Housing Bills Advance to the Governor's Desk

On September 15, 2017, the California Legislature sent to the Governor's desk a suite of housing bills intended to begin addressing the states chronic housing shortage. The bills include new ongoing revenue, a one-time jolt of new money and some reforms as required by Governor Brown to gain his support for the funding elements of a housing package. The Governor has until October 15th to sign or veto these bills.

The core elements of the package are summarized as follows.

SB 3 (Beall) would provide an immediate influx of $4 billion in bond funding and SB 2 (Atkins) would generate an estimated $200 to $300 million per year in ongoing revenues to support a range of investments, including planning for affordable housing; construction, preservation and homeownership programs; and matching funds to support local or regional housing trust funds. Bond revenues could additionally fund infrastructure investments - including streets, sidewalks, parks and utilities - that support new infill and transit-oriented housing development. Of the ongoing SB 2 revenues, a minimum of 70 percent would be allocated to local governments.

SB 35 (Wiener) - the core bill that meets the Governor's "reform" criteria - would streamline approvals for certain qualified housing developments. Lawmakers also sent to the Governor another dozen housing bills which would make a range of regulatory and enforcement-related changes. For example, AB 73 (Chiu) and SB 540 (Roth) would authorize financial incentives for local governments to expedite project approvals by completing upfront zoning and environmental review. Other bills which are being tracked include AB 1505 (Bloom), which would re-affirm the right of local governments to apply inclusionary zoning policies to rental housing.

ABAG has taken positions on a number of these bills. A housing package summary with more information is available through the Legislation & Governmental Organization (L&GO) September Meeting Agenda, available at http://abag.ca.gov/meetings/legislation.html. An updated analysis will be made at the L&GO Committee meeting on Thursday, September 21st. This meeting will be live streamed and past meeting videos are available at http://abag.ca.gov/meetings/legislation.html. A summary of significant housing bills is available at http://mtc.ca.gov/sites/default/files/ABAG_MTCHousing-Bills-Summaries_Handout.pdf.

For comments or questions about ABAG's legislative agenda, please contact Rebecca Long, Manager of Government Relations, at rlong@bayareametro.gov or 415-778-5289.