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.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST