Legislative Update – June 2018

The Senate and Assembly have both been plugging away to get through over 700 bills in 2 days! We have been monitoring, negotiating, and working Habitat supported legislation closely and have the following updates:

Assembly Bills

  • AB 2890, Ting: The assembly’s accessory dwelling unit bill made it off the floor with a vote of 53-17! This bill reduces the barriers local governments can impose on those wishing to build an ADU on their property.
  • AB 2923, Chiu: BART Transit Oriented Development. This measure has led to quite a lot of back and forth between Assemblymembers Chiu and Baker. They exchanged some heated discussion on the floor this morning. Baker compared giving a city’s land use power to a transit authority to “directing the local Dog Catcher run the Fire Department.”  This bill encourages cities to build more housing near transit on BART owned land. If a city fails to do so, BART’s board can build housing on property they own within a half mile of the BART stop. Cleary this was very controversial and just narrowly passed with a 42-28 vote.
  • AB 1804, Berman: Requires infill projects in unincorporated areas to meet the same conditions as infill projects in cities, in order to qualify for a CEQA exemption. This bill passed 77-0
  • AB 2035, Mullin: Current law authorizes a city, county, or city and county to adopt a resolution creating an affordable housing authority with powers limited to providing low- and moderate-income housing and affordable workforce housing, as provided, by means of tax increment financing. Current law defines various terms for these purposes. This bill would additionally define the terms “authorizing resolution” and “property tax increment” for these purposes. The bill would additionally revise these provisions to limit the authority to providing low- and moderate-income housing and affordable housing, as specified. Passed 54-23

Senate Bills

  • SB 828, Weiner – Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) Reform: This bill would require the inventory of land suitable and available for residential development to identify sites that can be developed for housing within the planning period that are sufficient to provide for 125% of the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need for all income levels. Basically, it increases regional housing needs assessment requirements to 125% to ensure jurisdictions get closer to meeting their local housing goals. Few cities and counties meet the existing requirement for residential zoning, and the law is rarely enforced. If local officials failed to comply with SB 828 requirements, that law would bar them from rejecting any residential project proposed on suitable land. Counties and cities continued to adamantly oppose this measure, therefore it passed by a narrow margin of 23-10. We will continue to work with the sponsors and other supporters to make sure it gets through the assembly.
  • SB 831, Wieckowski:  This is 1 of 2 Senate ADU bills and the only one to make it through the Senate appropriations committee onto the Senate floor for a full vote. It passed with bi-partisan support with 33-1. This bill continues to also have adamant opposition by many cities throughout the state.
  • SB 912, Beall: This bill would authorize the Budget Act of 2018 to include funding to address the issues of affordable housing, long-term homelessness solutions, and emergency homelessness interventions, as specified. The bill would also include legislative findings as to the necessity to provide additional funding for housing. This passed with a vote of 35-0
  • SB 1056, Beall: This measure, passed 36-2, would provide that property is within the welfare exemption if that property is owned by a community land trust, as defined, otherwise qualifying for the welfare exemption, and specified conditions are met, including that the property is being or will be developed or rehabilitated as housing, as specified
AB 2922 – We are still working to make sure that the money we requested for our housing tax credit bill makes it into the budget in some form. Whether as a housing tax credit directly or by requesting a portion of the $5 billion of the set aside proposed by the Senate for housing and homelessness specifically for homeownership. We are working with the budget conference committee members to identify the best process to make this happen. It is also important to note that the Assembly and Governor have not publically supported the Senate’s proposal.  The Budget must pass by June 15th, but budget trailer bills can be adopted throughout the remaining days of the legislation session.  We will continue to send you updates as the budget negotiations progress over the next two weeks.