2022 Legislation Prioritizes Housing in California
$250M+ CalHome Program Funding Secured
In 2022 Habitat for Humanity San Luis Obispo advocated for Governor Newsom to apply part of the nearly $100 billion state budget surplus toward investments in affordable housing throughout the state. Together Habitat California, a coalition of California-based Habitat of Humanity affiliates, the California Building Industry Association, and the California Association of Realtors, along with 250+ other coalition members across the state, sought to secure funding through the California Homeownership (CalHome) Coalition.
The CalHome Coalition seeks to secure funding that increases the affordable housing supply by providing grants to local public agencies and nonprofit corporations like HFHSLOCO. CalHome programs include first-time homebuyer and housing rehabilitation assistance, and homebuyer counseling and technical assistance to ensure low- and very-low income households can become and remain homeowners.
Our advocacy efforts paid off when $250 million was approved for the state’s CalHome program in the 2022-2023 budget, with a promise of an additional $100 million for the 2023-2024 budget. This victory will ensure development of affordable homes throughout the state, and support HFHSLOCO’s work in revitalizing local neighborhoods, preserving existing homes, and building affordable housing.
2022 Housing Production Legislation Wins
Habitat for Humanity California supported four bills which Governor Newsom signed into law this year.
- AB 2217, sponsored by Habitat California, requires the California Department of Housing and Community Development to consider setting higher per-unit total project allocations based on local development costs when appropriate. The bill also requires the department to consider adjustments to the maximum unit and project allocations for each new round of funding for new construction of homeownership units. This is a huge win for affordable housing in San Luis Obispo County where the cost to build a new home can easily exceed $430,000, and the average home price is over $909,000.
- AB 1933 expands the existing Property Tax Welfare Exemption to include other non-profit builders that construct owner-occupied units for low-income buyers, and it does not prohibit the homebuyer from paying a low-interest rate on their mortgage. Non-profit owners operating with the primary purpose to build and rehabilitate single or multi-family residential units will now see their properties fully exempt from property taxation on liens occurring on or after January 1, 2023 through January 1, 2028. This will increase the supply of affodable homes as more builders are incentivized to construct and rehabilitate affordible homes, and homeowners will not be disqualified from obtaining valuable property tax exemptions.
- AB 2097 prohibits any public agency from imposing a minimum automobile parking requirement on any residential, commercial, or other development project, so long as the development is located within one-half mile of public transport or in neighborhoods with less car use. This bill prioritizes people over cars and paves the way to build more affordable units with need-based parking requirements rather than a one-size-fits-all parking mandate.
- AB 2234 introduces an online application system for postentitlement phase permitting in some jurisdictions, and establishes time limits for review of such permits. The law requires that examples of completed permits for at least five common types of housing development projects be made availbale to all applicants. This act will improve accountability and efficiency when permitting housing, bringing permitting into the modern age and creating the opportunity for affordable housing to be permitted more quickly.
Consider taking a moment to thank our California lawmakers for their commitment to affordable housing in the 2022-2023 budget, and to affirm your interest in seeing CalHome funding included in future budgets.