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SB-829 Employee Housing Act: agricultural employee housing.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/09/2018 09:00 PM
SB829:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 09, 2018
Amended  IN  Senate  March 14, 2018

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 829


Introduced by Senators Wiener and Vidak

January 03, 2018


An act to amend Sections 17008 and 17021.6 of, and to add Section 17030.10 to, the Health and Safety Code, relating to housing.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 829, as amended, Wiener. Employee Housing Act: agricultural employee housing.
Existing law, the Employee Housing Act, requires a person operating employee housing, as defined, to obtain a permit to operate that housing from the agency that enforces the act, which can either be the Department of Housing and Community Development or a city, county, or city and county that assumes responsibility for enforcing the act. The Employee Housing Act deems employee housing that meets specified requirements an agricultural land use and prohibits a local government from requiring a conditional use permit, zoning variance, or other zoning clearance for that employee housing, or from subjecting that employee housing to any business taxes, local registration fees, use permit fees, or other fees, that are not required for any other agricultural activity in the same zone. A violation of the Employee Housing Act is a misdemeanor.
This bill would expand the definition of employee housing under the act to include agricultural employee housing, as defined. The bill would require a credible qualified affordable housing organization to obtain a permit from an enforcement agency in order to operate or maintain agricultural employee housing by submitting an application to the applicable enforcement agency. The bill would require the enforcement agency to review any application so submitted, and to grant the application if it meets specified requirements, including that the organization has been certified by the department as a credible qualified affordable housing organization pursuant to a specified process, and that the housing complies with applicable building standards and related requirements. The bill would extend the provision described above by providing that agricultural employee housing operated and maintained by a credible qualified affordable housing organization that obtains a permit be deemed an agricultural land use, and thus prohibits a local government from requiring a conditional use permit, zoning variance, or other zoning clearance for that agricultural employee housing. The bill would provide that a tenant residing in agricultural employee housing has all rights applicable to a person residing in employee housing under existing provisions, including the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and specified provisions relating to tenant rights. By increasing the duties of local officials with respect to the Employee Housing Act, and by expanding the scope of an existing crime with respect to violations of the Employee Housing Act, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for specified reasons.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 17008 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

