April 3, 2024 Corey Smith

A Word With Corey: HAC’s 2024 Statewide Priorities

California has experienced a radical shift in housing policy in the past seven years. Since 2017, lawmakers have passed over 100 pieces of pro-housing legislation. These new laws have helped amend our zoning laws, change our approval process, and limit the power of CEQA to block new housing. The growing success of the pro-housing movement at the state level signals that California lawmakers and voters are beginning to recognize the dire need for more housing. 

However, while we’ve achieved significant progress, we’re working against decades of anti-growth policies designed to make it difficult to build the kind of housing we need at the rate we need it. I’d be lying if I said the bevy of pro-housing laws passed in California have completely eradicated our housing shortage. Progress is possible, but progress is slow. 

As we enter the 2024 legislative cycle, HAC will help achieve more progress by driving key state housing policy initiatives forward. This year we’re sponsoring six pieces of statewide legislation to make building new housing faster and easier. You can track bill progress for all of HAC’s priorities here.

New Bills Introduced This Session:

  • Senate Bill 937 (Wiener): Senate Bill 937 seeks to minimize the impact of market fluctuations and high interest rates on housing production by delaying local government development fees and providing additional time after a project has been entitled.
  • Senate Bill 1210 (Skinner) – Senate Bill 1210 which will prioritize new housing production by requiring utility companies to provide greater transparency for connection fees.
  • Assembly Bill 2243 (Wicks) – Assembly Bill 2243 amends the language of the Affordable Housing and High Road Jobs Act of 2022 (AB 2011, Wicks). These amendments facilitate implementation of AB 2011 by expanding its geographic applicability and clarifying aspects of the law that are subject to interpretation.
  • Assembly Bill 2686 (Grayson) – Assembly Bill 2686 will prevent significant cost increases for housing developers who remediate contaminated soil by allowing projects already in the pipeline to use an alternative fee calculation.

In addition to these four, we have two bills that are carrier over from 2023: 

  • Assembly Bill 990 (Grayson) – Assembly Bill 990 would require the San Francisco Bay Area Regional Water Quality Board to revise a part of the Municipal Regional Stormwater Permits to a version of the Permit that does not condition its benefits on certain inclusionary housing requirements.

  • Senate Bill 284 (Wiener) – Senate Bill 284 expands fair contracting provisions for IOUs that are similar to public agency contracting provisions, requires a Skilled and Trained Workforce to complete more hazardous IOU projects, and expands prevailing wage requirements to IOU projects. 

Winning at the state level requires collaboration and a coalition. HAC will continue to join forces with allied organizations like SPUR, CA YIMBY, YIMBY Action, the Bay Area Council, the California Housing Consortium, and the Carpenters Union who each play their unique part in advancing pro-housing solutions.

We’re thankful to our friends at Lighthouse Public Affairs and Holly for leading the Home Builder Alliance. And we really couldn’t do any of this work without Greg, Steven, Catherine, Alex, and the rest of the team at Brownstein.

The marathon continues. Let’s keep on finding ways to build more homes.

Corey Smith

Corey Smith is HAC's Executive Director and can be reached at corey@housingactioncoalition.org.

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