May 4, 2019

Sb50 Bill “Purpose”

sb50 “Purpose” From its Text

Read the below “Purpose” of the “More Homes” Act:

(A) The lack of housing, including emergency shelters, is a critical problem that threatens the economic, environmental, and social quality of life in California. (B) California housing has become the most expensive in the nation. The excessive cost of the state’s housing supply is partially caused by activities and policies of many local governments that limit the approval of housing, increase the cost of land for housing, and require that high fees and exactions be paid by producers of housing. (C) Among the consequences of those actions are discrimination against low-income and minority households, lack of housing to support employment growth, imbalance in jobs and housing, reduced mobility, urban sprawl, excessive commuting, and air quality deterioration. (D) Many local governments do not give adequate attention to the economic, environmental, and social costs of decisions that result in disapproval of housing development projects, reduction in density of housing projects, and excessive standards for housing development projects. (2) In enacting the amendments made to this section by the act adding this paragraph, the Legislature further finds and declares the following: (A) California has a housing supply and affordability crisis of historic proportions. The consequences of failing to effectively and aggressively confront this crisis are hurting millions of Californians, robbing future generations of the chance to call California home, stifling economic opportunities for workers and businesses, worsening poverty and homelessness, and undermining the state’s environmental and climate objectives. (B) While the causes of this crisis are multiple and complex, the absence of meaningful and effective policy reforms to significantly enhance the approval and supply of housing affordable to Californians of all income levels is a key factor. (C) The crisis has grown so acute in California that supply, demand, and affordability fundamentals are characterized in the negative: underserved demands, constrained supply, and protracted unaffordability. (D) According to reports and data, California has accumulated an unmet housing backlog of nearly 2,000,000 units and must provide for at least 180,000 new units annually to keep pace with growth through 2025. (E) California’s overall homeownership rate is at its lowest level since the 1940s. The state ranks 49th out of the 50 states in homeownership rates as well as in the supply of housing per capita. Only one-half of California’s households are able to afford the cost of housing in their local regions. (F) Lack of supply and rising costs are compounding inequality and limiting advancement opportunities for many Californians. (G) The majority of California renters, more than 3,000,000 households, pay more than 30 percent of their income toward rent and nearly one-third, more than 1,500,000 households, pay more than 50 percent of their income toward rent. (H) When Californians have access to safe and affordable housing, they have more money for food and health care; they are less likely to become homeless and in need of government-subsidized services; their children do better in school; and businesses have an easier time recruiting and retaining employees. (I) An additional consequence of the state’s cumulative housing shortage is a significant increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by the displacement and redirection of populations to states with greater housing opportunities, particularly working- and middle-class households. California’s cumulative housing shortfall therefore has not only national but international environmental consequences. (J) California’s housing picture has reached a crisis of historic proportions despite the fact that, for decades, the Legislature has enacted numerous statutes intended to significantly increase the approval, development, and affordability of housing for all income levels, including this section. (K) The Legislature’s intent in enacting this section in 1982 and in expanding its provisions since then was to significantly increase the approval and construction of new housing for all economic segments of California’s communities by meaningfully and effectively curbing the capability of local governments to deny, reduce the density for, or render infeasible housing development projects and emergency shelters. That intent has not been fulfilled. (L) It is the policy of the state that this section should be interpreted and implemented in a manner to afford the fullest possible weight to the interest of, and the approval and provision of, housing. (3) It is the intent of the Legislature that the conditions that would have a specific, adverse impact upon the public health and safety, as described in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) and paragraph (1) of subdivision (j), arise infrequently. (b) It is the policy of the state that a local government not reject or make infeasible housing development projects, including emergency shelters, that contribute to meeting the need determined pursuant to this article without a thorough analysis of the economic, social, and environmental effects of the action and without complying with subdivision (d). (c) The Legislature also recognizes that premature and unnecessary development of agricultural lands for urban uses continues to have adverse effects on the availability of those lands for food and fiber production and on the economy of the state. Furthermore, it is the policy of the state that development should be guided away from prime agricultural lands; therefore, in implementing this section, local jurisdictions should encourage, to the maximum extent practicable, in filling existing urban areas. (d) A local agency shall not disapprove a housing development project, including farmworker housing as defined in subdivision (h) of Section 50199.7 of the Health and Safety Code, for very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, or condition approval in a manner that renders the housing development project infeasible for development for the use of very low, low-, or moderate-income households, or an emergency shelter, including through the use of design review standards, unless it makes written findings, based upon a preponderance of the evidence in the record, as to one of the following:
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