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Housing Bills

Make Calls and Send Letters to the Legislature

You can call or submit letters as an individual or as part of your neighborhood, homeowner, or renter group.  Forward to others. Leverage!

  • Instructions for Action: Includes background information, directions, committee members’ names and contact info, and a sample script
  • Sample Letter: You have access to the Catalysts’ letter as a word.doc so you can remove our logo, edit, cut & paste, make improvements of your own, and submit them through the legislative portal. For information on submitting letters via the legislative portal please see the Livable California website. Occasionally we’ve included a letter from the League of CA Cities.
  • Staff Analysis: Includes the committee staff report and a list of organizations in support and opposed to the bill.

SB-7: Regional Housing Need: Determination (Blakespear): OPPOSE, Hearing: Wednesday, June 26, 2024


What this bill is about: SB7 is based on recommendations HCD made to legislators in their April 2024 report, “California’s Housing Future 2040: The Next Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA).” It increases the authority of HCD and Councils of Governments (COGs) to plan and zone for jurisdictions by reducing local authority. Without addressing the underlying problems with 6th cycle RHNA that led to inflated and unrealistic housing mandates, this bill relies on unsubstantiated claims about the state’s housing crisis to justify usurping local control.

Content of the law: SB7 eliminates what little transparency and accountability local jurisdictions have in the RHNA process.  SB 7 will allow unchecked lobbyist influence in RHNA allocations that will increase market rate housing but fail to advance affordability.  Passing SB7 means:

  1. Arbitrarily inflated RHNA allocations
  2. Loss of jurisdictions’ rights to appeal
  3. Denial of the infrastructure impacts and risks of financial distress
  4. Failure to support RHNA methodology with robust economic theory
  5. Reduced accountability of unelected bureaucrats

Process: SB7 is a heavy-hand bill HCD is recommending to legislators. It is being rushed through without due diligence. For example, the bill was gut and amended on June 10, passed through the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee on June 18, and is coming up for a vote in the Local Government committee on June 16.

Why we Oppose SB7: Read the Catalysts opposition letter below that includes detailed analysis from Santa Monica resident Marc Verville, retired VP of Finance for both Warner Bros and the Walt Disney Company.

Call to Action – Committee Names & Phone Numbers

SAMPLE LETTER

Letter from Marc Verville

SB-951: California Coastal Act of 1976: coastal zone: City and County of San Francisco. (Weiner): OPPOSE. Hearing: Monday, June 17, 2024.

What is this bill about?  This bill is about removing the authority of California Coastal Commission from designated areas to allow for streamilining of housing development. (Read the Bill)
Summary: Current law requires a city or county to prepare and adopt a general plan for its jurisdiction that contains certain mandatory elements, including a housing element. Current law requires the housing element to identify adequate sites for housing, including rental housing, factory-built housing, mobile homes, and emergency shelters, among other things. This bill would additionally apply specified rezoning standards for any necessary local coastal program updates for jurisdictions located within the coastal zone.

Hearing Date: Natural Resources Committee: June 17, 2024


SAMPLE LETTER

AB-1886: ) Housing Element Law: substantial compliance: Housing Accountability Act (Alvarez D): OPPOSE. Hearing: Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Summary: The Planning and Zoning Law requires a city or county to adopt a general plan for land use development within its boundaries that includes, among other things, a housing element. Current law, commonly referred to as the Housing Element Law, prescribes requirements for a city’s or county’s preparation of, and compliance with, its housing element, and requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to review and determine whether the housing element substantially complies with the Housing Element Law, as specified. If the department finds that a draft housing element or amendment does not substantially comply with the Housing Element Law, current law requires the legislative body of the city or county to either (A) change the draft element or amendment to substantially comply with the Housing Element Law or (B) adopt the draft housing element or amendment without changes and make specified findings as to why the draft element or amendment substantially complies with the Housing Element Law despite the findings of the department. Current law requires a planning agency to promptly submit an adopted housing element or amendment to the department and requires the department to review the adopted housing element or amendment and report its findings to the planning agency within 60 days. This bill would require a planning agency that makes the above-described findings as to why a draft housing element or amendment substantially complies with the Housing Element Law despite the findings of the department to submit those findings to the department. The bill would require the department to review those finding in its review of an adopted housing element or amendment. The bill would create a rebuttable presumption of validity for the department’s findings as to whether the adopted element or amendment substantially complies with the Housing Element Law. Because the bill would require planning agencies to submit specified findings to the department with an adopted housing element or amendment, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

SAMPLE LETTER

AB 1893 (Wicks D) Housing Accountability Act: housing disapprovals: required local findings. OPPOSE. Hearing: Tuesday, June 18, 2024.

Summary: The Planning and Zoning Law requires a city or county to adopt a general plan for land use development within its boundaries that includes, among other things, a housing element. Existing law, commonly referred to as the Housing Element Law, prescribes requirements for a city’s or county’s preparation of, and compliance with, its housing element, and requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to review and determine whether the housing element substantially complies with the Housing Element Law, as specified. This bill would make various changes to that condition. The bill would specify that a local agency may disapprove or condition approval of a housing development project or emergency shelter, as described above, if the local agency makes written findings that on the date the application for the housing development project or emergency shelter was deemed complete the jurisdiction did not have an adopted revised housing element that was in substantial compliance with the Housing Element Law and the housing development project is not a builder’s remedy project, as defined. This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

SAMPLE LETTER

SB-1211: Land use: accessory dwelling units (Skinner): OPPOSE. Letters Due: Noon, April 11, 2024

What is this bill about?  The text of the bill is about ADUs andministerial review of attached and unattached ADUs.  But the dark underbelly of this bill exposesthree common themes in California’s floundering housing policy. (Read the Bill)

Summary: Existing law, the Planning and Zoning Law, authorizes a local agency, by ordinance, to provide for the creation of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in areas zoned for residential use, as specified. Existing law requires ministerial approval of accessory dwelling units, as specified, if the local agency does not adopt an ordinance governing accessory dwelling units, as described. Under existing law, a local agency is also required to ministerially approve an application for a building permit within a residential or mixed-use zone to create any of specified variations of accessory dwelling units. This bill contains other existing laws.

Hearing Date: Local Government Committee: April 17, 2024

Letters Due: Noon, April 11, 2024

SAMPLE LETTER

SB-968: Roll over RHNA Credits (Kelly Seyarto) - SUPPORT

What is the bill about?  This bill introduces a reasonable, much neededapproach to RHNA.  Quite simply, itallows a Council of Governments to consider prior overproduction of housingunits from a particular income category and allocate it to the same incomecategory in the next cycle.

Summary: Current law requires each council of governments or delegate subregion, as applicable, to develop a proposed methodology for distributing the existing and projected regional housing need to cities, counties, and cities and counties within the region or within the subregion, as provided. Current law requires the consideration of several specified factors in developing the methodology. Current law prohibits certain criteria from being a justification for a determination or reduction in a jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need, including prior underproduction of housing in a city or county from the previous regional housing need allocation, as specified. This bill would permit the council of governments or delegate subregion, in developing the methodology, to consider prior overproduction of housing units in a city or county from the previous regional housing need allocation in a particular income category and to count it as credit toward the future regional housing need allocation of that same income category in the next cycle. The bill would provide that the amount eligible to count as credit toward the next cycle is determined by each jurisdiction’s most recent annual progress report, as specified.

Hearing Date: Housing Committee: March 19, 2024

SAMPLE LETTER

California Housing Legislation Highlights 2019-2022

Download a .PDF of these images here.