The Latest News

September| 2022

State News

Housing and Homelessness Bills Make It to the Governor’s Desk

With an August 31st deadline to approve bills and send them to the Governor for his consideration, the Legislature worked hard over the final days of the legislative session to take action on many bills that are important to the housing and unhoused community. The Governor has until September 30th to sign or veto the bills or they become law without his signature. Read more...

Gambling Ballot Measure Would Provide Funding for Homelessness 

Two Statewide ballot measures to expand gambling in California have been declared eligible for the November 2022 ballot, with one that would specifically direct funding to housing and homeless programs. Sponsored by several large sports betting companies, Proposition 27 would legalize online and mobile sports wagering, which currently is prohibited by State law. By imposing a 10% tax on the resulting revenues and licensing fees, the measure is estimated to create “in the mid-hundreds of millions of dollars annually.” After paying for the cost of the program, 85% of the revenues would be directed to housing efforts. 

Even though Proposition 27 is trumpeted as generating significant funding for housing and homelessness, several affordable housing organizations have expressed their opposition. According to the Non Profit Housing Association of Northern California, the bill has loopholes and deductions that would benefit online sports betting operators and harm the State’s Native American tribes.


Also on the ballot is Proposition 26, which is sponsored by Indian Tribes and allows new types of gambling. This measure does not have a connection to housing. Rather, 70% of the revenues would go to the State General Fund and 30% would be directed to programs that address problems associated with gambling.

Many Housing Measures on Local Ballots this November  


The November election is just two months away, and it is likely that housing will feature prominently in local jurisdictions across the State. In addition to measures that expand Just Cause Eviction protections and increase Article 34 authority, voters in some jurisdictions will be asked to vote on measures that are decidedly anti-housing. In Menlo Park, the City’s voters will consider a measure that would prohibit the City from re-zoning or re-designating properties that were zoned single family as of April 15, 2022 in a direct affront to Senate Bill 9, which was signed into law last year. In San Francisco, there are competing measures that each side says will streamline the production of affordable homes, with some arguing that one of the measures will do the opposite. Earlier in August, the San Francisco based Housing Action Coalition sued the City of San Francisco, filing a lawsuit to challenge the measure, called the Affordable Housing Production Act, arguing that that the development approval process included in the bill was illegal. Mayor London Breed supports the bill championed by the HAC, known as the Affordable Homes Now Initiative. Other members of the Board of Supervisors are behind the Affordable Housing Production Act and plan to fight the lawsuit. 

Read more...for a list of funding measures that have made it on the November ballot throughout the State.

Ballot Measure Advocacy Tools 

The National Low Income Housing Coalition is spearheading a nonpartisan campaign—Our Homes, Our Votes—to increase voter participation from low-income renters and to inform and educate candidates about housing solutions. Check out the website here and use these tools!


New Report on ADU Construction and Racial and Economic Equity

The Terner Center for Housing Innovation and the Center for Community Innovation released a new report on Accessory Dwelling Units-- ADUs for All: Breaking Down Barriers to Racial and Economic Equity in ADU Construction—which compiles information from a series of focus groups where homeowners who were building ADUs shared their experience. The researchers additionally interviewed 30 staff from 14 nonprofit and research organizations across the State to gain additional insight into the challenges faced by homeowners as they seek to add a second unit. The report e recommendations include: expand the capacity of and provide State and philanthropic funding to local organizations as they work to help low- and moderate-income BIPOC homeowners understand and navigate the process; expand and invest in financial programs that can provide the funds needed for BIPOC and low- and moderate-income homeowners to undertake building an ADU; and remove barriers to local jurisdiction implementation.    

The Terner Blog Highlights Increased Affordable Housing Development Costs

The Terner Center also released a report about the cost of building new affordable homes—The Costs to Build New housing Keeps Rising: State Legislation Aiming to Reverse the Upwards Trend. Not surprisingly, the report finds that recent increases in the cost of labor and building materials have driven the cost of building new affordable homes to an all-time high. As noted in the blog, a recent Los Angeles Times article reported that the cost of new affordable developments in Los Angeles has risen to nearly $1 million a unit. The blog highlights actions policymakers need to take in response to hard cost drivers. This includes lowering fee levels, reducing requirements for parking, and implementing and promoting more innovative construction methods. Several bills introduced this year would address these issues, including AB 2011 (Buffy Wicks, Concord), which would streamline the process of building new affordable homes on lands now designated for employment uses. Another bill, AB 2097 (Friedman, Burbank) would prohibit jurisdictions from imposing parking requirements for small projects if the development is within a half mile walk from a major transit stop.

Gender Equity Policy Institute Issues Report on Gender and Housing in California


In August, at the request of the California Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development, the Gender Equity Policy Institute issued a report,Gender & Housing in California; An Analysis of the Gender Impacts of California’s Housing Crisis, which details findings from a comprehensive study of the housing crisis and its impact on women. The study found that women are more likely to be rent burdened and severely rent burdened than men, with the most significant impacts falling on Black women, women living alone, and women-headed households. They also found that women are less likely to own their own homes. Four in 10 unhoused residents in the State are women. Check out the statistics here. 

The report makes a number of recommendations, several of which address the need for affordable housing generally, including more State funding, more incentives to produce affordable housing, and more targeting of housing funds. The report additionally recommended that a gender lens be integrated into housing policy decisions, that new housing developments incorporate gender-responsive design, and that policy makers consider the unique challenges faced by unhoused LGBTQ+ people and women.

Articles of Interest

Across the Nation, Rising Prices and Increased interest Rates Limit Access to Homeownership-- Joint Center for Housing Studies/Harvard Blog— August 10, 2022

What is the Financialization of Housing?—Shelterforce—August 8, 2022--

Housing Factions Use Two California Laws as Weapons—Mercury News—August 12, 2022--

America’s Last Affordable Housing is Under Threat—Youtube—August 15, 2022--

Editorial: NIMBY Cities Watch Out. California is Cracking Down on Housing Scofflaws—Los Angeles Times—August 18, 2022

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