State Wide: 15 New Housing Bills Signed Into CA Law

While Mountain Housing Council of Tahoe Truckee focuses on regional solutions, it’s important to keep tabs on what’s happening at the state level.

Governor Jerry Brown signed 15 new housing bills into law Sept. 28 in San Francisco addressing process reform, funding and local accountability for building homes in California.

Here’s San Jose Mercury News’ Summary of the housing bills:

“Senate Bill 2, by Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, will create a permanent source of funding for affordable housing, imposing fees of up to $225 on certain real-estate transactions, such as mortgage refinancing. (Home purchases would not be subject to the fee.) It will collect $1.2 billion over the next five years — and would raise a total of $5.8 billion during that time, including federal, local and private matching funds, according to committee estimates. Half of the money it raises in the first year would go to programs to address homelessness.

Senate Bill 3, by Sen. Jim Beall, D-Campbell, will place a $4 billion statewide housing bond on the November 2018 ballot. Like SB 2, it would pay for existing affordable-housing programs in California that used to be supported by funds from the state’s redevelopment agencies, a giant source of money that was slashed in the wake of the Great Recession and never replaced. If the bond measure passes and is approved by voters, $1 billion of the total would go to extend the CalVet Home Loan Program, which is scheduled to expire in 2018.

Senate Bill 35, by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, will try to tackle the state’s housing-supply shortage. Currently, cities are told every eight years how many units they need to build to meet their share of regional demand — but they are not required to build them. This bill aims to make it harder to ignore those goals. It targets cities that fall short, requiring them to approve more housing developments that fit the bill’s criteria until they are back on track.

Senate Bill 167, by Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Oakland, strengthens the state’s 35-year-old Housing Accountability Act, known colloquially as the “anti-NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) Act.” Cities that don’t comply with a court order to allow development would be hit with automatic fines of $10,000 per housing unit.

Senate Bill 540, by Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside, allows cities to determine where housing needs to be built and to create a specific plan for development in that zone, including public hearings and environmental reviews. This is intended to speed up the approval and construction process.

Assembly Bill 73, by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, will give local governments cash incentives to create high-density “Housing Sustainability Districts” near transit with some affordable housing.

Assembly Bill 1505, by Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, restores the ability of local governments to require developers to include affordable rental units. A 2009 appellate court decision cut off that tool, which cities and counties had used for decades. The governor had vetoed similar legislation by Atkins in 2013, arguing that it could make it harder for a city to attract development, but while negotiating the package of bills with lawmakers, Brown agreed to sign it.”

Join Mountain Housing Council for a Think Tank Oct. 25

The Mountain Housing Council of Tahoe Truckee invites you to A Public Think Tank: Employer Solutions, to learn what employers and agencies both inside the region and from elsewhere are doing to address housing problems and retain employees – and to offer ideas of your own.

When: October 25, 6 – 8 p.m.
Where: North Tahoe Event Center, Kings Beach

The evening will include a panel discussion on how the housing crisis affects our local economy, speakers sharing ready-to-implement solutions for employers, an open Solutions Slam for community members to share their own ideas and a networking session.

Speakers on the panel include:

Panel Facilitator: Kristin York, Sierra Business Council
Kristin is Vice President of Business Innovation for Sierra Business Council. Kristin leverages 20 years of experience in strategic planning, finance, operations, marketing, and business transformation to assist businesses thrive economically while understanding their environmental and social impact. At SBC, Kristin directs the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) as well as the Gold Country Broadband Consortium and the Sierra Economic Development District.
Kristin is also a Professor of Sustainable Business at Presidio Graduate School, Board Chair for the Truckee Donner Parks and Recreation District, and serves as a Board member for the Tahoe Food Hub and the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation.

Panelist: Joy Doyle, North Tahoe Business Association
Joy has been the Executive Director of the North Tahoe Business Association (NTBA) since September 2011. Under Joy’s leadership, NTBA’s membership, sponsorships, partnerships, and events have significantly grown and the main commercial core of NTBA’s District, Kings Beach, has prospered. Prior to joining NTBA, Joy worked in marketing and events in the ski, travel/tourism, and outdoor industries. Joy has lived in Carnelian Bay since 1990 and is passionate about North Lake Tahoe.

