Monday, October 02, 2017

Housing in California

L.A. Times

From the LA Times:

...The array of new laws Brown signed Friday will hardly put a dent in the state’s housing problems. Developers need to build about 100,000 new homes each year beyond what’s already planned, simply to keep pace with California’s population growth.

Money from the bond — assuming it’s approved by voters in November 2018 — and the new real estate fee are estimated to finance about 14,000 additional houses a year, still leaving the state tens of thousands of units short annually, according to the state and third parties. Moreover, all the bond money could be spent in as little as five years...Three new laws expand requirements for cities to plan for housing. Assembly Bill 1397 forces local governments to zone land for housing where it could actually go, instead of putting sites they don’t intend to approve in their housing plan...

Senate Bill 166 makes cities add additional sites to their housing plans if they approve projects at densities lower than what local elected officials had anticipated in their proposals. The goal is to make up for the housing units that weren’t built.

Assembly Bill 879 instructs cities to analyze how long it takes developers to actually build their projects once they’ve been approved, and then take steps to shorten that time.

The Housing Accountability Act passed in 1982 prohibits cities from saying no to housing projects that meet zoning requirements simply because they don’t like them. But such cases are hard to prove. Three measures, Senate Bill 167, Assembly Bill 678 and Assembly Bill 1515, will beef up the existing law by making it easier for developers to prove a city acted in bad faith when denying a project, and by upping a city’s penalty to $10,000 per unit they rejected.

Assembly Bill 72 gives the state housing department more authority to investigate cities that don’t follow through with their housing plans and refer cases to California’s attorney general for possible legal action (Gov. Brown just signed 15 housing bills. Here's how they're supposed to help the affordability crisis).

Rob's comment:
This legislation is well-intended but will be hard for the state to enforce. Instead, it's likely to cause a flurry of litigation by and between developers, the state, and local governments.

At least the LA Times reporter doesn't try to blame CEQA. See Is CEQA the Problem?

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