17008.
 (a) “Employee housing,” as used in this part, means any portion of any housing accommodation, or property upon which a housing accommodation is located, if all of the following factors exist:
(1) The accommodations consist of any living quarters, dwelling, boardinghouse, tent, bunkhouse, maintenance-of-way car, mobilehome, manufactured home, recreational vehicle, travel trailer, or other housing accommodations, maintained in one or more buildings or one or more sites, and the premises upon which they are situated or the area set aside and provided for parking of mobilehomes or camping of five or more employees by the employer.
(2) The accommodations are maintained in connection with any work or place where work is being performed, whether or not rent is involved.
(b) (1) “Employee housing,” as used in this part, also includes any portion of any housing accommodation or property upon which housing accommodations are located, if all of the following factors exist:
(A) The housing accommodations or property are located in any rural area, as defined by Section 50101.
(B) The housing accommodations or property are not maintained in connection with any work or workplace.
(C) The housing accommodations or property are provided by someone other than an agricultural employer, as defined in Section 1140.4 of the Labor Code.
(D) The housing accommodations or property are used by five or more agricultural employees of any agricultural employer or employers for any of the following:
(i) Temporary or seasonal residency.
(ii) Permanent residency, if the housing accommodation is a mobilehome, manufactured home, travel trailer, or recreational vehicle.
(iii) Permanent residency, if the housing accommodation is subject to the State Housing Law and is more than 30 years old and at least 51 percent of the structures in the housing accommodation, or 51 percent of the accommodation if not separated into units, are occupied by agricultural employees.
(E) “Employee housing” does not include a hotel, motel, inn, tourist hotel, multifamily dwelling, or single-family house if all of the following factors exist:
(i) The housing is offered and rented to nonagricultural employees on the same terms that it is offered and rented to agricultural employees.
(ii) None of the occupants of the housing are employed by the owner or property manager of the housing or any party with an interest in the housing.
(iii) None of the occupants of the housing have rent deducted from their wages.
(iv) The owner or property manager of the housing is not an agricultural employer as defined in Section 1140.4 of the Labor Code, or an agent, as it relates to the housing in question, of an agricultural employer.
(v) Negotiation of the terms of occupancy of the housing is conducted between each occupant and the owner of the housing or between each occupant and a manager of the property who is employed by the owner of the housing.
(vi) The occupants are not required to live in the housing as a condition of employment or of securing employment and the occupants are not referred to live in the housing by the employer of the occupants, the agent of the employer of the occupants, or an agricultural employer as defined in Section 1140.4 of the Labor Code.
(vii) The housing accommodation was not at any time before January 1, 1984, employee housing as defined in subdivision (a).
(2) “Employee housing,” as defined by this subdivision, does not include a hotel, motel, inn, tourist hotel, or permanent housing as defined by subdivision (d) of Section 17010, that has not been maintained, before January 1, 1984, or is not maintained on or after that date, as employee housing, as defined in subdivision (a).
(3) If at any time before January 1, 1984, a housing accommodation was employee housing, as defined in subdivision (a), and on or after January 1, 1984, was employee housing, as defined in this subdivision, the owner and operator shall comply with all requirements of this part. The owner and operator of any other housing accommodation which is employee housing pursuant to this subdivision shall be subject to the licensing and inspection provisions of this part and shall comply with all other provisions of this part, except that if any portion of the housing accommodation is held out for rent or lease to the general public, the construction and physical maintenance standards of the housing accommodation shall be consistent with the applicable provisions of the State Housing Law, Part 1.5 (commencing with Section 17910), the Mobilehome-Manufactured Homes Act, Part 2 (commencing with Section 18000); or the Mobilehome Parks Act, Part 2.1 (commencing with Section 18200). The owner or operator of the employee housing shall designate all units or spaces which are employee housing, as defined in this subdivision, for the purpose of inspection and licensing by the enforcement agency, subject to confirmation by the enforcement agency, based on all relevant evidence.
(c) “Employee housing” does not include employee community housing, as defined by Section 17005.5, which has been granted an exemption pursuant to Section 17031.3; housing, and the premises upon which it is situated, owned by a public entity; or privately owned housing, including ownership by a nonprofit entity, and the premises upon which it is situated, financed with public funds equaling 50 percent or more of the original development or purchase cost.
(d) “Employee housing” means the same as “labor camp,” as that term may be used in this or other codes and, notwithstanding any local ordinance to the contrary in a general law or charter city, county, or city and county, shall be deemed a residential use if it exists in structures that are single-family houses or apartment houses as those terms are used in the State Housing Law (Part 1.5 (commencing with Section 17910)).
(e) “Employee housing,” as used in this part, also includes agricultural employee housing, as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 17021.6.

SEC. 2.

 Section 17021.6 of the Health and Safety Code is amended to read:

