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The California Building Industry Association has released our 2023 Housing Killers and Creators, a list of bills moving through the California legislative process that, if approved, would impact California’s housing policy crisis.

Bills on the Housing Killers list would make the housing policy crisis worse by increasing cost, time, and hurdles to build homes in the state.

Bills on the Housing Creators list reduce barriers to home construction or help address the need for more houses in California.

The purpose of CBIA’s Housing Killers and Housing Creators list is to highlight legislative efforts related to California’s housing policy crisis that should be dropped, improved, or championed.

Current law requires that each regional transportation plan also include a sustainable communities strategy prepared by each metropolitan planning organization in order to, among other things, achieve certain targets established by the State Air Resources Board for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles and light trucks in the region for 2020 and 2035, respectively. This bill would require the state board, after January 1, 2024, and not later than September 30, 2026, to establish additional targets for 2035 and 2045, respectively, as specified.

AB 68 would make California’s already extreme housing shortage worse by only allowing for homes to be built in downtown neighborhoods, preventing local governments from permitting new housing units in most of their suburban neighborhoods, and eliminating construction jobs associated with that new housing. This will considerably increase the cost of housing by greatly reducing California’s land available for development by only allowing for much more expensive multi-family high rise homes to be built.

AB 1000 would create a statewide, arbitrary setback of 1,000 feet from hospitals, homes, schools, daycares and/or elderly housing for logistics use facilities. Given how expansive this is, it is regarded as a de facto ban on warehouses throughout the state. A ban on warehouses will inevitably exacerbate supply chain issues, increase the threat of frivolous litigation for California businesses, push more trade away from California ports and devastate housing production in the process.

AB 1333 would prohibit residential homebuilders from selling more than one home in California. Homebuilders would be required to hold the homes they produce as rental property. This bill would also apply to condominiums and cooperative housing that include up to four units on one parcel. This bill would radically reduce the production of owner-occupied homes, further exacerbating the housing crisis and racial disparities in homeownership rates.

SB 253 would require the State Air Resources Board, on or before January 1, 2025, to develop and adopt regulations requiring companies that do business in California to publicly disclose to the state’s emissions registry how each of the hundreds of products used to build a home are impacting greenhouse gas emissions throughout the product’s entire life cycle as compared to the prior calendar year. The tracking and cataloging of each product would be very costly, making the purchase price of a new home much more expensive.

SB 571 would establish a new state-mandated program and impose new duties on local governments to create a one-size-fits-all evacuation plan process for all newly created master planned communities. This process would directly conflict with other state laws that mandate reduced traffic flow (VMT), creating an impossible to resolve bureaucratic conflict. This bill would add the fourth set of regulations or guidance in this same policy area issued in the past 12 months on fire safety, creating confusion and conflicting direction which will slow down much needed home construction and make homes more expensive.

SB 405 would improve accuracy of housing element reporting and planning by requiring planning agencies to provide notice to owners of sites included in local housing element inventory reports that their site is included in that inventory. If the site owner notifies the planning agency or the housing department that the owner does not intend to develop at least 80% of the number of units for the site during the current planning period, the site would not be considered a site that can be developed to meet the jurisdiction’s share of the regional housing need. The bill would require the planning agency to make a reasonable effort to identify an owner and the owner’s contact information and to determine the intent of the owner to develop the site.

  • 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’s Legislative Analyst’s Office reports that to avoid extreme cost increases, the state should have been building at last 70,000 more units a year, and as many as 110,000 units, from 1980 to 2010. Meanwhile, California needs to produce 180,000 new homes annually. In reality, home production has averaged less than 80,000 new homes annually over the last 10 years, and ongoing production continues to fall far below the projected need.

Homeownership stabilizes communities, provides access to education, and access to employment opportunities. Research shows affordable housing reduces stress, toxins, and infectious disease, which leads to improvement in both physical and mental health.

Owning a home is also one of the most effective ways that Americans build wealth, which can be passed down from generation to generation. Yet, homeownership rates are at their lowest in California since the 1940s, and inequities in homeownership have increased, while California’s housing policy crisis grows worse.

Housing production of all kinds is needed to address equity in homeownership, is essential to the health of Californians, and is necessary for the state’s economic recovery. California’s homebuilders want to address the need for more houses.

Let us do what we can to address the housing policy crisis and produce the homes that California families need.

#HOUSINGFORALL Based on feedback from our builders around the state, in January 2020 we compiled a series of legislative proposals aimed at relieving the state’s ever-growing housing policy crisis. Read more here.

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