Governor Newsom Signs Legislation to Increase Affordable Housing Supply and Strengthen Accountability, Highlights Comprehensive Strategy to Tackle Housing Crisis
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||Contact: Governor’s Press Office|
|Tuesday, September 28, 2021||(916) 445-4571|
Governor Newsom has signed 31 affordable housing bills focused on cutting red tape and holding cities accountable for providing their fair share of housing
California Comeback Plan’s $22 billion housing and homelessness investment will lead to the creation of over 84,000 new housing units and exits from homelessness
Governor announces new Housing Accountability Unit at HCD to support local jurisdictions’ efforts to create housing
California Comeback Plan funds new $100 million grant program for low- to moderate-income homeowners to build accessory dwelling units
Administration has advanced $800 million in new or accelerated funding to build affordable, climate-friendly housing and infrastructure
OAKLAND – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a suite of bills to boost housing production across California, complementing the Governor’s $22 billion housing affordability and homelessness package and ongoing work by the state to spur more housing production, tackle barriers to construction and hold local governments accountable. Taken together, the actions represent a comprehensive housing vision and the state’s commitment to create more affordable housing, faster and cheaper.
“The acute affordability crisis we are experiencing in California was decades in the making, and now we’re taking the necessary steps to fix it,” said Governor Newsom, who signed the legislation at an affordable housing development in Oakland today. “This package of smart, bipartisan legislation boosts housing production in California – more streamlining, more local accountability, more affordability, more density. These bills, plus this year’s historic budget investments in affordable housing, will directly lead to more inclusive neighborhoods across the state. Creating denser housing near jobs, parks and schools is key to meeting our climate goals as well as our affordability goals.”
Since taking office, the Governor has prioritized tackling the housing crisis, signing major legislation to boost housing production, remove barriers to construction of accessory dwelling units and streamline state laws to maximize housing production.
This comprehensive housing vision brings a focus on four key areas: streamlining the building of new homes, breaking down barriers to build more affordable housing, addressing systemic bias by elevating fair housing principles and holding local governments accountable to do their job.
Today’s bill package, combined with four housing bills signed earlier this month, create a robust 31-bill housing package that touches on all four key areas – all complemented by budget investments Governor Newsom included as part of his California Comeback Plan.
Under Governor Newsom, California is pursuing its boldest housing and homelessness budget in state history, with an unprecedented investment of $22 billion to tackle these systemic issues. The funding will lead to the creation of over 84,000 new affordable homes for Californians, including over 44,000 new housing units and treatment beds for people exiting homelessness.
Governor Newsom signs affordable housing legislation in Oakland.
The California Comeback Plan included a $10.3 billion budget investment for affordable housing that will enable the creation of more than 40,000 new affordable homes for low-income Californians. These investments include $850 million for incentivizing infill development and smart growth, $800 million to preserve the state’s affordable housing stock, $100 million to promote affordable homeownership and significant funding to scale up the state’s efforts to create more Accessory Dwelling Units, build more housing on state-owned excess land, and investments in farmworker housing.
The following bills were signed today:
- AB 68 by Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) – Department of Housing and Community Development: California Statewide Housing Plan: annual reports.
- AB 215 by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) – Planning and Zoning Law: housing element: violations.
- AB 345 by Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) – Accessory dwelling units: separate conveyance.
- AB 447 by Assemblymember Tim Grayson (D-Concord) – California Debt Limit Allocation Committee: income taxes: low-income housing tax credits.
- AB 491 by Assemblymember Christopher Ward (D-San Diego) – Housing: affordable and market rate units.
- AB 571 by Assemblymember Chad Mayes (I-Rancho Mirage) – Planning and zoning: density bonuses: affordable housing.
- AB 602 by Assemblymember Tim Grayson (D-Concord) – Development fees: impact fee nexus study.
- AB 634 by Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles) – Density Bonus Law: affordability restrictions.
- AB 721 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) – Covenants and restrictions: affordable housing.
- AB 787 by Assemblymember Jesse Gabriel (D-Encino) – Planning and zoning: housing element: converted affordable housing units.
- AB 838 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) – State Housing Law: enforcement response to complaints.
- AB 948 by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) – Bureau of Real Estate Appraisers: disclosures: demographic information: reporting: continuing education.
- AB 1029 by Assemblymember Kevin Mullin (D-South San Francisco) – Housing elements: prohousing local policies.
- AB 1043 by Assemblymember Isaac Bryan (D-Los Angeles) – Housing programs: rental housing developments: affordable rent.
- AB 1095 by Assemblymember Ken Cooley (D-Rancho Cordova) – Affordable rental and owner-occupied housing: equity in state and local programs.
- AB 1297 by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) – California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank: public and economic development facilities: housing.
- AB 1304 by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) – Affirmatively further fair housing: housing element: inventory of land.
