Policy & Legislation

2021 Policy Framework

For the 2021 legislative session, California YIMBY has crafted a 5-part policy framework. The framework provides an overview of our priority policy areas this year. We’ll 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. The framework includes legislation that will:

  1. Legalize multi-family housing, and make it legal to build affordable, multi-family homes in wealthy neighborhoods, and in areas with abundant resources like schools, transit, jobs, and health care services.
  2. Protect vulnerable tenants from displacement by ensuring new housing includes robust protections for existing residents, and that the economic benefits of new housing are also captured by disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.
  3. Make it faster, cheaper, and easier to build homes by eliminating excessive fees, arbitrary regulatory hurdles, and other roadblocks local governments establish to delay or deny housing.
  4. Provide more public funding for subsidized and social/public housing to ensure low-, very-low, and unemployed Californians have safe, secure housing without rent burden.
  5. Ensure all Californians have secure housing during and after COVID-19 by protecting renters from being evicted for nonpayment and providing debt relief for tenants, small landlords, and affordable housing providers.

2021 Legislation

SB 9 - California Housing Opportunity & More Efficiency (HOME) Act

SB 9 would allow two homes on every property zoned for single-family homes in California. By streamlining the process to split a lot or create a duplex bill could lead to a substantial increase in the amount of housing available in neighborhoods throughout the state. When paired with recent ADU legislation, homeowners would be able to build up to 3 new homes on their lot. Learn more here.

 

 

SB 10 - Missing Middle Housing Near Jobs and Transit

SB 10 would allow cities to streamline the upzoning of lots near jobs and transit. By enabling cities to increase the density of these lots up to 10 units without triggering an environmental review, this bill would make it easier to build housing for young people and working families. Learn more here.

SB 477 - The Housing Data Act

SB 477 will create a systemic, statewide approach to gathering and analyzing data about the impact of state housing law. The Housing Data Act will require local governments to track and report when they approve a home as a result of state law, ensuring that these laws are having the intended impact. Learn more here.

SB 478 - The Housing Opportunity Act

SB 478 removes artificial barriers cities establish that have the effect of reducing the number of homes that can be legally built on a property. By establishing minimum standards for technical issues such as floor area ratios and minimum lot sizes, the Housing Opportunity Act will ensure that more homes are built on properties where multi-family homes are already legal. Learn more here.

SCA 2 - Article 34 Repeal

This bill places a measure on the California state ballot to repeal Article 34, a 1950 amendment to the state Constitution that had the effect of banning public and low-income housing in most California cities. Article 34 worsens racial and economic segregation by limiting the supply of low-income housing across the state. Learn more here.

AB 946 - End Tax Deductions for Vacation Homes

AB 946 eliminates the state Mortgage Interest Deduction for vacation homes and directs the state to use the $230M in savings to help create ownership opportunities for up to 23,000 low-income Californians. Learn more here.

AB 1401 - End Parking Mandates

AB 1401 ends costly parking mandates that can add as much as $80,000 per home to the cost of new housing. These mandates also exacerbate air and climate pollution by creating incentives for more driving and car use. AB 1401 makes it possible for home builders in areas near transit, or in areas with low existing rates of car usage, to build housing for people who don’t drive, or who can’t afford a car, without requiring the high cost of mandatory parking. Learn more here.

AB 1075 - Missing Middle Zoning Reform

AB 1075 would make it legal for cities to allow up to 10 homes on lots that currently ban multi-family housing. Multi-family homes are currently banned on over 70 percent of the urban land in California; these bans are the single largest barrier to housing affordability in the state. Learn more here.

AB 602 - Development Fee Reform

AB 602 would increase impact fee transparency and require impact fees to be proportional to the size of a new home so that smaller individual homes pay smaller fees. Learn more here.

ACA 7 - OPPOSE

If passed by the legislature and approved by voters, ACA 7 would give cities the power to continue policies that fail our state’s most vulnerable populations. This constitutional amendment would let California cities ignore the state’s affordable housing laws, effectively rendering ADU, housing element, and fair housing laws unenforceable. Learn more here.

Housing Reports from the California Legislative Analyst’s Office:

Perspectives on Helping Low-Income Californians Afford Housing 

California’s High Housing Costs: Causes and Consequences

Do Communities Adequately Plan for Housing?

Considering Changes to Streamline Local Housing Approvals

Housing Scholarship:

The New Exclusionary Zoning By John Mangin (2014)

Regulation and the High Cost of Housing in California By John Quigley and Steven Raphael (2005)

Do Strict Land Use Regulations Make Metropolitan Areas More Segregated by Income? By Michael C. Lens & Paavo Monkkonen (2016)

The Effect of Density Zoning on Racial Segregation in U.S. Urban Areas By Jonathan Rothwell and Douglas S. Massey (2009)

Why is Manhattan So Expensive? Regulation and the Rise in Housing Prices By Edward L. Glaeser and Joseph Gyourko (2009)

Producing Affordable Housing in Rising Markets: What Works? By Lance Freeman and Jenny Schuetz (2016)

Does Luxury Housing Construction Increase Nearby Rents? By Evan Mast (2018)

Affordable Housing Primer By Shane Philips (2020)

Research Catalog:

Our research catalog is an ever-growing list of academic papers. While we do not endorse the papers on this list and this list is not exhaustive, it can certainly be used to better understand the causes and solutions to our housing crisis. Check it out here: cayimby.org/research