California is facing a severe housing crisis, and Californians need real housing solutions.
The state will need an estimated 1.8 million new homes by 2025 in order to meet demand, yet on average, only 80,000 new homes are built per year, according to the Department of Housing and Community Development. As communities throughout California work to accommodate projected growth, there is a unique opportunity to pursue legislation and policies that support the needs of local governments and Californians.
In an effort to create housing opportunities and solutions for California, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), and Senators Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), along with Senators Dave Cortese (D-San Jose), María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), Richard Roth (D-Riverside), and Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), have introduced the “Building Opportunities for All” Senate Housing Package.
The package of bills empowers homeowners who want to help solve the crisis, provides more land-use tools and flexibility to meet the needs of local governments and community partners, and streamlines procedural hurdles. California was in the throes of a housing crisis long before COVID-19 hit, but the pandemic has now intensified the need for housing affordability, access, and opportunity.
Individually, these bills each address a variety of causes that have contributed to the lack of housing production in our state. Together, they make up a unified approach to this challenge, creating pathways to home ownership, stable housing for vulnerable families, and a way forward to economic stability for Californians across the Golden State.
(Atkins, Caballero, McGuire, Roth, Rubio, Skinner, Wiener)
Senate Housing Bond – Senate Bill 5 Enacts the Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2022 which places a $6.5 billion dollar bond before the voters on the November 2022 ballot to fund affordable rental housing and homeownership programs.
The Neighborhood Homes Act – Senate Bill 6 authorizes residential development on existing lots currently zoned for commercial office and retail space such as strip malls or large “big box” retail spaces. This bill requires the development of residential units be at a minimum density to accommodate affordable housing and abide by existing local planning and development ordinances.
The Housing + Jobs Expansion & Extension Act – Senate Bill 7 seeks to improve the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process by extending and expanding provisions of AB 900, which streamlined paperwork and expedited legal challenges to large, multi-benefit housing, energy, and manufacturing projects. This bill extends the 2021 ‘sunset’ of AB 900, which created jobs and investment in the state, through 2026.
Senate Bill 8 extends the provisions of SB 330, the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, until 2030. This bill adds clarifying language to ensure the intent of SB 330 to streamline the production of housing that meets a local jurisdiction’s existing zoning and other rules is met.
California Housing Opportunity & More Efficiency (HOME) Act - Senate Bill 9 promotes neighborhood-scale residential development by streamlining the process for a homeowner to create a duplex or subdivide an existing lot in residential areas. This bill builds on the successful approach of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and expands options for homeowners who wish to be part of the solution in solving California’s housing crisis.
Senate Bill 10 allows cities to upzone areas close to job centers, transit, and existing urbanized areas to allow up to ten units without having to go through the lengthy CEQA process. SB 10 will make it easier for cities to build housing affordable to young people and working families.
Senate Bill 290 improves and clarifies the state’s Density Bonus statute to ensure it achieves its intended outcome of increasing affordable housing production. This bill will make it easier to build density bonus projects and provides incentives to build affordable housing for low-income students.
Senate Bill 477 expands California’s housing data collection so the state and public can better understand the impact of state housing laws and determine the progress made by various cities and counties in meeting regional housing goals.
Senate Bill 478 allows construction of small multifamily projects (3-10 units) in areas already zoned for multifamily housing, by ensuring that artificially low floor-area ratio regulation do not stop otherwise allowable projects. This bill also opens up small, legally created parcels for development.
Senate Bill 791 creates a technical assistance unit within the Department of Housing and Community Development that will provide assistance to local agencies to help them plan, finance, and develop affordable housing on their surplus land.