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When Proposition 10 went down in defeat, the rental housing industry breathed a collective sigh of relief. Now, nearly four months after voters overwhelmingly rejected the statewide rent control initiative, a collective gasp may be in order. The California Legislature — where Democrats now hold a super majority in both houses — has introduced hundreds of rental housing-related bills for 2019, the largest such batch in decades. Unfortunately, an alarming number of those proposals would have negative ramifications on rental housing providers. In the paragraphs that follow, we review some of the worst offenders:

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California’s new governor is taking a multi-pronged approach to the state’s housing crisis that would remove barriers to construction, add financial incentives for cities and counties to build, and bring heftier penalties to those that don’t build their fair share. In total, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget includes $7.7 billion across multiple departments and programs to address housing and homelessness issues across the state.

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In California, last week’s gubernatorial election proved to be a complete rebuke of President Trump’s agenda, with Democrats winning significantly at every level of state government. Democrats swept all statewide offices and won numerous Congressional, state Senate and Assembly seats. Motivated voters turned out to the polls in higher-than-usual numbers, helping push Democrats across the finish line in several close contests.

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The California Apartment Association provided testimony this week about the role of NIMBYism in the high cost of housing for the middle class. Debra Carlton, senior vice president of public affairs at CAA, told an Assembly Select Committee on Monday about how NIMBY groups — short for Not in My Backyard — leverage environmental-impact reviews and the California Environmental Quality Act to delay projects. “The costs — when you’re stuck in the EIR process or the CEQA process — can add over a million dollars just in delays alone,” Carlton said. “And I think that we know that the locals… Read More

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A CAA-sponsored bill that would raise the voter threshold for approving no-growth measures continued to advance through the Senate this week. AB 943 by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, Passed the Senate Governance and Finance Committee on Wednesday on a 6-1 vote. The bill next heads to the Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee, where it is scheduled for a hearing on July 12.

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Some novel approaches to tackling California’s housing crisis are continuing to gain traction in the state Legislature this year. Take AB 73 by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco. This bill, supported by the California Apartment Association, would incentivize local governments to zone for more housing.

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For the remainder of 2017, lawmakers have shelved a bill that would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, landmark legislation that’s protected California from extreme forms of rent control for more than 20 years. Amid strong opposition from the California Apartment Association, legislators this week decided to make AB 1506 a two-year bill, meaning the Legislature won’t consider a repeal of Costa-Hawkins this year but could take it up again in 2018.  The author will instead host a series of public hearings to determine what can be done on this topic.

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The California Apartment Association’s webinar about new laws taking effect in 2017 is now available for replay — a free benefit to CAA members — and as a class that nonmembers can purchase. CAA’s New Laws webinar, originally webcast Tuesday, Dec. 1, covers legislation that will affect: Bedbug disclosures All-gender bathrooms Pesticide notices Water submeters The webinar also reviewed the impacts of other new laws, including the legalization of recreational marijuana use. Moreover, CAA’s public affairs experts reviewed the makeup of the California Legislature following the Nov. 8 election and new and revised CAA forms. It’s not too late to… Read More

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Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into a law a bill that will allow groups like CAA to sue local governments when they deny housing projects in violation of state law. AB 2584 by Assemblyman Tom Daly, D-Anaheim, is among one of four housing-production bills sponsored by the California Apartment Association this year. Brown has until the end of September to decide on the remaining bills. 

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Final legislative approval appears imminent for a bill that would allow groups like CAA to sue local governments when they deny housing projects in violation of state law. AB 2584 by Assemblyman Tom Daly, D-Anaheim, is on the Assembly floor today, where lawmakers are considering amendments made in the Senate. The upper house of the state Legislature passed the bill Monday on a 36-0 vote, with three abstentions. When the Assembly finishes its work, the bill is expected to reach the governor’s desk. The legislation is among one of four housing-production bills sponsored by the California Apartment Association this year.… Read More

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