The state Assembly on Tuesday approved a bill cosponsored by CAA that would streamline the appeals process for housing developers when local governments violate California’s Housing Accountability Act.

The bill, AB 989 by Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel, D-Van Nuys, won approval on a 66-9 vote. It next goes to the Senate for approval.

Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel

Under this state’s Housing Accountability Act, cities and counties are prohibited from rejecting housing developments unless certain conditions exist, yet officials frequently reject projects in defiance of the law.

“While the Housing Accountability Act is a strong law governing local land use decisions on affordable housing developments, most developers are reluctant to go to court to challenge a city or county that violates the law due to the time, expense, and uncertainty given judges’ lack of familiarity with the law,” the fact sheet reads. “As a result of this lack of enforcement, the law is less effective than it should be.”

AB 989 seeks to remedy this situation by creating a state Housing Accountability Committee to adjudicate violations of the Housing Accountability Act.

“This provides a quicker, less expensive, less confrontational, and more consistent alternative to enforcing state housing laws in court,” said Tony Bui, CAA’s senior vice president, state public affairs.

To be eligible for an appeal to the committee, a development must include a percentage of affordable units.