Capitol Reporter

Affordable-home and homelessness policy news from the halls of the Capitol

The October 15, 2019 Issue

2019 Legislative Recap:
A Message From Our Executive Director, Lisa Hershey 
What Happened: Sponsored Bills 2019
Supported Bills

2019 Legislative Recap

A Message From Our Executive Director, Lisa Hershey:

Governor Newsom set the bar high with the clear intention of creating a California for All and transforming our struggling housing and homelessness landscape. In any new relationship, it takes a while to work out the kinks, and although we hit some bumps along the way, Newsom’s administration worked closely with the Legislature and all of us to make unprecedented things happen in 2019.

Beyond the landmark $2.7 billion for housing and homelessness in this year’s budget, Housing California also celebrates legislative wins, including much needed renter protections that move us closer to our vision of Homes for All.

SB 329 (Mitchell), which Housing California sponsored, the Residents United Network supported, and Governor Newsom signed into law, is the beginning of a major shift towards housing justice in California. Black, brown, indigenous, and immigrant Californians bear the burden of historical housing discrimination, and the legacy of that discrimination continues today. But Housing California and our allies came together to fight that injustice, and this bill ensures that everyone using housing assistance to find a home is treated with dignity.

Landlords can no longer discriminate against people based on how they pay rent, leveling the playing field so that everyone has a fair chance when applying for housing. We are incredibly grateful to Senator Holly Mitchell’s bold and tenacious leadership and our “Power Ranger” partners - Western Center on Law & Poverty, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, LA County Board of Supervisors, and National Housing Law Project.

We also celebrate the passage of the following Housing California-supported bills:

  • AB 58 (Luz Rivas) will add a critical Department of Education seat on the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council.
  • AB 761 (Nazarian) will make state armories for homeless shelters available during the most dangerous hot times in summer.
  • AB 1197 (Santiago) creates a CEQA exemption for supportive housing and navigation centers in Los Angeles.
  • AB 1255 (R. Rivas and Ting) creates a surplus land database.
  • AB 1482 (Chiu), a major victory for millions of renters trying to stay afloat, will make rent gouging and no-cause eviction illegal across the state.
  • AB 1486 (Ting), the Public Lands for Public Good bill, will strengthen the state’s surplus land act to transform unused public land into affordable housing.
  • AB 1763 (Chiu) provides a density bonus to affordable housing developers when they build 100% affordable developments.
  • AB 1783 (Robert Rivas) Agricultural Employee Housing Development
  • SB 6 (Beall) Residential Development: Available Land
  • SB 389 (Hertzberg) Mental Health Services Act

These bills were a huge step forward, and we’ll build on them in 2020 to make sure that everyone in California has a safe, stable, affordable place to call home.


What Happened: Sponsored Bills

Two-year bills:

SB 282 (Beall) Supportive Housing for People on Parole Experiencing Homelessness:
Grant program for counties to provide supportive housing for people on parole with a mental illness who are homeless.

SB 361 (Mitchell) Health Home Program Clean-Up:
In 2013, Governor Brown signed AB 361 (Mitchell), which authorized the state to take advantage of an Affordable Care Act optional Medi-Cal benefit, now referred to as the Health Home Program (HHP). This clean-up legislation would remove language around restricting state funding and also make the program more meaningful.​

ACA 1 (Aguiar-Curry) Affordable Housing and Public Infrastructure Voter Approval:
This constitutional amendment would place on the November 2020 ballot an initiative to reduce the local vote threshold from two-thirds to 55% for approval of bond and special tax measures to fund the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or replacement of infrastructure, including homes affordable to households earning up to 150% of the area median income.

SCA 1 (Allen) Repeal Article 34:
This constitutional amendment would repeal Article 34 of the California Constitution, which requires local voters to approve the development of homes affordable to lower income households.

Dead bills:

AB 10 (Chiu) Expanding the California Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program:
We achieved a huge win with Assemnblymember Chiu and our co-sponsors by getting Governor Newsom to include the $500 million expansion of the state Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program in his 2019 budget.  Our work will continue in 2020 and beyond to make this expansion continuous.

AB 307 (Reyes) Homeless Youth Grant Program:
This bill would have created a grant program to provide housing and services for youth experiencing homelessness.


Supported Bills

AB 67 (Luz Rivas) Homeless Integrate Data Warehouse - Now a two-year bill

AB 1279 (Bloom) Planning and Zoning in High-Resource Areas - Now a two-year bill

AB 1405 (Gloria) Permanent Supportive Housing for Parolees - Now a two-year bill

AB 1702 (Luz Rivas) Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council - Vetoed by the Governor

​SB 5 (Beall) Affordable Housing and Community Development Investment Program - Vetoed by the Governor

SB 9 (Beall) Low-income Housing Tax Credits - These provisions were folded into the Governor’s 2019 budget, which was a big win.

SB 48 (Wiener) Low Barrier Navigation Center Developments - Now a two-year bill, though the concept was included in this year’s budget.

SB 333 (Wilk) Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council - Dead


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Housing California
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Sacramento, California 95814