Housing supply

Increasing California Housing Supply with SB-9 and SB-10 | American Institute of Enterprise

Summary of AEI Housing Center Meetings in California

In late September, AEI Housing Center held six meetings on increasing housing supply with SB -9 and SB -10 in San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno, Riverside, Los Angeles and San Diego. These discussions were led by Ed Pinto, Tobias Peter and Arthur Gailes of AEI Housing Center and brought together a wide range of policymakers, practitioners, advocates, researchers and academics. These lively discussions were moderated by a group of accomplished speakers from California YIMBY, MetroSight, UC Berkeley’s Terner Center, Bay Area Council, Abodu, YIMBY Law, Mercatus Center, and the Salvation Army. This effort is part of a multi-year research project to promote supply expansion solutions for Californians and across the country. Our work investigating SB-9 and SB-10 is generously supported by a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

For a more comprehensive compilation of our research, see the Los Angeles version of our booklet: Increasing Housing Supply with California Senate Bill 9 and Senate Bill 10.

Conversations and connections facilitated throughout the week highlighted the growing consensus across the political spectrum that building market-based housing supply is necessary to address the affordability crisis. in California and to stop its spread to other parts of the country.

But gaining significant traction for more supply won’t be possible without adding Light-Touch Density (LTD) in areas where housing supply has been limited for decades. LTD adds additional housing supply with a light touch using detached single family homes with accessory dwelling units (ADUs), small lot single family homes, attached single family homes, and duplexes, triplexes and quadruplexes. Our housing and economic analysis toolkit demonstrates both the need and the potential for LDI.

Click here to view a recording of our meeting in Los Angeles.

The slide deck presented by Housing Center Director and Deputy Director Ed Pinto and Tobias Peter can be found here.

The state of SB-9 and SB-10

Recognizing that the status quo on zoning and land use is no longer tenable, the California Legislature passed two LTD bills (SB-9 and SB-10) a year ago with an expiry date. effective Jan. 1, 2022. The goal is to relieve some of the pressure on millions of Californians resulting from soaring housing prices and rents. To address the lack of naturally affordable housing in California, SB-9 allows 2-4 units to be built on parcels previously zoned for one unit, while SB-10 provides localities with the ability to rezone nearby parcels of land. urban fill/transit-rich areas. corridors up to 10 units. Housing proponents believed these reforms would open up more naturally affordable infill development, especially on expensive land in high-cost cities.

Why is SB-9 slow to absorb?

It’s still early days and few SB-9 applications have found their way into local planning offices so far. The local opposition succeeded in making SB-9 conversions impractical or impossible in too many cases. Lack of funding, lack of resources at the city level, and problems with drafting the SB-9 itself have also prevented interested landowners from enjoying the value of their land. Many localities have handcuffed SB-9 with onerous requirements intended to block lot splits or prevent development through low maximum lot sizes, high environmental impact fees, onerous parking requirements, and a myriad of creative obstructions. But for homeowners willing to take advantage of SB-9 and previous legislation facilitating accessory dwelling units (ADUs), a more sophisticated financing ecosystem, particularly one that limits risk stratification, is needed to non-traditional home modifications or development projects. Once submitted, planning departments are ill-equipped to navigate the process of authorizing lot splits or SB-9 conversions with landlords. Cleanup legislation to address some of the language gaps in the SB-9 may be needed to make the SB-9 more effective for owners.

What about the SB-10?

No locality has opted for SB-10 to date, but the mayor of San Diego has pledged to move forward with an SB-10 ordinance. Since cities must submit housing items that must represent a significantly higher number of units through the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). SB-10 provides an additional pathway for cities looking to achieve their RHNA numbers.

How to Build More Light Touch Density in California

Speakers consistently reiterated the success of California’s ADUs — which proliferated after additional reforms were passed in 2016 and 2017 — as a model of how statewide housing bills can be a catalyst for real change at the local level. As an early adopter of ADU construction, Los Angeles has been a model for ADU adoption by providing a roadmap that could be expanded to other cities and eventually the state . Similar model cities are needed to facilitate adoption of the SB-9 and SB-10. Stay tuned as AEI Housing Center continues its multi-year effort to promote supply expansion solutions for Californians and beyond.

The current zoning and land use regime necessitates the professionalization of architects, developers and urban planners to manage the bulk of development projects, as the rules as written are indecipherable to everyone. But by standardizing and simplifying the rules with Light Touch Permitting and Light Touch Codes, a “swarm” of landowners, small builders and local contractors would be able to complete more Light Touch Density projects that don’t drastically change the the look and feel of the neighborhood.