- AB 1398 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) – Planning and zoning: housing element: rezoning of sites: prohousing local policies.
- AB 1466 by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) – Real property: discriminatory restrictions.
- AB 1584 by the Committee on Housing and Community Development – Housing omnibus.
- SB 263 by Senator Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) – Real estate applicants and licensees: education requirements: fair housing and implicit bias training.
- SB 290 by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) – Density Bonus Law: qualifications for incentives or concessions: student housing for lower income students: moderate-income persons and families: local government constraints.
- SB 381 by Senator Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) – Surplus residential property: priorities, procedures, price, and fund: City of South Pasadena.
- SB 478 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) – Planning and Zoning Law: housing development projects.
- SB 591 by Senator Josh Becker (D-Menlo Park) – Senior citizens: intergenerational housing developments.
- SB 728 by Senator Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) – Density Bonus Law: purchase of density bonus units by nonprofit housing organizations.
- SB 791 by Senator Dave Cortese (D-San Jose) – California Surplus Land Unit.
The Governor previously signed:
- AB 1174 by Assemblymember Tim Grayson (D-Concord) – Planning and zoning: housing: development application modifications, approvals, and subsequent permits.
- SB 8 by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) – Housing Crisis Act of 2019.
- SB 9 by Senator Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) – Housing development: approvals.
- SB 10 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) – Planning and zoning: housing development: density.
Every city and county in California is obligated by law to plan and zone for their fair share of housing – a process currently underway. All told, local governments will need to plan for the creation of more than 2.5 million units statewide – more than doubling their obligation under the previous Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) cycle.
Today’s package of legislation, combined with unprecedented new state subsidies for affordable housing, enable local governments to meet these goals. To ensure that local leaders fulfill their legal responsibility to plan and zone for their share of the state’s housing needs, Governor Newsom announced the launch of California’s new Housing Accountability Unit (HAU) at the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). The new HAU will work with local municipalities to provide technical assistance to jurisdictions to aid their efforts to comply with state legislation mandating housing creation, including zoning and permitting. The HAU will also be empowered to take escalating enforcement steps to bring municipalities into compliance with their RHNA goals in the event of persistent non-compliance.
“It is absolutely imperative to meet these housing goals if we are serious about building an equitable future,” said Governor Newsom. “And it is similarly imperative to meet these housing targets because unaffordable housing leads to hours-long car commutes – directly inhibiting our efforts to meet our climate goals. Creating denser housing closer to major employment hubs is critical to limiting California’s greenhouse gas emissions.”
As part of the $22 billion California Comeback Plan investment for housing and homelessness, the Governor today announced the launch of a $100 million grant program for low- to moderate-income homeowners to build accessory dwelling units on their property, one of the latest efforts to ease the affordable housing shortage in the state. The California Housing Finance Agency’s (CalHFA) ADU Financing Program will provide as much as $25,000 in assistance to income-qualified homeowners, which is expected to produce 4,000 units of housing throughout the state. This funding will make a significant difference in ADU creation as upfront costs are often the biggest challenge for homeowners looking to build an ADU on their owner-occupied property.
The state is also taking action to address the interrelated problems of climate change and housing affordability with programs to transform neighborhoods into transit-oriented, affordable communities with a focus on limiting California’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The Governor today announced that the Administration has nearly doubled the funding available in the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) program for projects promoting dense, transit-oriented development. The California Strategic Growth Council took action to increase available funding for the current award round from $405 million to $785 million by accelerating funds that were planned for future award rounds. The AHSC program has invested over $1.1 billion across the state through 104 sustainable projects, creating over 9,000 affordable units and reducing 2.13 million tonnes of emissions over the projects’ operating lives.
In addition, the Governor signed legislation last week to add $420 million over three years to support the Strategic Growth Council’s Transformative Climate Communities Program, which provides large community-scale grants to transform low-income neighborhoods into transit-oriented, complete, affordable communities with a focus on greenhouse gas reduction.
Taken together, the AHSC acceleration and new TCC funding equal $800 million in new or accelerated funding to build affordable, climate-friendly housing and infrastructure in California.
In the coming days, the Governor will sign a package of bills to continue to confront California’s homelessness crisis – one of the most persistent challenges facing the state.
3 Reasons Affordable Housing Creates a Better World
A house is not just a house, it is a home – a place that shelters, protects, and nurtures. It offers a safe space for the people inside to thrive and supports their personal and professional development.
We believe affordable housing is not a hand out. It’s a hand up. It gives families’ the ability to reimagine their future without the high cost of rent.
In San Gabriel Valley, the need for affordable housing is apparent. The cost to rent or purchase housing has become less affordable for millions of Californians. What needs to be known is the impact affordable housing can make to families and the community.
