Home California Boerner Horvath’s Starter Home Revitalization Act of 2021 Passes Assembly

Boerner Horvath’s Starter Home Revitalization Act of 2021 Passes Assembly

by ECT

SACRAMENTO — Last week AB 803, Assemblymember Boerner Horvath’s Starter Home Revitalization Act of 2021, passed the Assembly on a unanimous, bipartisan vote.

Homeownership status remains the predominant driver of family wealth – and by extension – a family’s potential for upward mobility. California’s housing affordability crisis continues to hold hard-working families back from the dream of homeownership, with only 27 percent of households in California able to afford a middle-market home, as compared to 55 percent nationwide.

By facilitating the development of smaller, affordable-by-design, single-family homes on mid-range density multi-family lots, AB 803 will boost supply, while retaining community character.

“We can all agree that California urgently needs to address the housing crisis, and central to achieving that goal should be creative solutions like this one,” said Assemblymember Boerner Horvath. “By creating an alternative to McMansions, luxury condos and high-rise apartments, we can fill the “missing middle” in our housing supply with starter homes so young families have a shot at living in the place they call home.”

“Small lot homes are exactly what is needed for middle income families and first-time homebuyers,” said Brett Farrow, an architect and supporter of the bill. “They’ll also provide a sensible option for people who wish to downsize from larger suburban homes, freeing up more existing housing for new families. Because they’ll mostly be in existing developed areas, these homes will help us move away from sprawl development and the sorts of long commutes that drive greenhouse gas emissions.”

AB 803 eliminates minimum lot sizes and creates new opportunities for residential infill that are more compatible with surrounding single-family neighborhoods, while simultaneously increasing the housing diversity – especially important for high-land-value, suburban cities. AB 803 does not increase the existing density or or base zoning for any project.

The bill now moves on to the Senate for consideration.




AB 803, as amended, Boerner Horvath. Starter Home Revitalization Act of 2021.
(1) The Planning and Zoning Law requires a city or county to adopt a general plan for land use development within its boundaries that includes, among other things, a housing element. Existing law provides for various incentives intended to facilitate and expedite the construction of affordable housing.
This bill would authorize a development proponent to submit an application for the construction of a small home lot development, as defined, that meets specified criteria. The bill would require a small home lot development to be located on a parcel that is no larger than 5 acres, is substantially surrounded by qualified urban uses, as defined, and is zoned for multifamily residential use. The bill would require a small home lot development to consist of single-family housing units with an average total area of floorspace of 1,750 net habitable square feet or less. The bill would require that the units comply with existing height and setback requirements applicable to the multifamily site. The bill would prohibit the total number of units created by the small home lot development from being less than the minimum general plan density required for the multifamily site. require the small home lot development to result in at least as many units per acre as the maximum site density identified in the jurisdiction’s housing element for that parcel. The bill would require that the small home lot development comply with any local inclusionary housing ordinance. The bill would prohibit the small home development on the proposed site to be subdivided if the development would require the demolition or alteration of specified types of housing. housing, and would prohibit a small home development on a site identified in the jurisdiction’s housing element to accommodate that jurisdiction’s regional housing need for low-income or very low income households.
This bill would prohibit a local agency from imposing specified requirements on a small home lot development created pursuant to these provisions, including setback requirements between units within the small home lot development, requirements on the minimum size of each small home lot development, and specified parking requirements.
(2) The bill would make findings that ensuring access to affordable housing is a matter of statewide concern rather than a municipal affair and, therefore, specify that the bill applies to all cities, including a charter city and a charter city and county.
(3) By imposing requirements on local agencies relative to the development of small home lot developments, the bill imposes a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

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