By John Pinkney
The unprecedented crisis of lack of housing affordability for California residents was recently tackled when Governor Jerry Brown signed a host of new housing legislation. The following laws have been designed to cut red tape, stimulate more affordable housing options, and reduce homelessness in California:
* Senate Bill 2, sponsored by Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, imposes fees on real estate transactions to fund more affordable housing development and aid to the homeless.
* Senate Bill 3, authored by Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose, places a $4 billion housing bond before voters next November, funding low-income housing projects and the CalVet loan program.
* Senate Bill 35 from Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, enables developers to bypass the new housing development review process.
* Senate Bill 166, sponsored by Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, makes local government responsible for having development sites identified for all unmet housing needs.
* Senate Bill 167, Skinner, and Assembly Bill 678, Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, D-Los Angeles, shores up the state’s Housing Accountability Act, preventing communities development or reduces the size of a project.
* Senate Bill 540, from Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, gives cities and counties permission to create pre-planned zones for affordable housing.
* Assembly Bill 72, Assemblymen David Chiu, D-San Francisco, and Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, empowers state housing officials in reporting violations to the attorney general.
* Assembly Bill 73, Chiu, empowers cities and counties to create “housing sustainability districts” to help streamline new housing development.
* Assembly Bill 571, Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella, furthers the state’s low-income tax credit program to fund low-income and farmworker housing.
*Assembly Bill 879, sponsored by Assemblyman Tim Grayson, D-Concord, revises the state’s housing element law, requiring local governments to plan new housing development for all income levels.
* Assembly Bill 1397, from Assemblyman Evan Low, D-Campbell, requires that land zoning be able to support housing development with sufficient infrastructure in place.
* Assembly Bill 1505, Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, allows cities and counties to require that at least 15 percent of market-rate housing be designated affordable.
* Assembly Bill 1515, sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Daly, D-Anaheim, challenges community groups and local governments trying to kill affordable housing projects.
* Assembly Bill 1521, Bloom, strengthens existing affordable housing laws by requiring public notice when protections expire.
Our Palm Springs government law firm can answer your questions regarding how this package of affordable housing bills can benefit anyone challenged by the current affordable housing crisis.