A fourth California Chamber of Commerce-supported job creator bill reached the Governor’s desk a day before the end of the session.
SB 1069 (Wieckowski; D-Fremont) creates and expedites additional housing supply by streamlining the permitting process for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) through reduced parking requirements, expedited procedural processes, and allowing ADUs to be constructed within existing structures.
The housing shortage in California has reached crisis levels. The average California home currently costs about 2.5 times the national average home price.
The average monthly rent in California is 50% higher than the rest of the nation and even higher in cities such as San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and Los Angeles. Average rents in all four of these cities are among the top 10 most unaffordable in the nation. San Francisco’s average rent is the highest in the United States, at an average of $3,500 per month.
In a seminal 2015 publication, California’s High Housing Costs: Causes and Consequences authored by the State Legislative Analyst’s Office, data clearly show that the lack of affordable housing, particularly in coastal California, is one of the biggest drivers of institutional and generational poverty cycles. The analysis found that the bottom 25% of income earners are spending 67% of their income on housing. This is clearly not acceptable or sustainable.
The inability of the traditional housing delivery system to meet demands has resulted in increased competition for fewer available homes, rising prices, overcrowding, community dislocation, and adverse environmental impacts caused by longer commutes and more traffic congestion. Innovative solutions are needed to make a dent in this crisis.
Getting Units to Market
ADUs are the only widely supported approach to get thousands of low-cost units on the market fast. ADUs provide lower cost and low-carbon footprint homes in existing neighborhoods consistent with architectural traditions. ADUs are great for low- and middle-income renters, and small families, and align with state climate change goals. Studies demonstrate that ADUs cost less to build and rent for less than new market rate housing, making ADUs affordable by design.
Other Job Creators
Also awaiting action by the Governor are bills dealing with:
• Increased Innovation and Entrepreneurship: AB 2664 (Irwin; D-Thousand Oaks) provides resources for California innovators, entrepreneurs, startups, investors, and industry and community partners by providing the University of California with funds to expand its capacity and increase access to its innovation and entrepreneurship centers, which provide incubator space, legal services, entrepreneur training and more for researchers and other individuals looking to develop innovative solutions.
• Loan Access: SB 936 (Hertzberg; D-Van Nuys) encourages creation of small business by increasing the funds available in the small business financial assistance act administered by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz).
Signed by the Governor earlier this year was the following:
• Incentivizing Disability Access and Education. SB 269 (Roth; D-Riverside) seeks to limit frivolous litigation and claims regarding construction-related accessibility violations by providing businesses that have proactively sought to become Americans with Disabilities Act compliant with an opportunity to resolve any identified violations. The urgency bill went into effect immediately upon being signed on May 10.
To view the job creator list, visit www.calchamber.com/jobcreators.