On September 29, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed a historic package of fifteen bills to alleviate the California’s staggering housing crisis. Assemblymember Bloom, who championed the package and introduced two of its bills, issued the following statement in response to the historic occasion.
“The skyrocketing cost of housing is forcing millions of Californians to make stressful financial decisions every month just to keep the eviction notice off their front door. Our housing problem is real and devastating to families, seniors, and young adults in communities throughout this state. Today’s signing of AB 1505 ensures that real affordable housing is built so our teachers, grocery clerks, car mechanics, and retired seniors – those who we interact with every day and who make up the fabric of our communities – can also afford to live in our communities. After many months of negotiations with various stakeholders, legislators, and the Governor, we finally have a comprehensive plan to combat California’s affordable housing crisis. While we have much more work to do, AB 1505 and the many other bills signed into law today to provide funding and improve zoning and permitting laws serve as a significant first step,” added Bloom.
Assemblymember Bloom’s Housing Legislation
Changes the process by which a council of governments (COG) distributes the regional housing need (RHNA) to jurisdictions within a region. Current law requires localities to adequately plan to accommodate the number of housing units at each income level that the COG allocates to them. This bill would require that a COG’s RHNA allocation methodology further existing statutory goals, including, among other things, promoting socioeconomic equity and addressing jobs-housing imbalances, and would provide additional checks and balances to ensure that the RHNA allocation does not further patterns of exclusion.
Closes a loophole in the state’s Ellis Act that allows landlords to evict all of their tenants while still remaining in the rental business. The Ellis Act was written with the intention of giving landlords the ability to evict their tenants in order to withdraw from the rental market, yet around the state landlords are evicting all tenants in a property and then returning those units in a piecemeal fashion to rental market, skirting the original purpose of the law. AB 2364 will close that loophole and also extend the time frame of an Ellis Act eviction to one year for all tenants.
AB 2797 – Affordable Housing in the Coastal Zone
Clarifies a provision in Density Bonus Law to ensure that a project cannot be found inconsistent with the Coastal Act merely because it receives a density increase under state law.
AB 494 – Accessory Dwelling Unit (Cleanup)
This bill makes clarifying language changes to the previous year’s AB 2299 including clarifying owner occupancy, parking, and set back requirements, to better reflect the intent of AB 2299 and make implementation easier for cities and homeowners.
AB 1505 – Local Discretion for Inclusionary Housing Programs
This bill restores the long-standing authority of local governments to require the inclusion of affordable rental units as one component of their local inclusionary housing policies, if they choose to adopt such policies. Local governments can already apply inclusionary policies to for-sale housing. This bill ensures that rental housing is not treated differently.
AB 1521 – Affordable Rental Housing Preservation Act
This bill will strengthen the state’s existing Affordable Housing Preservation Law by requiring that rental housing with affordability restrictions be offered for sale first, at market-rate, to qualified preservation purchasers who intend to maintain the property’s affordability restrictions.
AB 1568 – Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts
This bill provides local jurisdictions with the authority to finance infrastructure and affordable housing using new sales and use taxes in addition to property tax increment within qualifying enhanced infrastructure improvement districts.
AB 2299 - Secondary Units (“Granny Flats”)
This bill will require, rather than allow, a local government to adopt a secondary unit ordinance and to limit the local government’s ability to apply certain standards, including where parking requirements could be imposed. This bill will allow the development of second units as a way to increase the housing supply while ensuring that they are properly approved. Status: Chaptered by Secretary of State - Chapter 735, Statutes of 2016.
AB 2501 - Density Bonus Reform
This bill will clarify state Density Bonus law to help encourage market-rate housing developers to include affordable units in their projects and reduce costs for affordable housing developers. Status: Chaptered by Secretary of State - Chapter 758, Statutes of 2016.
Californians Deserves a Safe, Affordable Home
(Sacramento) – Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) joined other legislators and labor leaders at a news conference to show their support for legislation designed to ease California’s affordable housing crisis. “Housing costs across the state have increased exponentially and absent corrective action there is no end in sight,” said Assemblymember Bloom. “Given our state’s severe housing crisis, it is critical that we give local governments every tool to address affordable housing needs. My bill (Assembly Bill 1505) returns one of our most important and effective tools.” Under AB 1505, inclusionary housing remains a local decision, with input from local stakeholders, to determine what mix of policies, if any, make sense for their community. Here’s more in this Assembly Access video.