Bill Text


PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-1258 Housing element: regional housing need plan: judicial review.(2021-2022)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 03/22/2021 09:00 PM
AB1258:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  March 22, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1258


Introduced by Assembly Member Nguyen

February 19, 2021


An act to amend Section 65584 of the Government Code, relating to housing. An act to amend Sections 65584 and 65584.01 of the Government Code, relating to housing.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1258, as amended, Nguyen. Housing element: regional housing need plan: judicial review.
Existing law requires each city, county, or city and county to prepare and adopt a general plan for its jurisdiction that contains certain mandatory elements, including a housing element. Under existing law, a part of the housing element is an assessment of housing needs, which includes the locality’s share of the regional housing need. Under existing law the Department of Housing and Community Development, in consultation with each council of governments, determines each region’s existing and projected housing needs. Under existing law, upon making that determination, the council of governments may object to the determination, and the department is required to respond to an objection by making a final written determination. Existing law requires that, based on the determination of the department, a council of governments, or for cities and counties without a council of governments, the department, adopts a final regional housing need plan that allocates a share of the regional housing need to each locality in the region.
This bill would subject the department’s final written determination of a region’s housing needs to judicial review in an action brought by the council of governments. The bill would also subject the final regional housing need plan adopted by the council of governments or the department, as the case may be, to judicial review.

Existing law requires each city, county, or city and county to prepare and adopt a general plan for its jurisdiction that contains certain mandatory elements, including a housing element. Under existing law, a part of the housing element is an assessment of housing needs, which includes the locality’s share of the regional housing need. Under existing law the appropriate council of governments, or for cities and counties without a council of governments, the Department of Housing and Community Development, adopts a final regional housing need plan that allocates a share of the regional housing need to each locality in the region.

This bill would subject the final regional housing need plan to judicial review.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NOYES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 65584 of the Government Code is amended to read:

65584.
 (a) (1) For the fourth and subsequent revisions of the housing element pursuant to Section 65588, the department shall determine the existing and projected need for housing for each region pursuant to this article. For purposes of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, the share of a city or county of the regional housing need shall include that share of the housing need of persons at all income levels within the area significantly affected by the general plan of the city or county.
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature that cities, counties, and cities and counties should undertake all necessary actions to encourage, promote, and facilitate the development of housing to accommodate the entire regional housing need, and reasonable actions should be taken by local and regional governments to ensure that future housing production meets, at a minimum, the regional housing need established for planning purposes. These actions shall include applicable reforms and incentives in Section 65582.1.
(3) The Legislature finds and declares that insufficient housing in job centers hinders the state’s environmental quality and runs counter to the state’s environmental goals. In particular, when Californians seeking affordable housing are forced to drive longer distances to work, an increased amount of greenhouse gases and other pollutants is released and puts in jeopardy the achievement of the state’s climate goals, as established pursuant to Section 38566 of the Health and Safety Code, and clean air goals.
(b) (1)  The department, in consultation with each council of governments, shall determine each region’s existing and projected housing need pursuant to Section 65584.01 at least two years prior to the scheduled revision required pursuant to Section 65588. The appropriate council of governments, or for cities and counties without a council of governments, the department, shall adopt a final regional housing need plan that allocates a share of the regional housing need to each city, county, or city and county at least one year prior to the scheduled revision for the region required by Section 65588. The allocation plan prepared by a council of governments shall be prepared pursuant to Sections 65584.04 and 65584.05.
(2) The final regional housing need plan adopted under paragraph (1) by the council of governments or the department, as the case may be, shall be subject to judicial review pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the due dates for the determinations of the department or for the council of governments, respectively, regarding the regional housing need may be extended by the department by not more than 60 days if the extension will enable access to more recent critical population or housing data from a pending or recent release of the United States Census Bureau or the Department of Finance. If the due date for the determination of the department or the council of governments is extended for this reason, the department shall extend the corresponding housing element revision deadline pursuant to Section 65588 by not more than 60 days.
(d) The regional housing needs allocation plan shall further all of the following objectives:
(1) Increasing the housing supply and the mix of housing types, tenure, and affordability in all cities and counties within the region in an equitable manner, which shall result in each jurisdiction receiving an allocation of units for low- and very low income households.
(2) Promoting infill development and socioeconomic equity, the protection of environmental and agricultural resources, the encouragement of efficient development patterns, and the achievement of the region’s greenhouse gas reductions targets provided by the State Air Resources Board pursuant to Section 65080.
(3) Promoting an improved intraregional relationship between jobs and housing, including an improved balance between the number of low-wage jobs and the number of housing units affordable to low-wage workers in each jurisdiction.
(4) Allocating a lower proportion of housing need to an income category when a jurisdiction already has a disproportionately high share of households in that income category, as compared to the countywide distribution of households in that category from the most recent American Community Survey.
(5) Affirmatively furthering fair housing.
(e) For purposes of this section, “affirmatively furthering fair housing” means taking meaningful actions, in addition to combating discrimination, that overcome patterns of segregation and foster inclusive communities free from barriers that restrict access to opportunity based on protected characteristics. Specifically, affirmatively furthering fair housing means taking meaningful actions that, taken together, address significant disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunity, replacing segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns, transforming racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity, and fostering and maintaining compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws.
(f) For purposes of this section, “household income levels” are as determined by the department as of the most recent American Community Survey pursuant to the following code sections:
(1) Very low incomes as defined by Section 50105 of the Health and Safety Code.
(2) Lower incomes, as defined by Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code.
(3) Moderate incomes, as defined by Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code.
(4) Above moderate incomes are those exceeding the moderate-income level of Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code.
(g) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, determinations made by the department, a council of governments, or a city or county pursuant to this section or Section 65584.01, 65584.02, 65584.03, 65584.04, 65584.05, 65584.06, 65584.07, or 65584.08 are exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).

