Gov. Brown Signs California Multifamily Housing Legislation

Written by Apartment Management Magazine on . Posted in Blog

By Becky Bower | ApplyConnect

With the deadline close, Gov. Brown has finally signed the bulk of the proposed California multifamily housing legislation. While none of the newly passed legislation will affect your tenant screening, you might want to review your rental application and leasing documents. Take a look at the multifamily housing legislation we’ve had our eye on below!

PASSED: Immigrant Tenant Protection Act (AB 291)

Assembly Bill 291 prohibits landlords and properties from disclosing the tenant’s immigration or citizenship status to any immigration authority, law enforcement agency, or local, state, or federal agency unless obligated under federal law, a subpoena, warrant or order issued by the court. You are also prohibited from making inquiries into the immigration or citizenship status of a rental applicant or tenant. Violators could pay up to $2,000 in damages for each violation.

Quick Tip: Make sure your online rental application does not ask if the applicant is a U.S. citizen!

PASSED: Housing Accountability Act (AB 678 and Companion Bill, SB 167)

Aiming to boost California’s housing supply, these bills financially penalize local governments that deny or conditionally approve housing projects in “a manner that renders infeasible”. Local governments will now have to follow legal mandates before denying housing projects that comply with the law’s general plan and zoning rules. Money gained through fines would be later used to construct affordable housing.

PASSED: The Building Homes and Jobs Act (SB 2)

This bill adds a $75 fee to all real estate instrument, paper, or notices permitted by law (like mortgage refinances). Fees will not exceed $225. With the money generated from this fee, 20% will go towards affordable owner-occupied workforce housing and 10% to housing purposes for agricultural workers and their families. The remaining 70% will be expended for affordable housing, home ownership opportunities, and housing-related programs.

PASSED: Flood Hazzard Disclosure (AB 646)

On July 1st, 2018, landlords are required to add to their lease a flood risk disclosure (if applicable to the property).

PASSED: The Development of Micro-Apartments (AB 352)

AB 352 prohibits cities and counties from establishing a higher square footage requirement (than the minimum of 150 sq ft) and from limiting the number of efficiency units near public transit, car-share vehicles or a University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) college campus. Read our in-depth article about the benefits of micro-apartments.

PASSED: Local Zoning Regulations Could Require Affordable Housing Units (AB 1505)

AB 1505 authorizes cities and/or counties to adopt ordinances that require (as a condition of development of residential rental units) that the development include a percentage of residential rental units be dedicated to affordable housing (for moderate, lower, and extremely low-income households).

PASSED: A Streamlined Local Development Process (SB 35)

This bill places requirements on local governments (such as how many units the area must develop annually). SB 35 also streamlines the development approval process state-wide by limiting local governments from imposing parking standards and other requirements on developments. It also places limitations on conditional use permits.

PASSED: Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2018 (SB 3)

A $4 billion affordable housing bond will be on the ballot in the November 2018 election. From the sale of these bonds, $3 billion will go to financing existing affordable housing programs. The remaining $1 billion will provide additional funding for farm, housing, and veterans programs.

PASSED: Workforce Housing Opportunity Zone (SB 540)

Local governments are required to establish a housing plan (after identifying housing needs, holding public hearings, etc.). Five years after the plan is adopted, governments must approve of development that meets the criteria. This will allow the development process to be streamlined as all the necessary environmental reviews and public engagement will be already done.

See the full list of California multifamily housing legislation Governor Brown has signed.

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