Los Angeles Multifamily

Newsom passes sweeping pro-housing legislation. But is it enough?

Newsom makes an aggressive pro-housing push in California

If there is one thing residents and landlords can agree on, it’s that California needs more housing. How much more housing? That depends on who you ask. State officials say California needs to ramp up production to 310,000 new housing units annually over the next eight years — a pace that’s 2.5 times faster than the current rate. CA Governor, Gavin Newsom, has taken a proactive approach in his recent passing of pro-housing legislative bills, a few of which are outlined below.

Assembly Bill 2011

  • AB 2011 allows for ministerial, by-right approval for affordable housing on commercially-zoned lands, and also allows such approvals for mixed-income housing along commercial corridors, as long as the projects meet specified affordability, labor, and environmental criteria.
  • The bill also requires that all projects seeking approval under its provisions ensure all construction workers earn prevailing wages and receive health benefits.
  • With thousands of potential commercial sites across California, the bill would allow production of new affordable housing units at scale, without changing the density or character of existing residential neighborhoods. One recent analysis found the potential for 2.4 million units statewide.

Senate Bill 6

  • SB 6 allows residential development on property zoned for retail and office space without needing a rezoning, and allows project applicants to invoke the Housing Accountability Act (HAA) to limit local discretion to deny or condition approval.
  • However, SB 6 does not provide a ministerial approval pathway, and it requires applicants to commit to both prevailing wage and more costly “skilled and trained workforce” requirements for project labor (although the law provides an “off ramp” if fewer than two bidders bid for a contract under the “skilled and trained workforce” requirement).
  • SB 6 does not contain any BMR requirements, and it has fewer site exclusions than AB 2011, and so it is likely to be used most frequently in lower-cost areas of the state and on sites where AB 2011 is not available.

Assembly Bill 2097

  • This bill would prohibit a public agency from imposing any minimum automobile parking requirement on any residential, commercial, or other development project, as defined, that is located within 1/2 mile of public transit.
  • Parking mandates, which require parking for cars to be included in new housing, are common in cities throughout California and can add $40,000 or more to the cost of construction per parking spot, while also increasing climate pollution.
  • Eliminating these costly parking mandates will give Californians more choices about whether they want to pay for parking, or have lower-cost housing in walkable, transit-accessible neighborhoods. AB 2097 increases housing choice and will make it easier to provide lower-cost, walkable-and transit-accessible housing across the state.

By mrlamultifamily

I am a multifamily real estate specialist in Los Angeles.

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