March Legislative Update

The end of February saw a number of bills make it to the bill introduction deadline. Over 105 housing-related bills have been introduced so far in 2020, many of which are still “place holder bills” with content being considered that will likely not go to into print for weeks or even months to come. We have seen a number of production bills introduced so far this year, with many more likely to be amended into these spot bills as members and advocates work through the language and concepts. Production bills cover issues such as expedited approvals and streamlining for emergency shelters, smaller naturally affordable projects like our sponsored bill AB 3155 (Rivas), and removing barriers to build housing on faith-based and nonprofit property with SB 899 (Wiener) and AB 1851 (Wicks). We’ve also seen an renewed and expanded interest in addressing the states rising cost of impact fees. A package of impact fee bills were introduced late last week, with Assemblymember Grayson continuing to lead the charge, he was joined by Assembly members Bonta, Gloria, Gabriel, and Chair Chiu in a press conference to highlight their individual bills introduced to address the various challenges imposed by  impact fees. Habitat for Humanity is sponsoring AB 3145 (Grayson), placing a cap on impact fees based on the median home price and requiring local jurisdictions to justify charging any amount beyond that. Habitat for Humanity was the only organization to participate in the press conference, highlighting the significant barriers these fees have imposed, especially on nonprofit affordable developers