Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sept. 16 signed legislation to expand housing production in California, streamline housing permitting and increase density to create more inclusive and vibrant neighborhoods across the state.
California officials announced the new California Housing Accelerator – a $1.75 billion component of Newsom’s California Comeback Plan to expedite construction of an estimated 6,500 shovel-ready affordable multi-family units in projects stalled due to constraints on the supply of tax-exempt bonds and low-income housing tax credits.
The California Comeback Plan invests $22 billion in housing and homelessness, which could lead to the creation of more than 84,000 new, affordable homes for Californians.
The governor also signed Senate Bill 9, the California Housing Opportunity and More Efficiency Act, which the White House this month commended to increase housing supply. The HOME Act facilitates the process for homeowners to build a duplex or split their current residential lot, expanding housing options for people of all incomes that will create more opportunities for homeowners to add units on their existing properties. It includes provisions to prevent the displacement of existing renters and protect historic districts, fire-prone areas and environmental quality.
SB 10 by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) creates a voluntary process for local governments to access a streamlined zoning process for new multi-unit housing near transit or in urban infill areas, with up to 10 units per parcel. The legislation simplifies the CEQA requirements for upzoning, giving local leaders another tool to voluntarily increase density and provide affordable rental opportunities to more Californians.
Additionally, Newsom signed SB 8, which extends the provisions of the Housing Crisis Act of 2019 through 2030. The Housing Crisis Act of 2019, which was scheduled to expire in 2025, accelerates the approval process for housing projects, curtails local governments’ ability to downzone and limits fee increases on housing applications, among other provisions.
Assembly Bill 1174, by Assemblyman Tim Grayson (D-Concord), is an urgency measure that makes changes to the existing streamlined, ministerial approval process for housing development in jurisdictions that have not yet made enough progress towards their allocation of their regional housing needs.