Panelist: Cindy Gustafson, North Lake Tahoe Resort Association
Cindy recently joined the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association as CEO. Previously, Cindy served as the General Manager at the Tahoe County Public Utility District, at which she maintained a storied and successful career for 26 years. Among the many roles Gustafson has played in serving the North Lake Tahoe community, key highlights include: five years spent as a Governor’s appointment on a State Commission; six years served as a member of the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency Board of Directors; founding board member of Excellence in Education; five years served as a member of the Truckee Tahoe School Board of Trustees; founding Chairperson of the Tahoe Fund; and two years on the Lake Tahoe Basin Federal Advisory committee.

Panelist: Lynn Saunders, Truckee Chamber of Commerce
Lynn Saunders has served as the President/CEO of the Truckee Chamber of Commerce since 2002. Lynn oversees all Chamber programs for the business community and their 640 members, is a key leader in the Truckee Tomorrow collaborative economic development initiative, and oversees the management and operation of the Truckee California Welcome Center in the historic train depot downtown.
The Chamber recognizes the far-reaching impacts the housing situation is having on business and the community. That it’s making it: making it difficult for employers to attract and retain employees; having a negative impact on businesses bottom line; is a significant hurdle to businesses that might be thinking of moving here; and that it’s creating quality of life issues for Truckee.

Presenter: Kay Hartman, Mammoth Community Water District
Kay is the Human Resources Manager for Mammoth Community Water District. Kay has over 36 years of experience in all aspects of public sector personnel. She has extensive experience in public sector budget development and administration, and strategic planning that includes performance measures laying a course for sound personnel and management business practices. Presently, Kay administers and manages District-owned employee housing. Originally from South Dakota, Kay relocated to California to earn her degree from California State University, Fresno, and has remained in California since.

Presenter: Donald Terry, NeighborWorks Home Ownership Center, Sacramento Region
Donald serves as the Director of Real Estate Development for NeighborWorks Home Ownership Center, Sacramento Region, where he oversees single-family for sale affordable housing development in an 11-county region in Northern California. In addition, he manages the organization’s in-house realty services team and the Community Housing Services Department that contracts with multiple cities and counties to administer Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME, and CalHome programs. Donald is also a local elected official first serving on the Sacramento City School Board from 2008 to 2012 and in 2012 elected to the Rancho Cordova City Council and is currently serving as Mayor.

Presenter: Jaime Wright, Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association
Jaime is the Executive Director of the Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association (TNT-TMA) and has worked locally within Truckee and North Lake Tahoe both in private and public transit since 1999. Growing up in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe, mobility has always sparked an interest, motivating Jaime to continue her education and work experience with the field of transportation. Jaime began her career in the public sector working for Squaw Creek Transportation and then joined the TNT-TMA as the Program Manager in 2008, becoming the Executive Director of the TNT-TMA in 2013

Along with hearing from the panel, members of the public are encouraged to share their ideas both as part of the open Solutions Slam or in smaller groups as part of a networking portion of the meeting.

Click here to see what some local employers are already doing to make a difference

Secondary Dwelling Units: A Local Housing Solution in Your Own Backyard

What is a Secondary Dwelling Unit?

A Secondary Dwelling Unit (also referred to as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), second unit, in-law unit, or granny flat) has complete independent living facilities for one or more persons and generally takes one of four forms:

  • Detached: The unit is separated from the primary structure
  • Attached: The unit is attached to the primary structure
  • Repurposed Existing Space: Space (e.g., master bedroom) within the primary residence is converted into an independent living unit
  • Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs), which are no more than 500 square feet and are typically bedrooms in a single-family home that have an entrance into the unit from the main home and an entrance to the outside from the JADU.

Benefits of Second Dwellings

  • Second dwelling units are an affordable type of home to construct because they do not require paying for land or major new infrastructure.
  • Second dwelling units are installed on existing lots, which helps with contain urban sprawl and preserve open space.
  • Homeowners can construct a second dwelling on their lot or convert an underutilized part of their home such as a garage into a junior accessory dwelling unit. This flexibility benefits not just people renting the space, but the homeowner as well, who can receive an extra monthly rent income.
  • Second dwelling units give homeowners the flexibility to share independent living areas with family members and others, allowing seniors to age in place as they require more care and helping extended families to be near one another while maintaining privacy.

Did you Know?

The Town of Truckee, Nevada County, and Placer County all allow the construction of secondary dwelling units on residential lots as long as they meet building code and zoning requirements. Recent changes in State Law have relaxed the requirements and approval process for second dwelling units, such as reducing parking standards and limiting development fees.