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Policy Updates (June 2022) from CalRHA

 

State Budget Update

Governor Newsom unveiled his “May Revision” to the state budget, and in this latest update he has proposed additional funding that would help our membership, including:

  • $2.7 Billion for Emergency Rental Assistance. Governor Newsom is proposing significant state funding for qualified, low-income renters who have requested rental assistance prior to March 31, 2022.
  • $1.4 Billion to Help Californians Pay Past-Due Utility Bills. As Californians continue to face difficulties paying utility bills, this proposed funding expands upon last year’s utility relief program by allocating $1.2 billion for electricity bills and $200 million for water bills.

The Democrat state leaders, Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Speaker Anthony Rendon, and the two Chairpersons of the Budget Committees, Senator Nancy Skinner and Assemblymember Phil Ting, have proposed their budget to the Governor, which will be finalized once negotiations with the Governor have been concluded, and the budget is passed by the Legislature no later than June 15, 2022. That proposed agreement includes $50 million for financing of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).

 

Legislative Update

We have now passed the deadline for passage in the house of origin where bills proposed by the Assembly required passage on the Assembly Floor and bills proposed by the Senate required passage on the Senate Floor. There were several proposed bills initially of great concern to rental housing providers that are “dead”, including AB 2050 (Lee) Restrictions on use of Ellis Act, AB 2203 (Rivas) FEHA Credit Reports, and 2713 (Wicks) Just Cause. Holding these bills was a critical win for the rental housing industry.

 

There are a couple of bills that passed the Senate Floor that we had supported and will continue to advocate for as they move onto the Assembly:

  • SB 847 (Hurtado) – “COVID-19 Rent Relief: Grant Program” – Would create a grant program for landlords who received a negative decision or no response within 20 days – for “Tier 1” applicants (e.g., not corporation, non-REIT, and non-LLC).
  • SB 897 (Weickowski) – “ADU Height Limits” – (Original proposal was to increase height limit from 16 to 25 feet). Now requires that the standards imposed on ADUs be objective and defines “objective standard” as subjective judgment by a public official and is uniformly verifiable. Also, requires a local agency to issue a demolition permit for a detached garage replaced by an ADU at the same time.
  • SB 1133 (Archuleta) – “Price Gouging: State of Emergency: Specified Housing Exclusion” – The bill would also exclude specific categories of housing from these provisions, including housing that was issued a certificate of occupancy for residential use within the 3 months preceding a proclamation of a state of emergency or declaration of local emergency or within the duration of the proclamation or declaration.
  • SB 1262 (Bradford) – Courts’ Indexes – This bill would require publicly accessible electronic indexes of defendants in criminal cases to permit searches and filtering of results based on a defendant’s driver’s license number or date of birth, or both.

However, there are several “high-priority” bills that we continue to be opposed to that will be going on to the next legislative house, which include:

  • AB 2053 (Lee) – Creates the Social Housing Act and would establish the quasi-governmental authority, California Housing Authority, to produce and acquire social housing developments for the purpose of eliminating the gap between housing production and regional housing needs.
  • AB 2383 (Jones Sawyer) – “Ban the Box in Rental Applications” – Would make it an unlawful housing practice for the owner of a rental housing accommodation or business establishment to inquire about or require an applicant for a rental housing accommodation to disclose a criminal record during the initial application assessment phase. (Note: Owner has 5 days to notify of denial of an applicant given 3 days to appeal.)
  • AB 2597 (Bloom)- Indoor Air Temperature – This bill would require for the next edition of the California Building Standards Code adopted after January 1, 2023, to adopt mandatory building standards for the lack of cooling as a substandard condition for human habitation to ensure safe indoor ambient air temperature in dwelling units.
  • SB 1017 (Eggman) – Prohibits a landlord from terminating or failing to renew a tenancy based on an act of abuse or violence of a tenant, immediate family member, or member of the tenant household. Also allows a landlord to terminate or refuse to renew a tenancy if the tenant voluntarily permits the presence of the perpetrator of abuse or violence. Also sets forth specific requirements for unlawful detainer proceedings. This bill would also make a landlord or agent liable to the tenant for actual damages and, except as specified, a civil penalty of not less than $100 and more than $5,000 in a civil action for violation of these provisions.
  • SB 1026 (Wieckowski) – Residential Energy Efficiency Disclosure. This bill would require the commission and the Department of Housing and Community Development to prepare a residential energy efficiency disclosure statement form for landlords and other lessors of residential properties to use to disclose to tenants and lessees’ information about the energy efficiency of the property. This bill would require a landlord to provide to potential tenants who pay for an energy supply or include specified information in the application for the residential property the residential energy disclosure statement.
  • SB 1335 (Eggman) – This bill would prohibit the use of a person’s credit history as part of the application process for rental housing without offering the applicant the option of providing alternative evidence of financial responsibility and ability to pay as the applicant may choose to submit when there is a government rent subsidy. The bill would require the housing provider to consider that alternative evidence in lieu of the person’s credit history when determining whether to offer the rental accommodation to the applicant.
  • SB 1482 (Allen) – EV Building Standards – This bill would require those mandatory building standards for the installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure for parking spaces in multifamily dwellings to require that each dwelling unit with access to a parking space have access to a 208 / 240 volt branch circuit of at least 20 amperes terminating in a receptacle for use by an electric vehicle driver to charge their plug-in electric vehicle, specified signage for those electric vehicle parking spaces, and electrical wiring design options.

Lastly, Assembly Bill 916 (Salas) is our sponsored bill and would streamline bedroom additions and increase allowable ADU height. This bill is set for a hearing on June 13, 2022, by the Senate Housing Committee.

 

Here is a timeline of the remaining legislative deadlines:

  • June 15 Budget Bill must be passed by midnight 
  • June 30 Last day for a legislative measure to qualify for the Nov. 8 General Election ballot
  • July 1 Last day for policy committees to meet and report bills. Summer Recess begins upon adjournment, provided Budget Bill has been passed 
  • Aug. 1 Legislature reconvenes from Summer Recess 
  • Aug. 12 Last day for fiscal committees to meet and report bills 
  • Aug. 15 – 31. Floor session only. No committee may meet for any purpose except Rules Committee, bills referred pursuant to Assembly Rules 77.2, and Conference Committees
  • Aug. 25 Last day to amend bills on the floor 
  • Aug. 31 Last day for each house to pass bills 
  • Sept. 30 Last day for Governor to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature before Sept. 1 and in the Governor’s possession on or after Sept. 1

 

Rent Assistance Update

The rent assistance application portal is now closed and approximately $3.623 billion has been paid out in rent assistance in the state, as of June 6, 2022. For more information on the rental assistance program, please visit Housing is Key.

 

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