Council Looks Ahead to a Full 2021 Legislative Session Focused on Housing
The 2021 legislative session appears the be shaping up as a retread of 2020 with all the major housing bills that failed this past session coming back again. As in the last session, Senate President Toni Atkins has made housing her top priority and has brought forward a package of bills that include additional tenant protections (SB 3); a potential 2022 housing bond (SB 5); the return of the Bay Area Council’s 2020 bill, SB 1385, to allow housing on commercial sites (SB 6); CEQA streamlining for new housing (SB 7 and SB 10); density bonus expansion (SB 8) and a bill to allow for lot splitting in single family zoning (SB 9).
On the Assembly side, we should expect a similarly ambitions series of bills to drop in the coming weeks. The Council hopes to not see a repeat of the end of session tensions that led to the demise of the housing package last year and that lessons will be learned on how to move legislation through committees and across legislative houses in a post COVID-19 world. Our housing crisis is too severe to waste another year to bad politics and we are hearing that commitments have been made by leaders of both Houses that 2021 will be more collaborative and less combative.
The Bay Area Council will be engaged on all these bills and more, including ADU financing, in the coming months. To engage in our housing work, please contact Bay Area Council Senior Vice President Matt Regan.