Governor Newsom Signs Package of Historic Housing Legislation

October 09, 2019

Protection for Tenants, End of Single-Family Zoning, and Guardrails Against NIMBYism

Next on the Agenda: Ending the Housing Shortage

Sacramento, CA – California YIMBY today celebrated the signing into law of a historic package of housing legislation this week by Governor Gavin Newsom that will begin to address the impacts of the statewide housing shortage while setting the stage for future progress.

With the Governor’s signature on AB 68, AB 881, AB 1482, SB 13, and SB 330, California becomes the first state in the nation to couple robust rent caps and tenant protections (AB 1482) with the defacto elimination of single-family zoning throughout the state (AB 68). Additional measures will prevent cities from making the housing crisis worse (SB 330), while cutting red tape and excessive fees that made it difficult or impossible for communities to add accessory dwelling units in existing single-family zoned neighborhoods (AB 881 and SB 13).  

“This week marks another important step toward addressing the housing shortage for all Californians, and we’re grateful for Governor Newsom’s continued housing leadership,” said Brian Hanlon, President and CEO of California YIMBY. “We now have more tools in the toolkit to help cities overcome NIMBYism and allow the construction of more homes, while also ensuring that renters can remain secure in their homes and communities as they grow.”

“The next step is to remove the final barriers set up by cities that caused the housing shortage in the first place, and pass comprehensive reforms like the More HOMES Act (SB 50) and the Schools and Communities First Initiative that will make sure that California really is for everyone,” Hanlon said.

California YIMBY is proud to have sponsored two major bills to increase the production of ADUs, or “Granny Flats,” across California (AB 68 – Ting, and AB 881 – Bloom). ADUs can be built in the back yards, garages, basements, and under-used spaces of single-family homes. Those bills, combined with SB 13 – Wieckowski, will make it possible for homeowners to build these units with minimal interference from local city governments, which often put up costly and time-consuming roadblocks to their construction.

In addition, the tenant protections (AB 1482 – Chiu) will help protect existing renters from the impacts of the housing shortage by banning exorbitant rent increases and unjust evictions — while also ensuring that landlords aren’t financially penalized by inflation. 

And the new, anti-backsliding bill (SB 330 – Skinner) puts a halt to efforts underway by NIMBYs in many California cities to downzone existing neighborhoods, arbitrarily restrict housing development, or raise development fees to unrealistic levels in order to keep housing scarce and expensive, and prevent population growth.

“California YIMBY wants to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Assembly Members Chiu, Ting, Bloom, and Senators Skinner and Wieckowski, for their strong leadership this session on housing,” Hanlon said. “We also want to thank the many members of the legislature for authoring other important bills that will help make California affordable for everyone. And for those bills that didn’t make it across the finish line — we’re committed to solving the housing shortage and we’ll be back next year to help with the fight. We’re in this for the long haul.”


About California YIMBY: California YIMBY is a community of neighbors who welcome more neighbors. We believe that an equitable California begins with abundant, secure, affordable housing. We focus on housing and land use policy at the state and local level to ensure grassroots organizers and city leaders have the tools they need to accelerate home building.