Governor Newsom Signs Housing Bills
by Jacqueline Woo, Senior Associate | Policy and Legislative Team
This year the Governor signed more than 50 bills that simplify and expedite the construction of new housing, provide more opportunities for affordable homes, and strengthen rental protections.
The State Legislature and the Governor have again stepped up to pass critical legislation and approve increased funding for housing. This year’s legislative package builds on the important progress made over the past five years to address the State’s severe housing crisis. In 2021, the Governor created the Housing Accountability Unit (HAU) in the Department of Housing and Community Development that ensures localities abide by these new requirements, and new legislation continues to clarify and strengthen the role of the HAU.
We highlight a few of this year’s bills here:
SB 4 (Wiener, D-San Francisco) provides a streamlined process to develop affordable housing on land owned by religious organizations and nonprofit colleges and enables development regardless of local zoning restrictions.
SB 423 (Wiener, D-San Francisco) removes the sunset of SB 35 (2017), which allows for ministerial approval of developments in communities that have not met their Regional Housing Needs Allocations or adopted a compliant housing element and extends the law to coastal communities.
SB 469 (Allen, D-Redondo Beach) exempts developments financed by HCD, CalHFA, and the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency from Article 34 of the State Constitution. A significant new law that overturns the requirement for voter approval for affordable development in most cases.
AB 1033 (Ting, D-San Francisco) repeals a current law that prohibits the separate conveyance of ADUs, enabling property owners in participating cities to build an ADU and sell it separately, providing a new homeownership option for families and the potential for wealth-building for homeowners.
AB 1449 (Alvarez, D-Chula Vista) extends CEQA exemptions to 100% affordable projects assisted through the LIHTC program as long as they meet specified labor and environmental requirements. As most affordable developments include tax credits, this bill will streamline the development process for affordable projects and bring new homes online faster.
AB 1485 (Haney, D-San Francisco) strengthens the Housing Accountability Act by empowering the Attorney General and the Department of Housing and Community Development to intervene in any legal action addressing a violation of housing laws initiated by a third party.
ACA 1 (Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters) lowers the voter threshold from 2/3 to 55% for affordable housing bond measures. Changing this rule will give local communities the tools they need to invest in affordable housing, and the accountability to ensure it produces results. This initiative will undergo clean-up language and changes to maximize impact, so it will go back through the legislative process in the early part of the 2024 session, and then head to voters’ ballots likely in November 2024.
AB 12 (Haney, D-San Francisco) bans landlords from charging more than one month’s rent as a security deposit. The law goes into effect in June.
AB 1418 (McKinnor, D-Inglewood) prohibits cities and counties from enacting “crime-free” housing programs and nuisance ordinances that require landlords to evict people when a household member is a convicted felon.
SEE OUR LIST of bills signed into law >