SEC. 2.

 Section 65584.01 of the Government Code is amended to read:

65584.01.
 For the fourth and subsequent revision of the housing element pursuant to Section 65588, the department, in consultation with each council of governments, where applicable, shall determine the existing and projected need for housing for each region in the following manner:
(a) The department’s determination shall be based upon population projections produced by the Department of Finance and regional population forecasts used in preparing regional transportation plans, in consultation with each council of governments. If the total regional population forecast for the projection year, developed by the council of governments and used for the preparation of the regional transportation plan, is within a range of 1.5 percent of the total regional population forecast for the projection year by the Department of Finance, then the population forecast developed by the council of governments shall be the basis from which the department determines the existing and projected need for housing in the region. If the difference between the total population projected by the council of governments and the total population projected for the region by the Department of Finance is greater than 1.5 percent, then the department and the council of governments shall meet to discuss variances in methodology used for population projections and seek agreement on a population projection for the region to be used as a basis for determining the existing and projected housing need for the region. If agreement is not reached, then the population projection for the region shall be the population projection for the region prepared by the Department of Finance as may be modified by the department as a result of discussions with the council of governments.
(b) (1) At least 26 months prior to the scheduled revision pursuant to Section 65588 and prior to developing the existing and projected housing need for a region, the department shall meet and consult with the council of governments regarding the assumptions and methodology to be used by the department to determine the region’s housing needs. The council of governments shall provide data assumptions from the council’s projections, including, if available, the following data for the region:
(A) Anticipated household growth associated with projected population increases.
(B) Household size data and trends in household size.
(C) The percentage of households that are overcrowded and the overcrowding rate for a comparable housing market. For purposes of this subparagraph:
(i) The term “overcrowded” means more than one resident per room in each room in a dwelling.
(ii) The term “overcrowded rate for a comparable housing market” means that the overcrowding rate is no more than the average overcrowding rate in comparable regions throughout the nation, as determined by the council of governments.
(D) The rate of household formation, or headship rates, based on age, gender, ethnicity, or other established demographic measures.
(E) The vacancy rates in existing housing stock, and the vacancy rates for healthy housing market functioning and regional mobility, as well as housing replacement needs. For purposes of this subparagraph, the vacancy rate for a healthy rental housing market shall be considered no less than 5 percent.
(F) Other characteristics of the composition of the projected population.
(G) The relationship between jobs and housing, including any imbalance between jobs and housing.
(H) The percentage of households that are cost burdened and the rate of housing cost burden for a healthy housing market. For the purposes of this subparagraph:
(i) The term “cost burdened” means the share of very low, low-, moderate-, and above moderate-income households that are paying more than 30 percent of household income on housing costs.
(ii) The term “rate of housing cost burden for a healthy housing market” means that the rate of households that are cost burdened is no more than the average rate of households that are cost burdened in comparable regions throughout the nation, as determined by the council of governments.
(I) The loss of units during a state of emergency that was declared by the Governor pursuant to the California Emergency Services Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 8550) of Division 1 of Title 2), during the planning period immediately preceding the relevant revision pursuant to Section 65588 that have yet to be rebuilt or replaced at the time of the data request.
(2) The department may accept or reject the information provided by the council of governments or modify its own assumptions or methodology based on this information. After consultation with the council of governments, the department shall make determinations in writing on the assumptions for each of the factors listed in subparagraphs (A) to (I), inclusive, of paragraph (1) and the methodology it shall use and shall provide these determinations to the council of governments. The methodology submitted by the department may make adjustments based on the region’s total projected households, which includes existing households as well as projected households.
(c) (1) After consultation with the council of governments, the department shall make a determination of the region’s existing and projected housing need based upon the assumptions and methodology determined pursuant to subdivision (b). The region’s existing and projected housing need shall reflect the achievement of a feasible balance between jobs and housing within the region using the regional employment projections in the applicable regional transportation plan. Within 30 days following notice of the determination from the department, the council of governments may file an objection to the department’s determination of the region’s existing and projected housing need with the department.
(2) The objection shall be based on and substantiate either of the following:
(A) The department failed to base its determination on the population projection for the region established pursuant to subdivision (a), and shall identify the population projection which the council of governments believes should instead be used for the determination and explain the basis for its rationale.
(B) The regional housing need determined by the department is not a reasonable application of the methodology and assumptions determined pursuant to subdivision (b). The objection shall include a proposed alternative determination of its regional housing need based upon the determinations made in subdivision (b), including analysis of why the proposed alternative would be a more reasonable application of the methodology and assumptions determined pursuant to subdivision (b).
(3) If a council of governments files an objection pursuant to this subdivision and includes with the objection a proposed alternative determination of its regional housing need, it shall also include documentation of its basis for the alternative determination. Within 45 days of receiving an objection filed pursuant to this section, the department shall consider the objection and make a final written determination of the region’s existing and projected housing need that includes an explanation of the information upon which the determination was made.
(4) The final written determination of the region’s existing and projected housing need, pursuant to paragraph (3), shall be subject to judicial review pursuant to Section 1085 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Such action shall be brought by the council of governments.
(d) Statutory changes enacted after the date the department issued a final determination pursuant to this section shall not be a basis for a revision of the final determination.