17021.6.
 (a) The owner of any employee housing, or a credible qualified affordable housing organization with respect to agricultural employee housing, who has qualified or intends to qualify for a permit to operate pursuant to this part may invoke this section.
(b) Any employee housing consisting of no more than 36 beds in a group quarters or 12 units or spaces designed for use by a single family or household or any agricultural employee housing shall be deemed an agricultural land use for the purposes of this section. For the purpose of all local ordinances, employee housing or agricultural employee housing shall not be deemed a use that implies that the employee housing or agricultural employee housing is an activity that differs in any other way from an agricultural use. No conditional use permit, zoning variance, or other zoning clearance shall be required of this employee housing or agricultural employee housing that is not required of any other agricultural activity in the same zone. The permitted occupancy in employee housing or agricultural employee housing in a zone allowing agricultural uses shall include agricultural employees who do not work on the property where the employee housing or agricultural employee housing is located.
(c) Except as otherwise provided in this part, employee housing consisting of no more than 36 beds in a group quarters or 12 units or spaces designed for use by a single family or household or agricultural employee housing shall not be subject to any business taxes, local registration fees, use permit fees, or other fees to which other agricultural activities in the same zone are not likewise subject. This subdivision does not forbid the imposition of local property taxes, fees for water services and garbage collection, fees for normal inspections, local bond assessments, and other fees, charges, and assessments to which other agricultural activities in the same zone are likewise subject. Neither the State Fire Marshal nor any local public entity shall charge any fee to the owner, operator, or any resident for enforcing fire inspection regulation pursuant to state law or regulations or local ordinance, with respect to employee housing consisting of no more than 36 beds in a group quarters or 12 units or spaces designed for use by a single family or household or agricultural employee housing.
(d) For the purposes of any contract, deed, or covenant for the transfer of real property, employee housing consisting of no more than 36 beds in a group quarters or 12 units or spaces designed for use by a single family or household or agricultural employee housing shall be considered an agricultural use of property, notwithstanding any disclaimers to the contrary.
(e) For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) “Employee housing” includes employee housing defined in subdivision (b) of Section 17008, even if the housing accommodations or property are not located in a rural area, as defined by Section 50101.
(2) “Agricultural employee housing” means employee housing that does not contain dormitory style housing and is operated and maintained by a credible qualified affordable housing organization with a permit uner under Section 17030.10 and consisting of no more than ____ units, 17030.10, each unit of which is occupied by an employee of an agricultural employer or a farm labor contractor.
(3) “Agricultural employer” has the same meaning as defined in Section 1140.4 of the Labor Code.
(4) “Farm labor contractor” has the same meaning as defined in Section 1682 of the Labor Code.
(f) The Legislature hereby declares that it is the policy of this state that each county and city shall permit and encourage the development and use of sufficient numbers and types of employee housing or agricultural employee housing facilities as are commensurate with local need. This section shall apply equally to any charter city, general law city, county, city and county, district, and any other local public entity.
(g) If any owner or organization that invokes the provisions of this section fails to maintain a permit to operate pursuant to this part throughout the first 10 consecutive years following the issuance of the original certificate of occupancy, both of the following shall occur:
(1) The enforcement agency shall notify the appropriate local government entity.
(2) The public agency that has waived any taxes, fees, assessments, or charges for employee housing or agricultural employee housing pursuant to this section may recover the amount of those taxes, fees, assessments, or charges from the landowner, less 10 percent of that amount for each year that a valid permit has been maintained.
(h) Subdivision (g) shall not apply to an owner of any prospective, planned, or unfinished employee housing facility who has applied to the appropriate state and local public entities for a permit to construct or operate pursuant to this part before January 1, 1996.

SEC. 3.

 Section 17030.10 is added to the Health and Safety Code, to read:

