Housing California's 2020 Policy Agenda
Housing California’s 2020 Policy Agenda centers the communities most in need of an affordable place to call home. These include those struggling the most to make ends meet and those experiencing homelessness. We utilize multiple strategies to meet these goals, including reforms of California’s laws and regulations on land use and finance, as well as innovative approaches to end homelessness. We lead with equity and diversity to prioritize those who have been historically marginalized and/or neglected in decision-making processes, and we work in close collaboration with a variety of partners. These include non-profits, affordable housing developers, residents, foundations, labor unions, trade associations, corporations, and supportive policymakers from a diverse set of backgrounds.
Our 2020 legislative priorities are listed below. As the legislative session progresses, please come back for updates.
AB 1845 (Rivas)
Homelessness Office of the Governor
This bill would create an Office to End Homelessness within the Governor’s Office and will be overseen by a Secretary on Housing Insecurity and Homelessness, which would have both the authority to coordinate and to hold the state accountable for its response to addressing homelessness. The new office would provide one single point of contact on homelessness at the state level to oversee and coordinate homelessness programs administered by other state entities, thereby removing unnecessary bureaucracy and consolidating the delivery of services.
AB 1907 (Santiago)
CEQA Exemption for Permanent Supportive Housing, some Affordable Housing
This bill would provide a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) exemption for affordable housing funded by certain programs, supportive housing, and emergency shelters. While CEQA was originally intended to protect the environment from the negative impacts of development, CEQA has been used by opponents of family, low-income and homeless housing, to delay developments with a lengthy environmental review process.
AB 2329 (Chiu)
Homelessness needs and gaps analysis
AB 2329 would require the State to do a needs and gaps assessment of state programs that provide housing or services to people experiencing homelessness, to determine their efficiency, and potential gaps in services or duplicative efforts.
This analysis will increase collaboration, coordination, communication and data sharing among the multiple state agencies and departments that serve people experiencing homelessness. The data gathered can help develop state-wide strategies, best practices and examine common barriers/challenges with specific populations.
AB 2988 (Chu)
Increased Cap for Streamlined Supportive Housing
In 2018, the Legislature passed AB 2162, which created streamlined approval of supportive housing projects in areas where multi-family housing is allowed. However, for supportive housing projects utilizing this streamlined approval process, the bill included a maximum of 50 units per project, in areas with less than 200,000 people and less than 1,500 point in time count.
This bill, AB 2988, would increase the unit cap on projects eligible for streamlined approval, from 50 to 120 in areas with less than 200,000 people and less than 1,500 PIT count. It would also expand the areas where the development of supportive housing is eligible for streamlined approval to include areas where emergency shelters are allowed.
AB 3300 (Santiago)
Homelessness Grant Funding
Provides $2 billion on-going to address homelessness from the general fund. The funds would be split:
55% to county and CoC collaboratives;
40% to cities with populations over 300,000;
5% to developers in smaller cities and unincorporated areas.
Funding would be used for rental assistance, subsidies and capital for supportive and affordable housing, flexible services funding to help people remain housed, shelter operations and capital for people experiencing homelessness, along with prevention programs for people at immediate risk of homelessness. Resources would incentivize collaboration between cities, CoCs, and counties and require partnerships across jurisdictions. In addition, the proposal would have strict accountability measures, requiring jurisdictions to use their funding expediently, align with evidenced-based best practices, and match state funds.
SB 282 (Beall)
Supportive Housing for People on Parole with Mental Illness
California allocates over $16 million per year for the Integrated Services for Mentally Ill Parolee program (ISMIP), a program that
provides mental health treatment to parolees with severe mental illness. This program has been found ineffective by both the Legislative Analyst’s Office and UCLA. SB 282 would redirect the funding to the Department of Housing and Community Development to provide grants to counties for supportive housing. The county would be required to provide medi-cal mental health and substance use treatment
to the participants.
SB 361 (Mitchell)
Health Homes Program Clean-Up
In 2013, Governor Brown signed AB 361 (Mitchell), which authorized the state to take advantage of an Affordable Care Act optional
Medi-Cal benefit, now referred to as the Health Homes Program (HHP). The intent of AB 361 was to ensure that in California HHP funds services to help Medi-Cal beneficiaries experiencing chronic homelessness to access housing stability. This clean-up legislation would remove language around restricting state funding and also require health plans to implement benefits in ways that would make the
program more meaningful.
ACA 1 (Aguiar-Curry)
Affordable Housing and Public Infrastructure Voter Approval
This bill would reduce the local vote threshold for approval of bond and special tax measures to fund the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of public infrastructure or affordable housing from a two-thirds vote to a 55-percent majority. This measure would be placed on the November 2020 ballot for voter approval.
SCA 1 (Allen)
Repeal of Article 34 in the California Constitution
The California Constitution prohibits the development, construction, or acquisition of a low-rent housing project until a majority in
jurisdiction vote to approve the project. This measure would repeal that requirement and would be placed on the November 2020 ballot
for voter approval.
AB 1279 (Bloom)
By-Right Affordable Housing Development in High-resource Areas
This bill would designate areas in the state as high-resource areas by January 1, 2021 and every 5 years thereafter. In areas designated as high-resource developers, this bill would make a housing development a use by-right upon the request of the developer provided that the housing project meets specified affordability requirements.
AB 1905 (Chiu)
Eliminating the Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction on Second Homes
The bill would eliminate the mortgage interest tax deduction on second homes and also conform to federal law on mortgage deduction for primary homes from $1,000,000 to $750,000. The revenue generated by the measure would create an on-going fund to address homelessness of approximately $500 million annually.
AB 3269 (Chiu)
State and Local Homelessness Plan
This bill would establish the Office of the Housing and Homelessness Inspector General (IG) as an independent office within the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency. The bill sets forth a goal of reducing homelessness by 90% by 2028. The Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council would be required to set benchmark goals for every “agency”, defined as State and Local (city, county or city and county), to meet 90% reduction by 2028 and requires that the city, county, and agency submit annual reports to the coordinating council.
California COVID Rehousing & Resiliency Innovation Fund
We appreciate the Governor’s continued focus on ending homelessness in California. Our response strengthens the Governor’s proposed budget to ensure that 100% of persons who came inside to Project Roomkey are not forced back to the street. It accomplishes this within the new budget reality and leverages one-time federal funds with one-time/minimal state investment on a nearly 4:1 basis. There are three primary components in our proposal, EXPAND, ELIMINATE and INCENTIVIZE.
Stable Homes California
Collaborating with coalition partners, Housing California drafted a framework of solutions to address the potential housing speculation in the wake of COVID-19. The proposed fourfold framework would stabilize our communities, preserve homes, and expand our affordable housing stock. It includes (1) flexible acquisition funding that allows eligible entities to buy and renovate distressed rental properties, (2) creates a statewide right of first offer policy giving community stakeholders an opportunity to act before a property hits the market, (3) creates a statewide anti-displacement banking policy restricting harmful lending practices, and (4) funds investment in nonprofit capacity building through technical assistance grants for acquisition and rehabilitation process. Housing CA along with its coalition partners strongly believe that these steps must be taken to prevent the widespread displacement, foreclosures, and the widening of the racial wealth gap that we saw as a result of the Great Recession.