Controversial New Law Opens Door To More Residential Development In California
It has been praised as a long-overdue step to address California’s chronic housing shortage, while others have called it the “worst bill of the year.”
But regardless of public opinion, the Affordable Housing and High Road Jobs Act of 2022 is expected to have a dramatic impact on multifamily development in the state when it takes effect next summer.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the act, also known as Assembly Bill 2011, on Sept. 28, along with Senate Bill 6, the Middle-Class Housing Act. Together, the two new laws will allow housing to be built on sites that local governments currently zone for retail, office or parking purposes, and in many cases the laws will allow housing developments to avoid review under the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA. In addition, workers who build these new homes must be paid prevailing — that is, union — wages and given health benefits.
“This could potentially unlock a tremendous number of sites for residential development that have previously been reserved, by virtue of zoning, for retail or office development,” said Charles “C.J.” Higley, a partner with Northern California law firm Farella Braun + Martel LLP.
Read the full article on Bisnow here.