2020 California Housing Legislation, Part 4: The 34 That Remain

Due to COVID’s impact on the state budget and time legislators and their staff have to deal with other issues, 2020’s ambitious housing package, which started the year with over 100 bills, are now down to 34. Here they are.

Assembly Bills

These have passed the State Assembly and now have to be voted on by the State Senate.

Senate Bills

These have passed the State Senate and now have to be voted on by the State Assembly.

Downloadable PDF

Dropbox Link for both Assembly and Senate bills

AB953 Accessory Dwelling Unit cleanup bill

Clarifies that a house can add both an Accessory Dwelling Unit and a Junior Accessory Dwelling unit. Last year’s set of bills that allowed more ADU’s (backyard cottages, in-law and basement apartments, etc). had some unclear language, AB953 corrects that.

AB1436 COVID Eviction Moratorium

Makes it so that tenants cannot be evicted for unpaid rent from during COVID state of emergency, or 90 days after. The rent is converted into regular consumer debt. Tenants would still owe the money, similar to how they would owe a credit card bill, but can’t be evicted for it. Based on similar laws passed by some cities, such as San Francisco and Oakland.

AB1851 Housing on religious organizations’ parking lots

Allows reduction in parking at churches and other religious facilities when building housing on the lot. Only half the spaces need to remain. Also known as the “YIGBY” (Yes in God’s BackYard) bill.

AB2345 Larger Density Bonuses

Right now, the maximum density bonus is 35%. To get that bonus, a project must either set aside 11% of units for very low income (30–50% of median income), 20% of units for low income (50–80% of median), or 40% for moderate income (80–120%). AB2345 would increase the maximum bonus to 50%. To qualify for this new tier, a project would either need 15% very low income, 33% low income, or 44% moderate income.

  • Note: This bill will need to be coordinated with SB1085.

AB2405 Right to Housing

Declares and funds state policy that all children and families have a right to housing. Takes effect in 2026. Based on similar policies in New York City and elsewhere that have reduced the number and percentage of people living unsheltered outside.

AB2463 Ban on forced sale of home due to consumer debt

Bans the forced sale of a home by someone a homeowner owes unsecured consumer debt to (such as medical debt, credit card debt, etc).

AB2690 Mobile Home Rent Control, Newer Parks

Allows cities and counties to apply Rent Control laws to mobile home parks built on or after 1990. Currently only pre-1990 mobile home parks can be rent controlled.

AB2782 Limits on Mobile Home Park Closure

Requires 60 days notice, govt approval, relocation plan/payments when a mobile home park is closed. Also requires impact mitigation to subdivide a MH park or floating home marina (houseboats).

AB2895 Rent Cap for Mobile Homes

Extends the AB1482 Rent Cap to mobile homes. (Maximum annual rent increase of 5% plus inflation, or 10%, whichever is lower).

AB3040 Duplexes, Triplexes, 4plexes

Encourages cities to rezone single family houses to allow duplexes, triplexes, & fourplexes, by allowing it to count towards meeting part of their Regional Housing Needs Allocation goal. RHNA is where cities are required to zone for new housing every 8 years.

AB3088 Minor correction to last year’s AB1482

Corrects a cross-referencing error in last year’s AB1482 rent cap and tenant protection bill.

AB3107 Housing in Commercial Zones

Legalizes housing in commercial areas. To be eligible, at least 20% of the homes in a project would have to be affordable to lower income households.

AB3182 Allows renting of all homes in HOAs

Homeowner associations would no longer be allowed to ban owners from renting out a house or condo.

AB3269 Reduce homelessness by 90%

Directs state and local government to create plan to reduce homelessness by 90% by 2028.

AB3300 $2 billion for shelters and housing

Allocates $2 billion to reduce homelessness. Money would go to a continuum of care that includes shelters, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing (apartments with services available in the same building).

AB3308 School and Public Employee Housing

Allows school districts to use affordable housing tax credit funding to build homes specifically for teachers and other public employees.

AB3352 Lead Hazard Inspections

Requires cities and counties to inspect housing if residents complain about a lead poisoning hazard.

SB795 Affordable housing funding

$2 billion per year in funding for affordable housing for the 2020–2021 fiscal year and following 4 years. (Earlier version of this bill had $10 billion/year, amount reduced due to state budget crisis)

SB899 Affordable housing at land owned by hospitals, colleges, and religious institutions

Allows these types of institutions to build affordable housing on their land, even if it’s not currently zoned for residential uses.

SB902 Faster Rezoning for up to 10 homes per lot

Allows cities to rezone land near transit or jobs for up to 10 homes per parcel without going through California Environmental Quality Act CEQA process. This saves time and money.

SB915 COVID eviction pause for mobile homes

Bans evicting mobile home owners or tenants affected by COVID19 during a state of emergency and for 120 days after end of emergency.

SB995 CEQA Streamlining Extension and Expansion

Continues California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) streamlining for large projects (over $100 million) for 4 more years. Extends streamlining to smaller projects ($15–100 million). This would allow projects to break ground sooner and spend less money on pre-construction costs.

SB999 Mobile home rent control, long term leases

Allows local rent control ordinances to apply to mobile home leases longer than 1 year. Applies to rental agreements started on Feb 13, 2020 or after. This is so that mobile home residents won’t be forced to choose between low rents and the stability of a longer lease.

SB1030 Omnibus bill of multiple minor changes

Several minor changes to miscellaneous state housing laws.

SB1049 Bigger fines for illegal short term rentals

Raises the maximum fine for illegal short term rentals (such as airbnb’s) from $1000 to $5000.

SB1079 Priority for owner-occupants, public, and nonprofits in foreclosure sales

Requires a foreclosure seller to receive offers from public agencies, nonprofits, and potential owner-occupiers. Also sets a 3-property limit that any buyer can purchase at an auction.

SB1085 Inclusionary Housing Density Bonus — Moderate Income and Very Low Income Units

Increases density bonus for buildings that have moderate income (80–120% of median income) or very low (30–50%) income units. Also makes it easier to get zoning concessions.

  • Note: Some concerns have been raised about this bill due to the potential impact to production of low income (50–80% median income) units. This bill will need to be coordinated with AB2345.

SB1120 Duplexes & Lot Splits

Allows duplexes or dividing a lot into 2 lots in non-rural single-family zones.
Does not allow demolition of rent controlled homes or housing that has had a tenant in the last 3 years.

SB1138 Shelters

Reduces the number of restrictions or standards that cities can place on the opening of new emergency shelters.

SB1157 Optional credit reporting for tenants

Allows tenants in certain buildings who want to build a credit history to request that their landlord report their rent payments to a credit agency.

SB1190 Right to end lease early for victims of violent crime

Allows tenants to end a lease early if they or an immediate family member is victim of a crime causing injury or death.

  • Note: Previously the bill also had a part that allowed governments to enforce last year’s Rent Cap/Anti Gouging and eviction protection bill AB1482, however, that part was amended out to get the votes needed to pass SB1190 in the Senate.

SB1299 Commercial Zones — Incentives for Rezoning

Creates incentive grants for cities to rezone commercial land for housing. The grants would make up for the loss of sales tax revenue.

SB1385 Legalizing Housing in Commercial Zones

Legalizes housing in commercial areas. Projects on sites that have a 50% or higher vacancy rate for the last 3 years get streamlined approvals.

SB1410 COVID rental assistance

Creates a program where the state pays the rent and tenants pay back the state. Covers rent during COVID state of emergency and to-be-decided days after. Landlord must agree to participate, but can’t evict if they don’t.

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