SB-1085

LACBOR stands with California Association of REALTORS in supporting SB 1085

July 28, 2020

BACKGROUND

There is no getting around it. California suffers from a staggering and chronic housing supply shortage. A shortage which has only been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. For decades, both our state and local governments have failed to encourage developers to construct enough housing units to meet our population’s needs. The lack of adequate supply has led to skyrocketing prices. The time is now. We need the state to enact laws that will encourage developers to create new housing units if we ever hope to solve this problem.
 
FACTS

  • 3.5 million additional housing units are needed by 2030. About half of the national housing need is in California (source: U.S. Census Bureau).

  • The California Department of Housing and Community Development says the state must build 180,000 each year to keep pace with population growth. The state is only building 62% of that.

  • Average home rents are 50% higher than the rest of the country. (source: apartmentlist.com)

Under the state’s current density bonus law, developers are permitted to build a greater density of market-rate units than would normally be allowed under local zoning ordinances if they agree to set-aside a percentage of their development for lower-income residents. These developments are subject to local design standards that ensure a high level of site protection and building quality. The Density Bonus Law is not just about market rate developers building more units but is intended to help make the development of affordable and senior housing economically feasible. 
 
SB 1085 seeks to create a new bonus and incentive structure for affordable housing developments in high-cost job-rich regions of the state. The measure allows developers to apply for a density bonus for any development, regardless of project size, and clarifies that local mandatory inclusionary zoning requirements and density bonus law should be complementary.
 
C.A.R. SUPPORTS SB 1085 Because:
 
It dramatically improves the state’s existing bonus law by expanding its usability. SB 1085 dramatically improves the state’s existing bonus law by expanding its usability to include developments intended for affordable owner-occupied housing (up to 120%-150 of the local area median income (AMI)) projects (i.e. condos along with mixed use and mixed income development projects).
 
It encourages development by eliminating fees to fund affordable housing from being imposed some units. Local governments would be prohibited from assessing fees to fund affordable housing on the deed restricted affordable units contained within a density bonus application, which by their nature, are intended to be affordable.  
 
It promotes housing stability. The state’s current housing crisis highlights the need to increase the supply of all kinds of housing. The most stable form of housing for working families is housing they own. SB 1085 expands the use of density bonuses to build affordable owner-occupied housing.​