o AB 84 (Ward) improves access to the state welfare property tax exemption. Specifically, the bill makes low-income affordable housing developments financed with 501(c)(3) bonds eligible for the exemption. The bill also allows owners of properties to keep the exemption when a low-income tenant’s income rises up to 100% Area Median Income (AMI) if they did not use Low Income Housing Tax Credits (“Housing Credits”). Current law already allows owners to keep the exemption until a tenant’s income exceeds 140% AMI.
o AB 346 (Quirk-Silva) enhances the State's housing finance resources and apparatus in four ways: 1) Increasing the value of state Housing Credits by seven percent (7%) or approximately $42 million, by clarifying that investors may begin claiming them in the same year they claim federal Housing Credits. 2) Maximizing the number of new affordable homes that can be produced by allowing the Tax Credit Allocation Committee (TCAC) to leverage enhanced state Housing Credits (the $500M in additional annual Housing Credits that have been available since 2020) with either 9% or 4% federal Housing Credits, as conditions best dictate. 3) Granting TCAC flexibility to set deadlines for construction starts to account for market conditions and natural and human-made disasters. 4) Applying TCAC’s standards for adopting and amending program regulations to the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee so that changes that need to be made to both programs can be made on a similar time line.
o AB 1307 (Wicks) ensures that noise generated by occupants of a residential development cannot be considered a significant effect on the environment under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). This will protect affordable housing development against litigation based solely on stereotypes of low-income persons.
o AB 1449 (Alvarez) creates a broader CEQA exemption for affordable housing, including the rezoning of land, when various environmental and labor conditions are met.
o AB 1633 (Ting) clarifies the circumstances under which local government CEQA abuse becomes a Housing Accountability Act violation. Specifically, for developments meeting various environmental criteria, the bill makes it illegal for a local government to deny a CEQA exemption for which a development is eligible, based on substantial evidence in the record. The bill further makes it illegal for a local government to fail to adopt an adequately prepared negative declaration or environmental impact report without substantial evidence in the record that further environmental study is necessary.
o SB 341 (Becker) removes pro-housing points from the Qualifying Infill Project (QIP) portion of the Infill Infrastructure Grant (IIG) Program. This ensures that private developers are not penalized for the inactions of a city or county over which they have no control.
o SB 355 (Eggman) improves the Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) Program. Specifically, the bill expands SOMAH to properties in which at least 66% of the households are low-income and to properties owned by California Native American Tribes or public housing authorities. The bill further makes solar facilities in new construction eligible to the extent they exceed building code mandates.
o SB 469 (Allen) exempts state funded affordable housing from Article 34 of the California Constitution by essentially clarifying that state financing does not constitute development per se. Article 34 of the state Constitution prohibits the development of a low-income affordable housing project with state or local public financing or assistance unless and until a majority of the voters of the jurisdiction has approved it.
o SB 482 (Blakespear) increases access to capitalized operating reserves (COSRs) for supportive housing units under the Multifamily Housing Program. Given the lack of rental assistance vouchers that may be project-based, it is critical that HCD provide operating assistance to support rental homes serving the unhoused, who have little ability to pay rent that covers the development’s operating expenses.