SECTION 1.Section 65584 of the Government Code is amended to read:
65584.

(a)(1)For the fourth and subsequent revisions of the housing element pursuant to Section 65588, the department shall determine the existing and projected need for housing for each region pursuant to this article. For purposes of subdivision (a) of Section 65583, the share of a city or county of the regional housing need shall include that share of the housing need of persons at all income levels within the area significantly affected by the general plan of the city or county.

(2)It is the intent of the Legislature that cities, counties, and cities and counties should undertake all necessary actions to encourage, promote, and facilitate the development of housing to accommodate the entire regional housing need, and reasonable actions should be taken by local and regional governments to ensure that future housing production meets, at a minimum, the regional housing need established for planning purposes. These actions shall include applicable reforms and incentives in Section 65582.1.

(3)The Legislature finds and declares that insufficient housing in job centers hinders the state’s environmental quality and runs counter to the state’s environmental goals. In particular, when Californians seeking affordable housing are forced to drive longer distances to work, an increased amount of greenhouse gases and other pollutants is released and puts in jeopardy the achievement of the state’s climate goals, as established pursuant to Section 38566 of the Health and Safety Code, and clean air goals.

(b)(1)The department, in consultation with each council of governments, shall determine each region’s existing and projected housing need pursuant to Section 65584.01 at least two years prior to the scheduled revision required pursuant to Section 65588. The appropriate council of governments, or for cities and counties without a council of governments, the department, shall adopt a final regional housing need plan that allocates a share of the regional housing need to each city, county, or city and county at least one year prior to the scheduled revision for the region required by Section 65588. The allocation plan prepared by a council of governments shall be prepared pursuant to Sections 65584.04 and 65584.05.

(2)The final regional housing need plan adopted under paragraph (1) by the council of governments or the department, as the case may be, shall be subject to judicial review pursuant to Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

(c)Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the due dates for the determinations of the department or for the council of governments, respectively, regarding the regional housing need may be extended by the department by not more than 60 days if the extension will enable access to more recent critical population or housing data from a pending or recent release of the United States Census Bureau or the Department of Finance. If the due date for the determination of the department or the council of governments is extended for this reason, the department shall extend the corresponding housing element revision deadline pursuant to Section 65588 by not more than 60 days.

(d)The regional housing needs allocation plan shall further all of the following objectives:

(1)Increasing the housing supply and the mix of housing types, tenure, and affordability in all cities and counties within the region in an equitable manner, which shall result in each jurisdiction receiving an allocation of units for low- and very low income households.

(2)Promoting infill development and socioeconomic equity, the protection of environmental and agricultural resources, the encouragement of efficient development patterns, and the achievement of the region’s greenhouse gas reductions targets provided by the State Air Resources Board pursuant to Section 65080.

(3)Promoting an improved intraregional relationship between jobs and housing, including an improved balance between the number of low-wage jobs and the number of housing units affordable to low-wage workers in each jurisdiction.

(4)Allocating a lower proportion of housing need to an income category when a jurisdiction already has a disproportionately high share of households in that income category, as compared to the countywide distribution of households in that category from the most recent American Community Survey.

(5)Affirmatively furthering fair housing.

(e)For purposes of this section, “affirmatively furthering fair housing” means taking meaningful actions, in addition to combating discrimination, that overcome patterns of segregation and foster inclusive communities free from barriers that restrict access to opportunity based on protected characteristics. Specifically, affirmatively furthering fair housing means taking meaningful actions that, taken together, address significant disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunity, replacing segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns, transforming racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity, and fostering and maintaining compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws.

(f)For purposes of this section, “household income levels” are as determined by the department as of the most recent American Community Survey pursuant to the following code sections:

(1)Very low incomes as defined by Section 50105 of the Health and Safety Code.

(2)Lower incomes, as defined by Section 50079.5 of the Health and Safety Code.

(3)Moderate incomes, as defined by Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code.

(4)Above moderate incomes are those exceeding the moderate-income level of Section 50093 of the Health and Safety Code.

(g)Notwithstanding any other provision of law, determinations made by the department, a council of governments, or a city or county pursuant to this section or Section 65584.01, 65584.02, 65584.03, 65584.04, 65584.05, 65584.06, 65584.07, or 65584.08 are exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code).