The California Legislature on Sept. 2 approved Assembly Bill 721, authored by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), to invalidate vestiges of discrimination in housing covenants. It would provide property owners with a process to remove exclusionary language in housing deeds to allow for more affordable and supportive housing.
Until the mid-20th century, racially restrictive covenants were a tool used to bar communities of color from inhabiting certain neighborhoods. While court decisions and the California Legislature have nullified racial restrictions in housing deeds, density restrictions in the same deeds remain enforceable and have the practical effect of redlining neighborhoods. Limits on the size and the number of units that can be built on a property act as clear barriers to the development of affordable and supportive housing.
AB 721 would clarify that density restrictions in private covenants cannot be used to curtail an affordable or supportive housing development that is otherwise consistent with local zoning. The measure proposes that a property owner who commits to building 100% affordable units for lower income households may build as many units as the local zoning code and land use laws would allow.
AB 721 is headed to the governor’s desk for his signature.
Additionally, the California State Senate on Sept. 1 approved Assembly Bill 1282, the California Pet Blood Bank Modernization Act, authored by Bloom, Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) and others.
AB 1282 seeks to address both the shortage of animal blood for veterinary transfusion medicine and the practice of requiring blood to come from captive closed colony blood banks in California.
The 37-1 vote sends AB 1282 back to the Assembly for one final concurrence vote before it goes to Newsom’s desk.
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