Policy

California YIMBY is a community of neighbors who welcome more neighbors.

Our state’s current housing policies have set up a lose-lose situation, where newcomers compete with long-term residents for sparse – and increasingly expensive – housing.

We are building a grassroots movement and empowering local YIMBY organizations to lay the groundwork for more housing construction for people of all income levels, which will reduce displacement, temper home prices and rents, and allow California communities to grow responsibly.

That’s why we’re working to pass the following legislation this year, all aimed at alleviating our housing crisis.

Sign up for The Home Work, our biweekly newsletter on the latest in housing research!

SB 50 – The More HOMES Act

We support and cosponsor SB 50, which will help end the housing crisis and build a California that’s affordable and accessible for everyone. SB 50 will allow small apartments near the state’s highest quality transit and in high opportunity areas where local governments currently ban them.  SB 50 will reduce the displacement of low-income people, the number of Californians experiencing homelessness, and racial/economic segregation. SB 50 will also increase the production and preservation of affordable housing, improve the fiscal health of local governments, and enable California to meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets.
Read more about our support of the More HOMES Act Here.

 

ACA 1 – Affordable housing and public infrastructure

ACA 1 would make it legal for a 55% majority of voters in a city to approve new funding for affordable housing and other vital urban infrastructure. Currently, efforts to raise new funds for affordable housing must be approved by 67% of voters — a threshold that is unreasonably high. The law would have made a huge difference in places like  San Jose, Santa Rosa, and Santa Cruz, which in November 2018 tried — and failed — to pass housing bonds to support local affordable housing. Had ACA 1 been law at the time, each bond would have passed. ACA 1 would make it easier for cities across California to build more low-income housing.
You can read our full letter supporting ACA 1 here.

 

AB 1482 – Tenancy: rent caps & just cause evictions

AB 1482 would protect California renters from unreasonable rent increases that would drive them out of their homes. The bill caps rent increases at a maximum of 7% per year (plus inflation), and includes “just cause” provisions that protect renters from unjustified or otherwise unreasonable eviction. The bill preserves the rights of landlords to evict tenants for legitimate reasons, such as endangering other tenants or violating their lease.
You can read our full letter of support for AB 1482 here.
AB 1482 includes amendments from AB 1481 — our support letter for AB 1481 can be found here.

 

SB 592 – Housing Accountability Act

SB 592 would amend the Housing Accountability Act to include protections for Accessory Dwelling Units. The Housing Accountability Act (HAA), passed in 1982, is designed to make sure our cities step up to the task of providing housing for their residents and face penalties when they don’t. SB 592 updates the HAA with important clarifications, such as protections for Accessory Dwelling Units, or “Granny Flats,” that will help make sure there’s a level playing field across our state for more homes. 
You can read our full letter of support for SB 592 here.

 

AB 10 – Tax credits for low-income housing

AB 10 will increase the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit by $500 million annually, providing urgently-needed funds for affordable housing. The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit is among the most important programs for funding the development of affordable housing. Under the LIHTC, affordable housing developers sell housing tax credits to raise the money they need for their housing projects; the credits are sold to California companies, which get a tax reduction in exchange. Investments in the tax credit can increase the state’s low-income housing contribution by 200 to 300%. This is because affordable housing developers leverage state funds to receive more federal funds for their projects.
You can read our full letter of support for AB 10 here.

 

SB 329 – Ending discrimination based on housing assistance vouchers 

SB 329 would establish that prospective tenants cannot be discriminated against for paying with a federal housing assistance voucher issued under Section 8. According to the most recent HUD estimates, housing choice voucher holders nationwide were successful in finding housing only 69 percent of the time, with that number falling to 61 percent in tighter housing markets, such as California’s, revealing possible discrimination against voucher holding tenants. This discrimination has a disparate racial impact, and some evidence suggests that discrimination against housing choice voucher holders is an intentional illegal proxy for discrimination on race. SB 329 would make it unlawful for a landlord to refuse tenancy to someone because they hold a housing choice voucher. This method is proven to increase the rate at which voucher holders can find housing by 12 percent.
You can read our full letter of support for SB 329 here.

 

SCA 1 Public housing projects

We support and are cosponsoring Senate Constitutional Amendment 1, which would repeal Article 34 of the California State Constitution. Article 34 requires a local government to hold an election every time a low rent building is built with 51 percent or more of government funds. Being able to vote on whether one will have low-income neighbors is inherently exclusionary, and it is morally reprehensible that California still requires this. We applaud SCA 1 for proposing to fully repeal this provision, and we look forward to mobilizing for its passage at the ballot box.
You can read our full letter of support for SCA 1 here.  

 

AB 68 Land use: accessory dwelling units

We are sponsoring AB 68, which will update regulations allowing more Accessory Dwelling Units and allows a new Junior ADU in addition to the ADU on most lots in California. ADUs are a reliable, cost-efficient way to address the affordable housing crisis, building thousands of new homes for California residents. By providing cost-effective guidelines and incentivizing local agencies to follow them, AB 68 will make these important housing options easier to build.
You can read our full letter of support for AB 68 here.

 

SB 248 Taxation: renters’ credit

We’re proud to support SB 248. The Renters’ Tax Credit has not been increased since 1979; SB 248 would increase the Renters’ Tax Credit to the amount it was equal to in 1979 dollars. It would also require the Franchise Tax Board to adjust the tax credit annually to inflation. By enacting SB 248, California can make progress towards helping those in poverty and those struggling to get in – or even stay in – California’s middle class.
You can read our full letter of support for SB 248 here.

 

SB 330 Housing Crisis Act of 2019

We support SB 330, which will hold cities accountable for following their own rules on housing. It prevents them from “downzoning,” which makes it harder to build affordable housing in high opportunity areas. SB 330 ends local governments’ ability to enact moratoriums, which ban the construction of all housing for arbitrary reasons. Among other “good government” measures, SB 330 establishes and protects fair rules for housing approval processes, such as a maximum of five hearings per housing project, and it prevents backsliding that makes the rules less fair.
You can read our full support letter for SB 330 here.

 

AB 881 Accessory dwelling units

We’re proud to sponsor AB 881. AB 881 will eliminate the provision authorizing a local agency to require owner-occupancy as a condition of issuing a permit for an Accessory Dwelling Unit. By providing cost-effective guidelines and removing owner-occupancy requirements, this bill will make Accessory Dwelling Units easier to build throughout California.
You can read our full letter of support for AB 881 here.

 Click here to see our legislation tracker.