Governor Jerry Brown signs affordable housing bills into law

Posted at 1:38 PM, Sep 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-29 16:38:26-04

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KGTV) - Governor Jerry Brown Jr. signed legislation Friday to increase the supply and affordability of housing in California.

The laws provide funding for affordable housing, reduce regulations, boost construction and strengthen existing housing laws.

"These new laws will help cut red tape and encourage more and affordable housing, including shelter for the growing number of homeless in California," said Governor Brown.

Among the bills signed by Gov. Brown include SB 2, authored by State Senator Toni Atkins of San Diego. The Building Homes and Jobs Act establishes a permanent funding source for affordable housing through a $75 fee on real estate transaction documents. The fee is capped at $225 per transaction and exempts real estate sales. The fees would generate roughly $250 million a year, which would be split among state and local housing programs.

"We know what solves homelessness: homes," said Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego). "SB 2 will provide an ongoing infusion of funding that communities all over California need to build affordable housing, so they can help bring people off the streets and into safe homes with supportive services. It will also help provide housing for seniors on low, fixed incomes and struggling families.”

"Skyrocketing housing costs have squeezed California's working and middle class for too long," said Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego). "I am proud to join the Governor and my fellow legislators to pass a historic package of bills that makes specific and tangible progress to give some relief to those struggling to pay their rents and mortgages. We have more work to do on housing affordability and I look forward to building on this year's achievements in the months ahead. Our goal must remain a roof over the head of every Californian at a price they can afford."

Other legislation signed:

SB 3 authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bonds for affordable housing programs and a veteran's home ownership program. SB 3 must be approved by voters next November.

SB 35 streamlines the approval process for infill developments in local communities that have failed to meet their regional housing needs.

SB 166 ensures that cities maintain an ongoing supply of housing construction sites for residents of various income levels.

SB 167 increases the standard of proof required for a local government to justify a denial of low- and moderate-income housing development projects. (SB 167 is identical to AB 678.)

SB 540 streamlines the environmental review process for certain local affordable housing projects.

AB 72 strengthens the state's ability to enforce laws that require local governments to achieve housing goals. 

AB 73 gives local governments incentives to create housing on infill sites near public transportation.

AB 571 makes it easier to develop farmworker housing by easing qualifications for the Farmworker Housing Tax Credit. 

AB 678 increases the standard of proof required for a local government to justify its denial of low- to moderate-income housing development projects. (AB 678 is identical to SB 167.)

AB 879 authorizes a study of local fees charged to new residential developments that will also include a proposal to substantially reduce such fees.

AB 1397 makes changes to the definition of land suitable for residential development to increase the number of sites where new multifamily housing can be built.

AB 1505 authorizes cities and counties to adopt an inclusionary ordinance for residential rental units in order to create affordable housing.

AB 1515 allows housing projects to be afforded the protections of the Housing Accountability Act if the project is consistent with local planning rules despite local opposition. 

AB 1521 gives experienced housing organizations a first right of refusal to purchase affordable housing developments in order to keep the units affordable. 

For full text of the bills, click HERE.