council advocacy helps move housing legislation forward

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In a divide and conquer strategy, the Bay Area Council housing policy team this week zigzagged through the Capitol going from hearing to hearing to advocate for legislation to address California’s epic housing crisis. By the time the dust settled, the Council’s efforts were rewarded with all bills we support clearing key committee hurdles and taking a step closer to final legislative approval. Many of the bills focused on easing excessive local fees and regulation, increasing accountability for meeting local housing goals and promoting construction of affordable housing. Among the bills were two that continue the Council’s aggressive action to spur construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs), aka granny units. Following bold ADU reform legislation the Council sponsored in 2016, applications and production of granny units statewide has skyrocketed. The Council will be continuing its advocacy as bills move to final votes when the legislature returns from summer recess on Aug. 12. To engage in the Council’s housing policy work, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.

See a list of housing bills the Council is sponsoring and supporting>>

  • SB 13 (Wieckowski) – removes local regulatory barriers and lowers fees for accessory dwelling units, building on legislation the Council previously sponsored that has sparked a statewide surge in granny units
  • SB 592 (Wiener) – a cleanup bill for the Housing Accountability Act, which holds local jurisdictions accountable for their housing decisions
  • SB 330 (Skinner) – for a five-year time period, prevents cities from lowering the density of zoning-compliant projects
  • AB 68 (Ting) – similar to SB13, a streamlining ADU bill that also includes ministerial approval for an ADU and JADU (junior accessory dwelling unit) on existing lots
  • AB 1483 (Grayson) – enforces accountability on housing data collection and reporting
  • AB 1484 (Grayson) – requires a reasonable basis for mitigation fees imposed on developers
  • AB 1485 (Wicks) – BAC sponsors AB 1485, providing CEQA streamlining for projects with dedicated units (20% of total) affordable to middle-income – up to 120% of area median income earners

The Council is also closely watching AB 1487 (Chiu), which would establish the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA), a new regional agency to raise, administer and allocate funding for affordable housing. The Council has concerns about provisions in the bill that could lead to excessive new fees.

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