Policy & Legislation

Priority bills for the 2020 legislative session

SB 902 - “Gentle” Density

SB 902 creates faster rezoning, allowing cities to streamline their upzoning by preventing the city from facing frivolous lawsuits. This will allow cities to upzone themselves faster, helping them comply with housing element law and getting needed housing built faster.

AB 3153 - Making it Cheaper to Build

AB 3153 will make housing cheaper to build by removing car parking mandates and allowing developers to build the kind of mobility options they think residents will require, such as bicycle parking. Car parking mandates are a key driver of building costs, adding as much as $100,000 to the cost of every unit of housing. By giving developers flexibility, AB 3153 will reduce the cost of housing while helping accelerate our transition to a more sustainable transportation system.

AB 725 - Affordable Duplexes

AB 725 requires local governments to plan for small, naturally affordable homes as a part of their regional housing mix. It calls for 25 percent of moderate-income and above-moderate-income housing to be located in areas where multi-family housing is legal, rather than in single-family zones where housing is more expensive. We should support these more naturally-affordable housing types and AB 725.

AB 1063 (Oppose)

AB 1063 allows local governments to count “theoretical” housing that is never built toward their regional goals for low-income housing required under state law. The bill would count potential “granny flats,” or ADUs, toward their housing needs — but it does not require that the ADUs are ever built, or even permitted. If passed, the bill would have the effect of reducing the amount of low-income housing cities are required to plan for — making the housing crisis even worse. We strongly oppose this bill.

AB 3040 (Support)

AB 3040 streamlines existing rules under the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development to make it easier for cities to comply with state housing law, which will result in more homes being built more quickly.

AB 3182 (Support)

AB 3182 makes it legal for homeowners whose properties are in a homeowner’s association (HOA) to rent their homes out. Approximately 25 percent of all housing in California belongs to an HOA, but under current law, HOA’s can legally ban renters — dramatically reducing the amount of rental housing available. AB 3182 makes it legal to rent in an HOA, and will expand the amount of rental housing available to renters at all income levels.

SB 1120 (Support)

SB 1120 would allow two homes on every property zoned for single-family homes in California. It would also allow single-family properties to be split into two lots, increasing the total potential to four homes (two primary residences and two ADUs). The bill could lead to a substantial increase in the amount of housing available in neighborhoods throughout the state.

Proposition 15 - Schools & Communities First

Proposition 15 closes $12 billion in tax loopholes for wealthy corporations across the state, and designates the funds for essential local services in every county, including our schools, health care services, housing for the homeless, firefighters, safe drinking water, and disaster preparedness. The measure exempts homeowners, renters, small businesses and agricultural land, and prioritizes transparency and accountability by requiring public disclosure of all new revenues and how they are spent.

Proposition 16 - Return of Racial Equity in Policy-Making

Proposition 16 would amend the California Constitution to allow the state to enact programs that can help correct historic inequities like racial discrimination in housing, in the workplace, and in educational institutions. If voters approve Proposition 16 to repeal Prop 209, the Legislature could reinstate programs such as Affirmative Action. We believe that such policies are needed to allow the state to address racial inequities across a broad swath of California public policy, including housing.

ACA 1 - Affordable housing and public infrastructure

ACA 1 is a proposed California Constitutional amendment on the 2020 ballot that 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.

SCA 1 - Public housing projects

SCA-1 is a proposed California Constitutional amendment on the 2020 ballot that 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.