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It’s no secret that housing bills fizzled in California’s frantic final days of legislative session. While lawmakers agreed on eviction and mortgage protections and workers’ compensation, proposals that sought to increase housing supply fell disappointingly short.

The California Building Industry Association (CBIA) has released our fourth annual installment of their Housing Creators and Housing Killers Lists that highlight bills that will make it exceedingly more difficult/costly to build housing in California and bills that will expedite/facilitate the creation of housing. It is our goal to highlight legislative efforts that should be jettisoned, improved, or championed.

Although the ramifications of COVID-19 are well known, one unrelenting fact is that the California State Regulatory Bureaucracy has not conceded one iota. Because of this fact, in 2020, CBIA expanded its annual Housing Creators and Housing Killers list to include regulations.


To determine placement on one of these lists, members of CBIA will evaluate bills based on the following criteria:


  • Will the bill constrain or increase housing production and supply?
  • Will it increase or decrease the cost to build houses?
  • Will it make housing even more expensive or less expensive for Californians?
  • Will it make any of the processes associated with homebuilding such as the entitlement, approval, or permitting processes more complicated, difficult, and lengthy or less complicated, difficult, or lengthy?
  • Does it discourage or encourage homeownership?
  • Does it increase or decrease regulatory barriers?
  • Will it encourage or discourage unnecessary lawsuits aimed at new home construction?
  • Does the bill balance the housing crisis unfairly on the backs of a few versus a more egalitarian distribution or equally serve all Californians buying their first home?

California COVID-19 Recovery Deal. Requires all housing to use only union labor at a cost increase of $140,000 to $200,000 for a 2,000 square foot home. It would also eliminate privately funded low- and middle-income housing leaving California with only taxpayer subsidized housing to meet this segment of the market. Status: Failed

Identical to last year’s AB 520 (Kalra), which was vetoed by Governor Newsom, this bill defines a public subsidy as de minimis for the purpose of paying the prevailing wage in private projects if it is both less than $500,000 and less than 2% of the total project cost for bids advertised or contracts awarded after July 1, 2020. Status: Enrolled and sent to the Governor

CEQA measure that would lengthen and make more expensive the process to comply with CEQA while creating new impacts to analyze under CEQA. Status: Failed

Imposes penalties and liquidated damages on general contractors if a subcontractor – an entirely separate business – fails to pay their employees. Status: Failed

CEQA the “Clone” of SB 950, SB 55, will also lengthen and make it more expensive to comply with the CEQA process while simultaneously creating new impacts to analyze under CEQA. Status: Failed

Creates more entry-level home ownership opportunities by streamlining small-home projects that comply with local zoning and removing barriers to selling these homes, while also creating jobs for local construction workers. Status: Failed

Prohibits a local agency from imposing an impact fee unless it is roughly proportional in both nature and extent to the impact created by the housing development project. Status: Failed

Enhances existing density bonus law by increasing the number of incentives provided to developers in exchange for providing more affordable housing units. Status: Failed

“CEQA One Bite” bill that would prohibit additional or subsequent CEQA actions or proceedings if an action or proceeding under CEQA has already been instituted against a housing development project. Status: Failed

The bill enacts a new 18-month automatic extension to entitlements/permits starting with the March 4, 2020 pandemic declaration.  The measure will allow for already approved, permits, plans, maps etc., to remain approved for eighteen months. Status: Enrolled and sent to the Governor

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