What to Know About Calif. Housing Legislation

Busy legislative session addresses state housing demands

708

Gov. Jerry Brown approved 15 housing bills designed to contend with  the state’s growing demand for accessible and affordable housing. Signed in September, the bills primarily deal with zoning, accessibility and funding. They reshuffle how state and local governments prioritize buildable land and how they cater to affordable housing development. The bills also provide funding for affordable housing programs through real estate transaction fees and bond measures.

Taxes and Bonds

Senate Bill (SB) 2 Building Homes and Jobs Act

In effect Jan. 1, 2018.

SB 2 sets a $75-225 fee on real estate transactions, estimated to raise $200-300 million annually. Seventy percent of the funds are allocated to local governments, and the rest is at the state’s discretion to fund both low- and middle-income housing programs.

SB 3 Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act

On ballot for November 2018.

If approved, SB 3 will borrow $4 billion in state bonds. Of these, $3 billion will fund existing housing programs and affordable housing grants. The remaining $1 billion extends “CalVet” home loans to veterans.

Development

SB 166 Residential Density and Affordability

Approved Sept. 29, 2017.

Holds cities accountable for adhering to the amount of affordable housing forecasted in their city general plan. The law mandates that a city must designate new sites for affordable housing, should future development not accommodate that predetermined amount.

Taxes and Bonds

Senate Bill (SB) 2 Building Homes and Jobs Act

In effect Jan. 1, 2018.

SB 2 sets a $75-225 fee on real estate transactions, estimated to raise $200-300 million annually. Seventy percent of the funds are allocated to local governments, and the rest is at the state’s discretion to fund both low- and middle-income housing programs.

SB 3 Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act

On ballot for November 2018.

If approved, SB 3 will borrow $4 billion in state bonds. Of these, $3 billion will fund existing housing programs and affordable housing grants. The remaining $1 billion extends “CalVet” home loans to veterans.

Zoning

SB 35 Planning and Zoning: Affordable Housing: Streamlined Approval Process

In effect Jan. 1, 2018.

SB 35 allows developers to answer more quickly to changes in housing demand by bypassing environmental review and public hearing processes if the city has not provided a predetermined minimum amount of housing.

Assembly Bill (AB) 73 Planning and Zoning: Housing Sustainability Districts

Approved Sept. 29, 2017.

Requires local governments include housing provisions as part of a local government’s general plan for land use within regional boundaries.

AB 1505 Land Use: Zoning Regulations

Approved Sept. 29, 2017.

As a condition of housing development, AB 1505 requires a minimum of 15 percent of developed units to be affordable for people with moderately low to extremely low incomes.