July Legislative Update

On July 16th the legislature adjourned for summer recess, giving members and staff a month-long break from another tumultuous legislative session impacted by covid. It also marked the deadline for bills to make it out of key policy committees before heading to appropriations and the senate and assembly floors for critical votes prior to the end of session on September 10th.

Habitat’s sponsored legislation continues to move forward. SB 728 (Hertzberg), improving the state’s Density Bonus Law to allow nonprofits, like Habitat to purchase DBL units for low-income families, is on the Assembly floor. AB 602 (Grayson), creating transparency and clarity in impact fee exactions at the local level, AB 1095 (Cooley) ensuring parity in state funding sources, and AB 345 (Quirk-Silva), streamlining and clarifying ADU separate conveyance requirements are all currently in Senate Appropriations and will be voted on when the legislature returns on August 16th. Each of these measures provides incentives and additional tools to expedite housing development and limit NIMBY opposition.

In budget news, Governor Gavin Newsom signed the largest funding and reform package for housing and homelessness in California history as part of the $100 billion California Comeback Plan. The package includes $10.3 billion for affordable housing and $12 billion spread over two years towards tackling the homelessness crisis head-on and demanding greater accountability and urgency from local governments.

The legislation signed on July 19th, AB 140, includes new homelessness funding of $5.8 billion to add 42,000 new housing units through Homekey.
It also includes $2 billion in aid to counties, large cities and Continuums of Care through the Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention grant program (HHAP).

AB 140 also allocates 10.3 Billion toward affordable housing, primarily directed toward affordable rental housing to preserve units as well as incentivize the development of new units. It includes 100 million to promote ownership through down payment assistance as well as the development of new ADUs. While this is a good step, it is nowhere near the investment needed to make a meaningful dent in providing low-income families with opportunities to close the racial wealth gap through ownership. Habitat will continue to advocate for additional ownership funding to support the production of affordable ownership housing.

$10.3 Billion Affordable Housing Package

  • $850 million incentivizing infill development and smart growth
  • $800 million to preserve the state’s affordable housing stock
  • $100 million promoting affordable homeownership
  • Additional funding to scale up the state’s efforts to create more Accessory Dwelling Units, build more housing on state-owned excess land and invest in farmworker housing

$12 Billion Over Two Years to Confront Homelessness Crisis

  •  $5.8 billion for Homekey over two years, creating more than 42,000 new homeless housing units
  • $2.75 billion for the Department of Housing and Community Development
  • $3 billion for the Health and Human Services Agency to create clinically enriched behavioral health housing and funding for the renovation and acquisition of Board and Care Facilities and Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly.
  • $2 billion in HHAP grants over two years with strong, new accountability requirements for local governments
  • $1.75 billion to unlock up to 7,200 units of housing in the pipeline for extremely low-income families and people exiting homelessness
  • $150 million to stabilize participants in Project Roomkey hotels
  • $50.6 million for encampment resolution efforts
  • $45 million for services and housing for homeless veterans