s plan to cap annual rent increases at seven percent each year, plus inflation.
  • AB 1483: Allows the state to demand specified additional information “regarding housing development projects located within the jurisdiction” in a city’s annual report to the state to help Sacramento tailor housing legislation.
  • AB 1484: Requires city and counties to disclose all housing development fees online.
  • AB 1485: East Bay Assemblymember Buffy Wicks’ bill that would reduce red tape for housing developments that limit 20 percent of the units up to 120 percent of area median income.
  • AB 1486: Ting’s proposal to expand the definition of “surplus land” owned by public bodies and makes it easier for housing development on those sites.
  • AB 1487: Chiu’s plan to establish a “regional housing agenc,” a new body with a mandate to “increase affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area,” and “authorize the entity to, among other things, raise and allocate new revenue by placing funding measures on the ballot in the San Francisco Bay area counties, revenue, incur and issue indebtedness, and allocate funds to the various cities, counties, and other public agencies and affordable housing projects within its jurisdiction to finance affordable housing development, preserve and enhance existing affordable housing, and fund tenant protection programs.”
  • SB 6: South Bay Senator Jim Beall and North Bay’s Mike McGuire want to create a list of “all local lands suitable and available for residential development as identified by local governments.”
  • SB 330: This last big ticket housing bill by Nancy Skinner “suspends local practices that are documented obstacles to housing production” like housing moratoriums and regulates the amount of time that it takes to issue housing permits.
  • SB 18: Berkeley Senator Nancy Skinner’s proposal to give 90-day notice to renters being evicted after foreclosure.

This list does not include every bill potentially relevant to housing—for example, South Bay Sen. Jim Beall’s Senate Bill 5, which “would establish in state government the Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Program” to help finance affordable housing is not here—merely the ones being most aggressively promoted by voices for more housing.

Also not included here are so-called “two-year bills” like State Sen. Scott Wiener’s SB 50, as they will almost certainly not come before Gov. Gavin Newsom before 2020.

All bills face a September deadline to pass both the Senate and the Assembly in their final form. If Gov. Newsom approves the final bills, most would go into effect in 2020.