2023 Policy Framework
For the 2023 legislative session, California YIMBY has crafted a 3-part policy framework. The framework provides an overview of our priority policy areas this year. We use the framework to guide our decisions about which bills we work on, including those we sponsor and those we sign on to as a supporter. Our list of sponsored and supported bills is below, and evolves over the course of the session.
The framework includes legislation that will promote:
- Climate-safe housing: By making it faster, cheaper, and easier to build more homes in walkable neighborhoods, and in areas close to jobs, good schools, and transit, we can provide more climate-safe housing and reduce the risk of catastrophic losses due to climate change. Our legislative priorities will focus on increasing infill housing that enables more Californians to live in areas that are not at risk of wildfires, floods, and other climate disasters – while limiting sprawl into high-risk areas that put too many Californians in harm’s way. This will also reduce climate pollution from long commutes, preserve valuable open space and farm lands, and make our state more resilient to climate change.
- Building on success: Many of our bedrock housing laws have begun to make a difference, and can be streamlined and strengthened to ensure they continue to deliver on the promise of more homes for Californians at all income levels. Our legislative activities in this area will focus on updating critical, pro-housing laws that make it easier to build homes like ADUs and missing-middle housing for workers; to close loopholes some cities use to block more homes; and adjust existing housing regulations to market realities.
- New pathways to homeownership: The dream of homeownership remains out of reach for too many Californians, especially communities of color. Homeownership is a critical component to helping families achieve financial security, while providing stable housing at a fixed cost. Our legislative activities in this area will focus on creating new pathways to homeownership, including both land use and financial reforms, for the vast majority of working Californians who earn a good salary, but who are shut out of homeownership by the housing shortage and resulting high home prices.
2023 Sponsored Legislation
AB 68 (Ward)
AB 68 will help alleviate California’s housing crisis and reduce climate change risk by streamlining approvals for new homes near jobs, schools, transit, and other resources, and in areas local governments have already identified as a priority for infill housing. By accelerating development of new homes away from areas of high fire and flood risk, and increasing the number of homes that can be built in walkable and transit-adjacent neighborhoods, AB 68 will make California more affordable and sustainable, while reducing the pollution that causes climate change.
SB 423 (Wiener)
SB 423 permanently extends the provisions of SB 35, and expands them to cover mixed-income housing developments. SB 35, which is scheduled to sunset in 2026, was signed into law in 2017 and has produced thousands of new subsidized affordable homes across California. The permanent extension of SB 35 via SB 423 will make its provisions permanent, reducing housing costs while ensuring that new affordable and mixed-income homes are built faster in the places they’re most needed.
AB 976 (Ting)
AB 976 will permanently extend the ability of property owners to build affordable, rental accessory dwelling units (ADUs), also known as “granny flats,” by extending the rental unit provisions of 2020’s AB 881, which expire in 2025. The provisions allow owners to build rental ADUs on the same property as their existing rentals.
SB 294 (Wiener)
SB 294 will stop the misuse by cities of floor area ratios and minimum lot size requirements to prevent the construction of multifamily buildings of more than 10 homes in areas already zoned to allow them. The bill expands on previous legislation, SB 478, that ended the abuse of these mechanisms for developments up to 10 homes.
AB 1633 (Ting)
AB 1633 will end the inappropriate abuse of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) by jurisdictions that attempt to block new housing developments that have already been found in compliance with local and state land use and environmental regulations.
AB 309 (Lee)
This bill would lay the groundwork for creating a new, statewide social housing agency that would fund, build, and manage affordable, mixed-income social housing for both rental and homeownership opportunities.
SB 684 (Caballero)
SB 684 will create new pathways to homeownership for middle-income Californians and communities of color by making it faster and easier to build smaller, more naturally-affordable homes near jobs, schools, transit, and other amenities. The bill streamlines approvals for “starter” homes in infill developments of 10 homes or less in multi-family zones, and on vacant lots in single-family zones.
2023 Supporting Legislation
AB 835 (Lee)
AB 835 will help expand the production of more affordable, family-sized apartments and flats by making it legal to build these types of homes on smaller and unusually-sized properties in our cities.
SB 450 (Atkins)
SB 9, passed in 2021, ended single-unit-only zoning and legalized duplexes and lot-splits throughout California. But many cities have found creative ways to effectively ban the housing made possible by SB 9 in their jurisdictions. SB 450 would strengthen SB 9 by clarifying the intent and purpose of the law, and by giving state agencies the authority to enforce its provisions in cities that try to block it.
SB 4 (Wiener)
SB 4, the Affordable Housing on Faith Lands Act, provides a streamlined process for religious organizations and nonprofit colleges to develop affordable housing on their property.
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