It is painfully felt by residents, and well documented by multiple sources, that California needs more housing. However, it also means ensuring that houses can be built easily, affordable housing can be created, systemic bias is removed, and local governments are held accountable to do their job.
As a part of Governor Newsom’s California Comeback Plan, and new California Housing Accelerator, several bills have been proposed or passed: three of the most recent (as of October 2021) are outlined below.
SB 9: Housing Development: Approvals
What is it?
Streamlines the process for an owner to subdivide an existing single-family residential lot to create a duplex and/or allow for new infill construction. This means a property owner(s) can split a single-family lot into two lots, add a second home to their lot or split their lot into two and place duplexes on each. The last option would create four housing units on a property currently limited to a single-family house. Also of note:
- Duplexes can be built in most neighborhoods across the state, including neighborhoods where apartments have been banned.
- The law is designed to create additional housing while also preserving low-income, affordable units.
Jan 1, 2022
SB 10: Planning & Zoning: Housing Development: Density
What is it?
More easily allows local governments to rezone neighborhoods near mass transit or in urban areas to increase density with apartment complexes of up to 10 units per property. Also of note:
- Allows cities to bypass lengthy review requirements under the California Environmental Quality Act in an attempt to help reduce costs and the time it takes for projects to be approved
- This also means environmental rules on multi-family housing are reduced
January 1, 2022
AB 1466: Redaction of Unlawful Restrictive Covenants
What is it?
Requires that the county recorder of each county establish a program to identify and redact unlawfully restrictive covenants from California real property records. Also of note:
- In order to fund the redaction program in the final version of the bill, county recorders are authorized, but not required, to impose a $2 fee on the recording of certain documents.
- Any such fee would be slated to sunset on December 31, 2027 or, if reauthorized by the county board of supervisors, could be extended to no later than December 31, 2032.
July 1, 2022