Affordable Housing is Great for Kids
Stable, affordable housing is important for children’s future. A study done by Boston College and the MacArthur Foundation detailed how poor quality housing is tied to children’s emotional and behavioral problems.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition reported poor housing quality and residential instability are the strongest predictions of behavioral problems among low-income children.
“Addressing housing affordability is the most cost-effective way of lifting people out of poverty, for reducing childhood poverty and increasing economic mobility, says Sarah Mickelson, senior director of public policy at the National Low Income Housing Coalition.”
For children, a stable place to call home gives them an adequate space to study and the possibility to make a better future for themselves. With a room for a small desk and parent’s ability to spend more time with their children – all of these benefits can lead to a happier and healthier family.
It Builds Sustainable Communities
The need for affordable housing is imperative, not only for families who rely on housing, but neighborhoods. Having affordable housing developments in neighborhoods bring a positive impact on the surrounding communities. SGV Habitat works with city governments, housing organizations, and community advocates to create communities for families to thrive in.
Studies have shown affordable housing uplifts residents, encourages social connection, reduces overcrowding, increases adjacent property values, attracts businesses and jobs, and lowers crime rates.
There are many economic benefits of affordable housing. From increased spending, increased hiring, and increased taxes and revenue for local governments, affordable housing can help communities thrive as well. When families worry less about making rent, those living in affordable housing can spend more on more nutritious food and other essential items. Increasing the buying power for low-income families can mean steady income for local businesses, more job creations, and economic growth. This is proven as more and more shops, restaurants and healthcare facilities open where the NHP Foundation has properties.
Affordable housing developments encourage diversity by creating communities where people of different cultural, socio-economic, and educational backgrounds can unite. Diverse communities increase the knowledge of cultural sensitivity, fairness, and understanding of different backgrounds – ultimately creating a better community overall.
“Community-building investments that help neighbors from diverse backgrounds overcome their fears and suspicions and build positive social relationships across racial and ethnic lines may also help strengthen and stabilize newly diversifying neighborhoods and enable residents to enjoy the potential benefits,” according to a study by the Urban Institute.
By supporting affordable housing in your community, you will be helping a family finally buy their first home, children being able to study in their own rooms, build a stronger and more vibrant community, and much more.
How You Can Help
- Help sustain and expand the Healthy Homes initiatives at the federal, state and local levels, including public-private collaborative programs
- Strengthen enforcement of fair housing laws, including the Fair Housing Act and other state and local regulations prohibiting racial discrimination in housing markets
- Donate now to show your support to fix the housing crisis in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond
The Importance of Advocacy
The Progress You’ve Made Possible
Thanks to your support families throughout the San Gabriel Valley and beyond are witnessing first-hand what it is to have safe and stable housing. In fact, in the last thirty years, your support has helped over 220 families find brighter futures through permanent homeownership. Our work to make homeownership possible for all, however, has only just begun.
The Challenges Ahead
There is a serious housing shortage of over 3 million units in the State of California. The shortage doesn’t end in here. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there is a national housing shortage of 7.2 million units, with no state meeting the housing need of its residents.
Steadily rising housing costs make it difficult for many individuals and families to find housing that is affordable and that meets their needs, forcing them to make difficult tradeoffs between the cost of living and other key necessities.
Laying the Foundation for the Communities of Tomorrow
Solving the housing crisis will not be easy. Making the American Dream a reality for everyone requires significant change to help more families than any one organization could serve alone.
Decreasing the housing deficit at a scale that will solve the housing crisis requires the efforts of individuals, organizations, and elected officials at the local, state, and federal level – it requires everyone to join the cause. While funding causes like SGV Habitat is incredibly important, advocacy is also a critical part of the housing crisis solution.
Why Is Advocacy Important?
Affordable housing is discussed on Capitol Hill, in the White House and federal agencies, and by state and local legislators. Without the voice of constituents like you, regulations and other policy decisions may not reflect what is best for the future of your community.
Living in a democracy means every citizen has the right to advocate. As a constituent, your voice is an important tool that influences the actions of leaders in this country. As an advocate for affordable housing, you can impact on the lives of low-income families by providing policymakers with the personal stories and facts they need to make decisions and write laws.
How Can I Advocate for Affordable Housing?
Your voice matters. Letting your representatives know about the needs of your community ensure that they have the information needed to put legislation in place. There are several ways you can make change:
- Interact with your elected officials on the local, state, and federal level. This website has an easy way to find all of your representatives in one place.
- Educate your family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors about affordable housing and its positive effect on communities. In turn, they will also take action!
- Submit op-eds and letters to the editor at your local newspapers and magazines.
- Use social media to spread knowledge and encourage action. It’s as easy as sharing an @SGVHabitat post or blog like this one.
When Can I Start?
Right now! You can begin your affordable housing advocacy journey by following us on social media. You’ll be sure to find plenty of information to share with your inner (and outer) circle.