CAA-cosponsored bill ties road-maintenance dollars to housing production

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A bill co-sponsored by the California Apartment Association would create financial consequences for local governments that fail to allow their fair share of housing.

AB 1759 by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, would withhold road maintenance funds from cities and counties until they meet their housing production goals as assigned by the state.

Along with CAA, the California Association of Realtors is co-sponsoring the legislation.

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty

The bill comes as California continues to struggle with an unprecedented housing crisis caused by a severe lack of housing construction at all levels.

One of the most significant impediments to housing construction is unjustified local resistance, and for decades, most local governments in California have failed to meet their housing requirements.

“Unfortunately, under existing law, there is no real consequence for a local government
that fails to meet its housing element,” CAA wrote in a letter supporting AB 1759. “Creating a process where local governments are held accountable for their housing requirements is critical to addressing California’s affordability challenges.”

AB 1759 is the latest in a line of CAA-sponsored bills intend to address California’s ongoing housing crisis by boosting housing inventory.

In 2017, CAA sponsored and the governor signed the bills summarized below:

  • AB 678 by Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra, and a companion bill, SB 167 by Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley. These bills will help boost California’s supply of housing, which has long lagged behind job and population growth.

The legislation adds much-needed teeth to California’s Housing Accountability Act, financially penalizing local governments that arbitrarily deny housing projects in violation of state law.

  • AB 352 by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles. This bill will help prevent local governments from establishing roadblocks to “efficiency dwelling units,” which usually measure 220 square feet or less. These units are used by some cities to provide housing for university students as well as shelter and services for homeless individuals.

A third bill sponsored by CAA last year, AB 943 by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, remains in the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration. This bill would require local measures that curb, slow, or deter housing productions to be approved by at least 55 percent of the voters instead of the current 51 percent vote requirement.

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