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Newsom signs 56 housing laws to increase affordability and help renters

Newsom signs 56 housing laws to increase affordability and help renters
Newsom signed a whopping 56 bills that he said “incentivize and reduce barriers to housing and support the development of more affordable housing.”

The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, signed multiple housing bills Wednesday aimed at addressing the state's lack of affordable housing and making it easier for renters to rent a home in the first place.  

Newsom signed a whopping 56 bills that he said “incentivize and reduce barriers to housing and support the development of more affordable housing.”

Housing developments will now be more streamlined with less red tape, density laws can be overridden in the interest of housing, and institutions such as universities or religious organizations can now use parts of their properties to build housing. 

Newsom also signed a bill that will please anyone who has tried to rent in California on a limited income: Landlords can now only charge one month's rent as a security deposit instead of two.

State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) is especially pleased with the signatures since several of the bills were his, including creating a tax increment financing structure to replace 5,800 affordable housing units in San Francisco that They have been lost due to redevelopment.  

“California desperately needs to increase housing production and the Governor's action today helps put us on track toward that goal,” Wiener said in a statement Wednesday.  

Of Wiener's bills, Newsom signed Senate Bill 423, which accelerates the development of affordable housing by strengthening the provisions of SB 35, which is set to expire at the end of 2025. SB 35, another Wiener bill in 2016, it allows projects to be approved. a simplified and accelerated housing approval process in areas that are not on track to meet their housing production goals.

SB 423 continues the momentum of 35, but also includes “strong new labor standards,” such as higher wages and health benefits for workers in housing developments.  

Wiener also introduced the San Francisco Housing Replacement Act, or Senate Bill 593, which aims to right the wrongs of the past by adding affordable housing to neighborhoods that were torn down for growth, displacing their low-income residents. According to Wiener, examples of these neighborhoods are Japantown, SoMA and Western Addition. SB 593 will create 5,800 affordable homes in the city, Wiener said.  

Assembly Bill 12 was also signed by the governor. Assemblyman Matt Haney (D-San Francisco) backed the bill, which expands tenant protections by limiting security deposits to one month's rent instead of up to three times the rent.  

“Massive security deposits can create insurmountable barriers to housing affordability and accessibility for millions of Californians,” Haney said on social media Wednesday. “Despite skyrocketing rents, laws guaranteeing affordable security deposits have not changed substantially since the 1970s. The result is that landlords lose good tenants and tenants are left in homes that are overcrowded, unsafe or far away. from work".  

Other bills signed by Newsom establish penalties for abuse of CEQA, allowing affordable accessory dwelling unit (ADU) condominiums and expanding density bonuses, which give developers the ability to increase density above the maximum allowed in the General Plan of a municipality.  

“It's simple math,” Newsom said in a statement released by his office. “California needs to build more housing and ensure the housing we have is affordable.”  

For a complete list of all housing-related bills signed by Governor Newsom, visit http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov

 

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