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Regional Housing Plan Has Statewide Impacts

Bay Area legislators introduce bills aimed at implementing elements of the CASA Compact

March 18, 2019
Among the 2,700 bills introduced in the Legislature this year, San Francisco Bay Area legislators have introduced nearly 20 bills seeking to implement elements of a Bay Area regional housing plan referred to as the CASA Compact.
While these bills are intended to implement the CASA Compact, almost all of them would have significant statewide impacts.
The CASA Compact was created by CASA, the Committee to House the Bay Area. CASA was convened in 2017 by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments to find solutions and provide recommendations to address the region’s housing crisis.
CASA is led by an 18-member steering committee comprising leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors with a stake in the housing crisis and is advised by a 32-member technical committee of experts. In January 2019, the CASA Steering Committee approved the CASA Compact, a policy package which includes ten recommendations and five calls to action intended to address the region’s housing crisis. While some praise the plan as a successful compromise between competing interest groups, many city officials in the region have felt excluded and believe that some of the solutions offered in the CASA Compact are unworkable.  
Please review the below list of bills that implement elements of the CASA Compact. This is not a final list of bills and will likely change as the year progresses. All cities should carefully consider each proposal, as these bills are not limited to the Bay Area. The League will continue to review these measures and take appropriate action in the coming days.  
CASA Compact Element # Related Bills
  1.  Just Cause Eviction AB 1481 — Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) Tenancy.
  2.  Rent Cap AB 36 — Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) Affordable housing: rental prices.
  3.  Legal Counsel [for tenants] SB 18 — Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) Keep Californians Housed Act.
  4.  ADUs AB 68 — Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) Land use: accessory dwelling units.
SB 13 — Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) Accessory dwelling units.
  5. Minimum Zoning SB 50 — Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) Planning and zoning: housing development: equitable communities incentive.
SB 4 — Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) Housing.
  6.  Good Government AB 1483 — Tim Grayson (D-Concord) Housing development project applications: reporting.
AB 1484 — Tim Grayson (D-Concord) Mitigation Fee Act: housing developments.
SB 330 — Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) Housing Crisis Act of 2019.
  7. Streamlining
AB 1485 — Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) Housing development: streamlining.
SB 6 Jim Beall (D-San Jose)/Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) Residential development: available land.
  8.  Public Lands AB 1486 — Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) Local agencies: surplus land.
  9.  Funding the Regional Housing
AB 1487 — David Chiu (D-San Francisco) Land use: housing element.
SB 5 — Jim Beall (D-San Jose)/Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg) Local-State Sustainable Investment Incentive Program.
AB 11 — David Chiu (D-San Francisco) Community Redevelopment Law of 2019.
ACA 1 — Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters) Local government financing: affordable housing and public infrastructure: voter approval.
 10. Regional Housing Enterprise AB 1487 — David Chiu (D-San Francisco) Land use: housing element.

Below are the ten recommendations and five calls to actions that have come out of the CASA Compact.
10 Key Elements of the CASA Compact
  1. Just-Cause Eviction Policy
    • Adopt a region-wide policy requiring landlords to cite specific “just causes” (both fault and no-fault) for termination of tenancy.
  2. Rent Cap
    • Establish a Bay Area-wide rent cap that limits annual increases in rent to a reasonable amount.
  3. Rent Assistance and Access to Legal Counsel
    • For low-income tenants facing eviction, provide access to free legal counsel and emergency rent assistance. The funding would be generated through Compact Element #9 to fund regional access to legal counsel and emergency rent assistance.
  4. Remove Regulatory Barriers to Accessory Dwelling Units
    • Extend current Bay Area best practices regarding Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) to every jurisdiction in the region. Amend existing state ADU law to remove regulatory barriers including ministerial approval for ADUs and Junior ADUs in residential zones, allowance for multiple ADUs in multi-family homes, and creation of a small homes building code. Require impact fees for ADUs and tiny homes to be charged (1) on a per-square-foot basis and (2) only on net new living area over 500 square feet per accessory unit.
  5. Minimum Zoning Near Transit
    • In neighborhoods served by high quality bus service, establish minimum zoning on all residential, commercial, and institutional zones to allow missing middle housing types up to 36 feet tall.
    • In neighborhoods surrounding the region’s major transit stops (rail stations and ferry terminals), establish minimum zoning to allow midrise residential housing up to 55 feet tall (75 feet tall with a density bonus).
    • Allow sensitive communities to defer rezoning above 36 feet while they develop context-sensitive plans. On large commercial-zoned parcels located near job centers, make housing an allowable use.
    • For projects with 20 units or more, require inclusion of affordable units.
  6. Reforms to Housing-Approval Processes
    • Establish ‘good government’ standards for the entitlement and permitting of zoning-compliant residential projects. Require transparency and consistency in how residential impact fees are set and enforced.
  7. Expedited Approvals and Financial Incentives for Select Housing Types
    • Ensure timely approval of zoning-compliant housing projects and create financial incentives for enabling on-site affordability and prevailing wages.
  8. Unlock Public Land for Affordable Housing
    • Promote increased utilization of public land (surplus and underutilized) for affordable housing through a variety of legislative and regulatory changes, as well as the creation of new regional coordination and planning functions.
  9. Raise $1.5 Billion Annually from a Range of Sources to Fund Implementation of the Compact
    • Raise $1.5 billion in new revenue annually from a broad range of sources, including property owners, developers, employers, local governments and the taxpayers, to fund implementation of the CASA Compact.
    • The Compact identified several options:  
      • Vacant Homes Tax levied on property owners;
      • Parcel Tax levied on property owners (residential and commercial);
      • Commercial Linkage Fee charged to developers;
      • Gross Receipts Tax levied on employers;
      • Head Tax levied on employers;
      • Revenue Set Asides for Redevelopment Agencies (local governments);
      • Revenue Sharing Contribution into a region-wide housing program for local governments;
      • Quarter-cent Sales Tax; and
      • General Obligation Bonds, reissued every five years.
  10. Establish a Regional Housing Enterprise
    • Establish a regional leadership entity to implement the CASA Compact, track and report progress, and provide incentives and technical assistance. 
CASA’s Five Calls to Action
  1. Redevelopment 2.0
    • Pass legislation enabling the re-establishment of redevelopment in California to provide a significant source of new funding for affordable and mixed income development.
  2. Lower the Voter Threshold for Housing Funding Measures
    • Pass legislation that will provide voters statewide with the opportunity to apply a 55 percent threshold for investments in affordable housing and housing production.
  3. Fiscalization of Land Use
    • Pass legislation that will return e-commerce/internet sales tax revenues to the point of sale — not the point of distribution as currently mandated — to provide cities that have a significant residential base with a commensurate fiscal stimulus for new housing.
  4. Homelessness Funding
    • CASA’s funding package must include resources that help produce housing for formerly homeless people, prevent homelessness when possible and make homelessness rare, brief and non-reoccurring.
  5. Grow and Stabilize the Construction Labor Force
    • Grow the workforce by increasing apprentice training, placement, and payment of prevailing wages when direct public funding, public land, fee abatement, tax abatement, CEQA exemptions, and other fiscal/economic development incentives are provided for housing.
    • Discourage the underground economy and require compliance with existing wage and workforce laws.
    • Create a CASA/State labor workgroup charged with coordinating implementation of CASA policies and needed labor force expansion consistent with CASA principles.
    • Call upon the state to use its workforce development and training programs to improve the construction employment pipeline and create improved pathways from secondary education into apprentice training programs.

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