17030.10.
 (a) A credible qualified affordable housing organization shall obtain a permit to operate and maintain agricultural employee housing from the enforcement agency, unless otherwise exempted by this part. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate agricultural employee housing without a valid permit to operate issued by the enforcement agency, as required by this part. The enforcement agency shall issue permits to operate annually, except as otherwise provided in this section and Section 17030.5.
(b) A credible qualified affordable housing organization may, in the form and manner prescribed by the enforcement agency, submit an application for a permit to operate and maintain agricultural employee housing. The enforcement agency shall review any application so submitted, and shall grant the application if all the following requirements are met:
(1) The applicant is a credible qualified affordable housing organization, as certified by the department pursuant to subdivision (e).
(2) The application meets all other requirements applicable to employee housing pursuant to this chapter.
(3) The applicant commits to operate and manage the agricultural employee housing so long as the property is occupied by tenants who are employees.
(4) Any other conditions prescribed by the enforcement agency on the use or occupancy of agricultural employee housing.
(5) The agricultural employee housing complies with all applicable requirements of this part, including all regulations adopted pursuant to this part, with building standards published in the State Building Standards Code relating to employee housing, and with all requirements of the State Housing Law (Part 1.5 (commencing with Section 17910)).
(c) A permit to operate shall be valid from the date of issuance through December 31 of the year of issuance, or December 31 of the year designated by the enforcement agency for permanent single-family employee housing. The enforcement agency may, pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (b), prescribe conditions on the use or occupancy of agricultural employee housing.
(d) Agricultural employee housing issued a permit under this section shall comply with all requirements of this chapter that are applicable to employee housing. A tenant residing in agricultural employee housing has all rights applicable to a person residing in employee housing, including the following:
(1) The right to file a verified complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing alleging a violation of housing discrimination, or to assert any other right, under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Part 2.8 (commencing with Section 12900) of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).
(2) Any protections for tenants or lessees under the Civil Code or the Labor Code, except as otherwise provided in Section 17031.6.
(3) Any protection or right under the Alatorre-Zenovich-Dunlap-Berman Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975 (Part 3.5 (commencing with Section 1140) of Division 2 of the Labor Code).
(e) Any organization desiring to be certified as a qualified affordable housing organization for purposes of this section shall do all of the following:
(1) Be certified by the department, based on demonstrated relevant prior experience in California and current capacity, as capable of operating the housing and related facilities for its remaining useful life, either by itself or through a management agent. The department shall establish a process for certifying qualified entities and maintain a list of entities that are certified, which list shall be updated at least annually.
(2) Agree to obligate itself and any successors in interest to maintain the affordability of the assisted housing development for employee households for 55 years.
(3) Have no member among its officers or directorate with a financial interest in the agricultural employer.

(e)Any person desiring to be certified as a credible affordable housing organization for purposes of this section shall, in the form and manner prescribed by the department, submit an application to the department. The department shall review any application so submitted, and shall grant the application if the person satisfies the requirements of paragraph (3) of subdivision (f).

(f) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Agricultural employee housing” has the same meaning as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (e) of Section 17021.6.
(2) “Building standard” has the same meaning as defined in Section 18909.
(3) “Credible “Qualified affordable housing organization” means any of the following:
(A) A local nonprofit organization. For purposes of this paragraph, “local nonprofit organization” means a not-for-profit corporation organized pursuant to Division 2 (commencing with Section 5000) of Title 1 of the Corporations Code that has as its principal purpose the ownership, development, or management of housing or community development projects for persons and families of low or moderate income and very low income, and that has a broadly representative board, a majority of whose members are community based and have a proven track record of local community service.
(B) A local public agency. For purposes of this paragraph, “local public agency” means a housing authority, redevelopment agency, or any other agency of a city, county, or city and county, whether general law or chartered, that is authorized to own, develop, or manage housing or community development projects for persons and families of low or moderate income and very low income.
(C) A regional or national organization. For purposes of this paragraph, “regional or national organization” means a not-for-profit, charitable corporation organized on a multicounty, state, or multistate basis that has as its principal purpose the ownership, development, or management of housing or community development projects for persons and families of low or moderate income and very low income and that owns or operates at least three comparable rent- and income-restricted affordable rental properties governed under a regulatory agreement with a department or agency of the State of California or the United States, either directly or by serving as the managing general partner of limited partnerships or managing member of limited liability corporations.
(D) A regional or national public agency. For purposes of this paragraph, “regional or national public agency” means a multicounty, state, or multistate agency that is authorized to own, develop, or manage housing or community development projects for persons and families of low or moderate income and very low income and that owns and operates at least three comparable rent- and income-restricted affordable rental properties governed under a regulatory agreement with a department or agency of the State of California or the United States, either directly or by serving as the managing general partner of limited partnerships or managing member of limited liability corporations.
(E) Any other organization or entity that the department determines, by regulation, is sufficiently similar to any of the organizations described in this paragraph.
(4) “Tenant” means a tenant, subtenant, lessee, sublessee, or other person legally in possession or occupying the agricultural employee housing.

SEC. 4.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because a local agency or school district has the authority to levy service charges, fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or level of service mandated by this act or because costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.