Policy & Legislation

Priority bills for the 2020 legislative session

SB 902 - “Gentle” Density

SB 902 builds on the past success of laws encouraging “granny flats,” or ADUs, by increasing the number of homes allowed on a single lot from two (one primary home and an ADU) to four primary residences. The bill will accelerate a practical solution to the housing shortage by giving smaller builders more flexibility and certainty in existing single-family neighborhoods, without changing the nature of the local built environment. SB 902 also aids economic recovery by fast-tracking smaller, “mom and pop” housing projects.

AB 3155 - More “Mom and Pop” Housing

AB 3155 would make it cheaper and easier for small, “mom and pop” developers to contribute to our housing needs by making it faster and cheaper to build small housing projects. The bill extends the streamlining provisions of SB 35 to housing projects of 10 units or fewer, which will encourage more naturally affordable and “missing middle” housing. AB 3155 would also aid in economic recovery by putting small contractors back to work.

SB 592 - Amend Housing Accountability Act Protections

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. Read our support letter for SB 592 here.

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.

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.  

AB 725 - Affordable Duplexes

AB 725 will require cities to allow more affordable duplexes in their plans to accommodate future housing growth. Under current plans, most California cities don’t provide sufficient land for the construction of more affordable, multi-unit homes; AB 725 fixes that by requiring cities to plan for duplexes on lands they allocate for future housing growth.