Livable California is Now Analyzing 2021 Legislation

• 197 bills were introduced in early December 2020!

• 74 are Senate bills, 99 are Assembly bills and 26 of them are of interest to us. Livable California is analyzing them.

• We see bills we like and those we do not.

December 2020: Bad Bills that Died are Back!


• SB 9 (Atkins) Ends single-family zoning. Identical to SB 1120, the false “duplex” bill. The facts: where 1 house now sits, developers can buy it and build 6-units to 8 units. Impacts 21M homeowners. Strongly Oppose. The public must try to bring numerous inaccurate journalists up to speed.

SB 10 (Wiener) This SB 902 lookalike bill lets cities ignore CEQA to allow 10-unit pricey market-rate apartments almost anywhere, Wiener’s obsession for three years. And it allows a City Council to override voter-approved initiatives, an attack on our 108-year-old right to initiative. Strongly Oppose.

• SB 7 (Atkins) Lets developers ignore CEQA if they include a very, very small number of affordable units within a $15 million project. Nearly the same as the failed SB 995 developer giveaway. Strongly Oppose.

• SB 8 (Skinner) Changes Sacramento’s failing Density Bonus Law. Current law lets developers build big unaffordable projects, if about 20% of units are priced for low- to moderate-income renters. The state says 60% of all housing must be affordable, but its failing Density Bonus Law doesn’t come close! Unless Skinner requires a MUCH HIGHER percent of affordable units than now exists, Oppose.

Good Bills are Back as Well. But Not Very Many!

• SB 15 (Portantino) brings back SB 1299. REWARDS not PUNISHES cities. Gives cities grants for 7 years if they voluntarily rezone idled shopping sites for workforce housing. Repays cities for lost retail taxes. Doesn’t pave over neighborhoods! Strongly Support Portantino’s bill.

• SB 6 (Caballero) brings back SB 1385.

• This complex bill is the SB 1385 lookalike. It allows developers to convert underutilized areas with stores and businesses to mixed-use housing and affordable housing. It retains some local input. If local control is meaningful and the percent of affordable units required of developers is high enough, Possibly Support.

New Efforts: Good, Bad and “Maybe” Bills

• SCA 2 (Allen) proposes removing a barrier from a throwback era that stymies affordable housing by repealing Article 34 of the State Constitution that prohibits cities and counties from building or buying low-rent housing projects — unless local voters approve the project in an election. Strongly Support.

• AB 68 (Salas) Implement State Auditor recommendations on affordable housing. The Auditor’s slam in November on the state’s loss of $2.7B in unspent affordable housing funds, and its failure to ID the cities most in need, made big headlines. But the State Auditor at the same time wrongly attacked the cities. Analyze and Decide.

• AB 59 (Gabriel) Changes the way developers review and legally challenge local sewer, water, planning, building permits and other local fees and charges. As we have seen repeatedly, local regulation is NOT why affordable housing isn’t being built. Likely Oppose.

Funding Affordable Housing – What a Concept!

• SB 5 (Atkins) “Spot bill” to allow an Affordable Housing Bond on the November, 2022 ballot. Voters, should we put back part of the money that Gov. Jerry Brown took away in 2010 when he defunded affordable housing in California? Very Likely Support.

• ACA 1 (Aguiar-Curry) Lowers voter threshold from 2/3rds to 55% for local government general obligation bonds, sales taxes or transactions. New taxes would fund construction, rehabilitation, or replacement of public infrastructure, affordable housing, or permanent supportive housing. Lookalike bill killed in 2018 because it was over-broad. Analyze and Decide.

• AB 71 (Rivas/Chiu) Create a comprehensive, statewide homelessness solutions program with ongoing funding, to be paid for by increasing taxes and closing loopholes on higher income individuals and corporations. Analyze and Decide.

COVID-Impacted Tenant Measures

• AB 15 (Chiu) Extend anti-eviction protections for COVID-impacted tenants from January 31, 2021 to January 1, 2022.

• AB 16 (Chiu) Spot bill to address the long-term financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on renters, small landlords, and affordable housing providers.

• SB 3 (Caballero/Bradford) Extend anti-eviction protections from COVID-impacted tenants from January 31, to March 31, 2021.

SB 64 (Leyva) Prohibit mobile home park management from terminating or attempting to terminate the tenancy of a homeowner or resident who is impacted by the COVID pandemic.