On Thursday, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law that would expand housing production and would also streamline approvals for housing projects. This legislation should help in surmounting the housing crisis in the Golden State, one of the issues that the opposition brought up when Newsom was struggling with the recall vote though he finally sailed to victory.
The governor’s office announced that $1.75 billion will be allocated for a new “California Housing Accelerator.” The accelerator plan will hasten the construction of 6,500 affordable multi-family units. The construction was held up due to a lack of tax-exempt bonds and low-income taxing credits.
Newsom signed Senate Bill 9 into law. This bill is also called the California Housing Opportunity and More Efficiency (HOME) Act. This act will facilitate additional housing to be constructed in single family zoned areas.
Another bill signed the governor was the Senate Bill 10 (SB 10). Local governments can gain access to an easy zoning process for new multi-unit housing if it is located near transit or urban infill areas, under SB 10. Up to 10 units can be built with an easing of processes under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
These legislations come at an appropriate time, after the governor is back at his seat, after a failed recall by the Republicans. A study in June by the University of California’s Berkeley Center for Community Innovation indicated that corrective measures have to be taken in the state to deal with the looming housing and wildfire crisis. Building in high-risk areas where wildfires predominate was more affordable for developers.
With the change in laws, mainly in urban development or redevelopment, builders and developers can increase urban projects. Another issue to be considered in the current housing crisis in California is to rebuild after fires, as wildfires are bound to escalate in the state due to climate change. If this issue is not tackled at the earliest, insurance costs are set to rise above affordable limits.