Support AB 989 to Allow Affordable Housing Developers to Appeal Unlawful Local Opposition through a New State Housing Accountability Committee

Action Alert

AB 989 (Gabriel) has been approved by two Assembly policy committees and faces a key vote soon on the Assembly Floor. Letters of support are needed now to ensure the bill’s passage by the end of May. As a sponsor of the bill, the California Housing Partnership asks that you submit your organization’s letter of support to the Legislature’s Position Letter Portal (with a copy to mstivers@chpc.net) by May 14. A sample letter is available for download: Word file | PDF file.

Background

While the state’s existing Housing Accountability Act creates a strong legal foundation governing local land use decisions on affordable housing developments, most affordable housing developers are reluctant to go to court to challenge a city or county that violates the law due to the time, expense, and uncertainty. As a result of this lack of enforcement, developers often abandon attempts to build new affordable housing in communities that oppose it or worse, never even try to build there. Ironically, these “NIMBY” communities are most often ones with the best schools and access to jobs and other resources that research shows is critical to helping low-income children thrive. 

Based on the long-standing and successful Massachusetts Chapter 40B law, AB 989 creates a state Housing Accountability Committee to adjudicate violations of the Housing Accountability Act and gives it the authority to overturn denials or conditions of approval that are not consistent with the Act. This provides a quicker, less expensive, less confrontational, and more consistent alternative to enforcing state housing laws in court, resulting in more affordable homes built at lower cost. 

Your voice makes a difference! Please submit your letter of support for AB 989 soon.  

A fact sheet on the bill is available from our website (PDF file). For questions or more information, please contact Director of Legislative and Regulatory Advocacy, Mark Stivers, at mstivers@chpc.net.

About the California Housing Partnership
The California Housing Partnership creates and preserves affordable and sustainable homes for Californians with low incomes by providing expert financial and policy solutions to nonprofit and public partners. Since 1988, the Partnership's on-the-ground technical assistance, applied research, and legislative leadership has leveraged $25 billion in private and public financing to preserve and create more than 75,000 affordable homes. | chpc.net

View past newsletters a.