Home California Governor Newsom Signs Legislation to Increase Affordable Housing Supply and Strengthen Accountability

Governor Newsom Signs Legislation to Increase Affordable Housing Supply and Strengthen Accountability

by ECT
Gavin Newsom

Governor Newsom has signed 31 affordable housing bills focused on cutting red tape and holding cities accountable for providing their fair share of housing

California Comeback Plan’s $22 billion housing and homelessness investment will lead to the creation of over 84,000 new housing units and exits from homelessness

Governor announces new Housing Accountability Unit at HCD to support local jurisdictions’ efforts to create housing

California Comeback Plan funds new $100 million grant program for low- to moderate-income homeowners to build accessory dwelling units 

Administration has advanced $800 million in new or accelerated funding to build affordable, climate-friendly housing and infrastructure 

OAKLAND –  Governor Gavin Newsom signed a suite of bills to boost housing production across California, complementing the Governor’s $22 billion housing affordability and homelessness package and ongoing work by the state to spur more housing production, tackle barriers to construction and hold local governments accountable. Taken together, the actions represent a comprehensive housing vision and the state’s commitment to create more affordable housing, faster and cheaper.

“The acute affordability crisis we are experiencing in California was decades in the making, and now we’re taking the necessary steps to fix it,” said Governor Newsom, who signed the legislation at an affordable housing development in Oakland today. “This package of smart, bipartisan legislation boosts housing production in California – more streamlining, more local accountability, more affordability, more density. These bills, plus this year’s historic budget investments in affordable housing, will directly lead to more inclusive neighborhoods across the state. Creating denser housing near jobs, parks and schools is key to meeting our climate goals as well as our affordability goals.”

Since taking office, the Governor has prioritized tackling the housing crisis, signing major legislation to boost housing production, remove barriers to construction of accessory dwelling units and streamline state laws to maximize housing production.

This comprehensive housing vision brings a focus on four key areas: streamlining the building of new homes, breaking down barriers to build more affordable housing, addressing systemic bias by elevating fair housing principles and holding local governments accountable to do their job.

Today’s bill package, combined with four housing bills signed earlier this month, create a robust 31-bill housing package that touches on all four key areas – all complemented by budget investments Governor Newsom included as part of his California Comeback Plan.

Under Governor Newsom, California is pursuing its boldest housing and homelessness budget in state history, with an unprecedented investment of $22 billion to tackle these systemic issues. The funding will lead to the creation of over 84,000 new affordable homes for Californians, including over 44,000 new housing units and treatment beds for people exiting homelessness.

Governor Newsom signs affordable housing legislation in Oakland.

The California Comeback Plan included a $10.3 billion budget investment for affordable housing that will enable the creation of more than 40,000 new affordable homes for low-income Californians. These investments include $850 million for incentivizing infill development and smart growth, $800 million to preserve the state’s affordable housing stock, $100 million to promote affordable homeownership and significant funding to scale up the state’s efforts to create more Accessory Dwelling Units, build more housing on state-owned excess land, and investments in farmworker housing.

The following bills were signed today:

  • AB 68 by Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) – Department of Housing and Community Development: California Statewide Housing Plan: annual reports.
  • AB 215 by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) – Planning and Zoning Law: housing element: violations.
  • AB 345 by Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) – Accessory dwelling units: separate conveyance.
  • AB 447 by Assemblymember Tim Grayson (D-Concord) – California Debt Limit Allocation Committee: income taxes: low-income housing tax credits.
  • AB 491 by Assemblymember Christopher Ward (D-San Diego) – Housing: affordable and market rate units.
  • AB 571 by Assemblymember Chad Mayes (I-Rancho Mirage) – Planning and zoning: density bonuses: affordable housing.
  • AB 602 by Assemblymember Tim Grayson (D-Concord) – Development fees: impact fee nexus study.
  • AB 634 by Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles) – Density Bonus Law: affordability restrictions.
  • AB 721 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) – Covenants and restrictions: affordable housing.
  • AB 787 by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Encino) – Planning and zoning: housing element: converted affordable housing units.
  • AB 838 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) – State Housing Law: enforcement response to complaints.
  • AB 948 by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) – Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers: disclosures: demographic information: reporting: continuing education.
  • AB 1029 by Assemblymember Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) – Housing elements: prohousing local policies.
  • AB 1043 by Assemblymember Isaac Bryan (D-Los Angeles) – Housing programs: rental housing developments: affordable rent.
  • AB 1095 by Assemblymember Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) – Affordable rental and owner-occupied housing: equity in state and local programs.
  • AB 1297 by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) – California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank: public and economic development facilities: housing.
  • AB 1304 by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) – Affirmatively further fair housing: housing element: inventory of land.
  • AB 1398 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) – Planning and zoning: housing element: rezoning of sites: prohousing local policies.
  • AB 1466 by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) – Real property: discriminatory restrictions.
  • AB 1584 by the Committee on Housing and Community Development – Housing omnibus.
  • SB 263 by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) – Real estate applicants and licensees: education requirements: fair housing and implicit bias training.
  • SB 290 by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) – Density Bonus Law: qualifications for incentives or concessions: student housing for lower income students: moderate-income persons and families: local government constraints.
  • SB 381 by Senator Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) – Surplus residential property: priorities, procedures, price, and fund: City of South Pasadena.
  • SB 478 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) – Planning and Zoning Law: housing development projects.
  • SB 591 by Senator Josh Becker (D-Menlo Park) – Senior citizens: intergenerational housing developments.
  • SB 728 by Senator Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) – Density Bonus Law: purchase of density bonus units by nonprofit housing organizations.
  • SB 791 by Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose) – California Surplus Land Unit.

