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The Latest Round of Proposed Bills Looking to Address California’s Housing Crisis

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On the heels of the latest defeat of Scott Weiner’s SB 50, a new round of legislation has emerged as a means to provide some respite in the struggle to increase the state’s housing supply. 

  • AB 1279, Housing Development: High Resource Areas – Assembly Bill 1279 has some of the similarities of SB 50 without nearly as much of the controversy given its efforts to avoid gentrification.   Sen. Richard Bloom’s draft would allow for the development of buildings with up to 100 units of housing in high resource areas that feature low residential density.  Development would be subject to location relative to major streets and business districts.  Additionally, depending on the size of the development, up to 50% of the units could be required to be reserved for low-income residents.

  • SB 795, Affordable Housing and Community Development Program – Introduced by Sen. Jim Beall, Senate Bill 795 looks to create a funding source for local governments in the same vein as redevelopment funding.  This funding could be used for a number of activities including developing affordable housing near transit and infrastructure to address traffic needs. The funding would come from property taxes allocated to school funding.  Schools would still receive funding promised to them state law by receiving supplemental funding from the state’s general fund.

  • AB 2058, Income Tax Credits: Low Income Housing  – Assembly Bill 2058 focuses on maintaining the affordability of existing apartment units that would otherwise be up for conversion to market rate units.  The bill would provide affordable housing development owners with tax breaks upon entering into an agreement to keep existing units affordable.  The bill’s author, Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel, feels that this bill has the ability to preserve the affordability of up to 25,000 units across the state. 

  • AB 725, Moderate-income and Above Moderate-income Housing: Suburban and Metropolitan Jurisdictions – Addressing affordable housing for the middle class, Assembly Bill 725 would require cities allow a minimum of 2 units (but a maximum of 35) per acre on 25% of the land they have reserved for moderate and above-moderate income housing.  The bill’s author, Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, believes the bill would enable the development of more duplexes, triplexes, and other forms of multifamily housing.  The bill has passed the Assembly and is now waiting for Senate approval.

Stay tuned for updates regarding the progression of this new round of legislation as it moves through its respective committees, the Assembly, and the Senate.