This legislative year, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law thirty-one pieces of legislation designed to combat California’s ongoing housing crisis by providing tools to expand housing production, streamline housing permitting, and increase allowable density across the state. Key housing-related bills, which take effect on January 1, 2022, unless otherwise noted, are discussed below.
- SB 7, known as the Housing and Jobs Expansion and Extension Act, took immediate effect as an “urgency statute” to address the state’s housing crisis through zoning and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) reform. It reenacts AB 900 through 2025 and extends expedited CEQA review for small-scale infill housing projects. For a more in-depth discussion of SB 7, please refer to Downey Brand’s previous CEQA Chronicles SB 7 blog post.
- SB 8 extends the term of the Housing Crisis Act of 2019 (SB 330) to January 1, 2030, and allows applicants who submit qualifying preliminary applications for housing developments prior to January 1, 2030 to utilize the protections of the Act through January 1, 2034. SB 8 also clarifies aspects of the existing law. SB 330 included procedural and substantive protections for qualifying housing development projects such as accelerating the approval process, limiting fee increases on housing applications, and implementing accountability provisions. Through SB 8, the Legislature clarifies the definition of a “housing development project” for purposes of the Housing Crisis Act to include projects that involve no discretionary approval, projects that involve both discretionary and ministerial approvals, and projects that include construction of a single dwelling unit. SB 8 adds demolition, relocation, and return rights, and also clarifies that developers cannot demolish multiple units and replace them with a single family home.