The Governor previously signed:

  • AB 1174 by Assemblymember Tim Grayson (D-Concord) – Planning and zoning: housing: development application modifications, approvals, and subsequent permits.
  • SB 8 by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) – Housing Crisis Act of 2019.
  • SB 9 by Senator Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) – Housing development: approvals.
  • SB 10 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) – Planning and zoning: housing development: density.

Every city and county in California is obligated by law to plan and zone for their fair share of housing – a process currently underway. All told, local governments will need to plan for the creation of more than 2.5 million units statewide – more than doubling their obligation under the previous Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) cycle.

Today’s package of legislation, combined with unprecedented new state subsidies for affordable housing, enable local governments to meet these goals. To ensure that local leaders fulfill their legal responsibility to plan and zone for their share of the state’s housing needs, Governor Newsom announced the launch of California’s new Housing Accountability Unit (HAU) at the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The new HAU will work with local municipalities to provide technical assistance to jurisdictions to aid their efforts to comply with state legislation mandating housing creation, including zoning and permitting. The HAU will also be empowered to take escalating enforcement steps to bring municipalities into compliance with their RHNA goals in the event of persistent non-compliance.

“It is absolutely imperative to meet these housing goals if we are serious about building an equitable future,” said Governor Newsom. “And it is similarly imperative to meet these housing targets because unaffordable housing leads to hours-long car commutes – directly inhibiting our efforts to meet our climate goals. Creating denser housing closer to major employment hubs is critical to limiting California’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

As part of the $22 billion California Comeback Plan investment for housing and homelessness, the Governor today announced the launch of a $100 million grant program for low- to moderate-income homeowners to build accessory dwelling units on their property, one of the latest efforts to ease the affordable housing shortage in the state. The California Housing Finance Agency’s (CalHFA) ADU Financing Program will provide as much as $25,000 in assistance to income-qualified homeowners, which is expected to produce 4,000 units of housing throughout the state. This funding will make a significant difference in ADU creation as upfront costs are often the biggest challenge for homeowners looking to build an ADU on their owner-occupied property.

The state is also taking action to address the interrelated problems of climate change and housing affordability with programs to transform neighborhoods into transit-oriented, affordable communities with a focus on limiting California’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The Governor today announced that the Administration has nearly doubled the funding available in the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program for projects promoting dense, transit-oriented development. The California Strategic Growth Council took action to increase available funding for the current award round from $405 million to $785 million by accelerating funds that were planned for future award rounds. The AHSC program has invested over $1.1 billion across the state through 104 sustainable projects, creating over 9,000 affordable units and reducing 2.13 million tonnes of emissions over the projects’ operating lives.

In addition, the Governor signed legislation last week to add $420 million over three years to support the Strategic Growth Council’s Transformative Climate Communities Program, which provides large community-scale grants to transform low-income neighborhoods into transit-oriented, complete, affordable communities with a focus on greenhouse gas reduction.

Taken together, the AHSC acceleration and new TCC funding equal $800 million in new or accelerated funding to build affordable, climate-friendly housing and infrastructure in California.

In the coming days, the Governor will sign a package of bills to continue to confront California’s homelessness crisis – one of the most persistent challenges facing the state.

Press Release

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1 comment

Berta Ruiz Oct 1, 2021 - 11:58 am

Someone should remind Gavin that California is NOT an “affordable” housing state. The land is far too expensive for that. There are only a few places where people can live unless they want to be housed in the forested area and have their houses succumb to wildfires. The cost-of-living here is also over-the-top. What gets me is seeing these NextDoor postings asking for services that charge “affordable” prices. If they can’t afford paying a plumber or a mechanic his regular fee, they should move to a state where they can afford t live.

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