Ting Proposals to Increase California’s Affordable Housing Supply Approved by State Assembly

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Ting Proposals to Increase California’s Affordable Housing Supply Approved by State AssemblyThe California State Assembly paved the way for more housing units in the state by approving three proposals by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) before a key legislative deadline. Two bills (AB 68 & AB 69) encourage greater adoption of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), commonly known as “in-law units” or “granny flats,” while the third, AB 1486, gives priority to more affordable housing projects when surplus public land becomes available. 

“In a housing crunch like ours, all reasonable solutions should be on the table. I’m a big supporter of ADUs because they are one of the fastest ways to expand our affordable housing supply, but we need to do more to spur widespread adoption,” said Ting. “Regarding surplus land, I can’t think of a better use for property the government no longer needs than to build affordable housing on it.”

Ting’s ADU bills aim to make it even easier and faster for homeowners to build livable space on their properties by:

  • Speeding up the approval process to 60 days
  • Prohibiting restrictive local requirements pertaining to lot size and parking
  • Allowing more types of units, such as units in multi-family dwellings, to be approved with less bureaucratic review
  • Creating a Small Home Building Standards Code to make construction more cost-effective and safe

"ADUs and better utilizing surplus land are important components in our coalition's multi-pronged strategy to bring more affordable homes to our region and state. Especially in this time -- as parents grow increasingly concerned about their children being able to afford a home, and as adult children worry about their own parents being able to stay in their home and age with dignity --ADUs offer a smart strategy to create more affordable homes and keep families together," said Pedro Galvao, Senior Policy Manager, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH).

According to the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley, applications for ADU permits have jumped significantly since the Legislature eased some regulations a few years ago, but homeowners still face challenges when it comes to building codes, limiting the full potential of ADUs.

Under AB 1486, Ting’s Surplus Land legislation gives more affordable housing projects the first right of refusal to build on public surplus land, taking advantage of strategically located sites next to transit, schools and jobs that have remained dormant for decades.

All three housing proposals now head to the Senate for consideration. All bills must reach the Governor’s desk by mid-September.

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