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SB-4 Housing.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 12/03/2018 09:00 PM
SB4:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 4


Introduced by Senators McGuire and Beall

December 03, 2018


An act relating to land use.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 4, as introduced, McGuire. Housing.
Under existing law, various agencies administer programs to preserve and expand safe and affordable housing opportunities and promote sound community growth.
This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would limit restrictive local land use policies and legislation that would encourage increased housing development near transit and job centers, in a manner that ensures that every jurisdiction contributes its fair share to a housing solution, while acknowledging relevant differences among communities.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) California’s high and rising land costs necessitate dense housing construction in order for a project to be financially viable and affordable to lower income households. Yet, recent trends in California show that new housing has not commensurately increased in density. In a 2016 analysis, the Legislative Analyst’s Office found that the housing density of a typical neighborhood in California’s coastal metropolitan areas increased only by 4 percent during the 2000s. The pattern of development in California has changed in ways that limit new housing opportunities. New development shifted from moderate, but widespread density in the 1960s and 1970s, to pockets of high-density housing near downtown cores surrounded by vast swaths of low-density single-family housing.
(2) Economists widely agree that restrictive land use policies increase housing prices. Studies have found that housing prices in California are higher and increase faster in jurisdictions with stricter land use controls, and in some markets, each additional regulatory measure increases housing prices by nearly 5 percent. Stricter land use controls are also associated with greater displacement and segregation along both income and racial lines. Restrictive land use policies also hurt economic growth by preventing residents from moving to more productive areas where they can accept more productive jobs that pay higher wages.
(3) At the same time, there are limitations to lowering housing prices by expanding supply. New housing stock takes decades to become affordable, and new housing can displace existing residents absent adequate safeguards. Moreover, reductions in the cost to produce housing do not necessarily lead to a reduction in housing prices. While local governments control housing approvals, developers are ultimately responsible for construction. Finally, solutions that apply to the state’s major metropolitan areas may not be effective in rural areas.
(b) Therefore, it is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would limit restrictive local land use policies and legislation that would encourage increased housing development near transit and job centers, in a manner that ensures that every jurisdiction contributes its fair share to a housing solution, while acknowledging relevant differences among communities.