The 2019 California legislative cycle wrapped up over the past weekend as Governor Newsom signed and vetoed dozens of bills to meet the October 13 deadline. MTC took positions on a number of housing bills that emphasized protection of tenants, production of more housing, and preservation of existing affordable housing throughout the region. MTC ultimately supported the following eight bills, all of which have now been signed into law:
- AB 1482 (Chiu), which enacts a 10-year statewide cap of 5 percent on annual rent increases (plus a cost-of-living adjustment based on the regional Consumer Price Index that would allow rents to rise by up to 10 percent in a single year), to protect tenants from extreme rent increases. The bill also establishes a “just cause” eviction policy for 10 years, prohibiting landlords from evicting tenants without “just cause” to do so, requiring that the cause be stated in writing, and requiring relocation assistance in “no-fault” cases.
- AB 68 (Ting), which makes it easier for homeowners to create Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), also known as “casitas” or “granny units,” by easing restrictions and speeding up the permitting process. A related bill, SB 13 (Wieckowski), on which MTC took a “seek amendments” position, also was signed into law, prohibiting local agencies from requiring replacement off-street parking or from imposing an owner-occupancy requirement for an ADU permit. SB 13 also prohibits impact fees for an ADU less than 750 square feet and caps fees at 25 percent for an ADU of 750 square feet or larger.
- AB 1483 (Grayson), which requires cities, counties and special districts to post on their websites a current schedule of fees and affordability requirements applicable to housing projects, as well as an archive of nexus studies conducted since January 1, 2018. The bill also requires the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), in its next and every subsequent update of the California Statewide Housing Plan, to include a 10-year housing data strategy that identifies data useful to enforce housing laws and inform policymaking, and to establish a workgroup, inclusive of local governments and metropolitan planning organizations, to inform that effort.
- AB 1485 (Wicks), which expands streamlining opportunities for affordable housing projects in the San Francisco Bay Area that dedicate at least 20 percent of the total units to moderate-income households with incomes below 120 percent of the area median.
- AB 1486 (Ting), which revises ambiguities in the Surplus Land Act in order to provide affordable housing developers a clear “right of first refusal” opportunity when public agencies are disposing of surplus land.
- SB 6 (Beall), which provides more transparency about the land available for housing development by requiring HCD to create a database of land suitable for residential development as provided by local agencies in their housing elements and of “excess” state land.
- SB 330 (Skinner), which aims to accelerate housing development by providing developers with greater certainty about requirements and speeding up the overall project review process for five years.
Preservation and Funding Bills
- AB 1487 (Chiu), which authorizes ABAG and MTC (acting as a newly authorized “Bay Area Housing Finance Authority”) to place various measures on the ballot within the nine-county Bay Area to fund affordable housing production, preservation of existing affordable housing, and tenant protection. Measures which voters may consider may include a general obligation bond, an employee “head tax,” a parcel tax and a gross receipts tax.