BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 2584


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          Date of Hearing:  April 20, 2016


               ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT


                                  David Chiu, Chair


          AB 2584  
          (Daly) - As Introduced February 19, 2016


          SUBJECT:  Land use:  housing development


          SUMMARY:  Authorizes an entity representing a housing provider  
          or potential tenant to act to enforce the Housing Accountability  
          Act (HAA).  Specifically, this bill:  Adds to the list of those  
          eligible to bring an action to enforce the HAA to include an  
          entity that represents a housing provider or a person who would  
          be eligible for residency in the proposed development.  


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Defines "housing development project" to mean a use consisting  
            of any of the following:


               a.     Residential units only.


               b.     Mixed-use developments consisting of residential and  
                 nonresidential uses as specified.


               c.     Transitional housing or supportive housing. 








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          2)Defines "disapprove the development project" to include any  
            instance in which a local agency either:


               a.     Votes on a proposed housing development project and  
                 the application is disapproved; or


               b.     Fails to comply with the required time period for  
                 approval or disapproval required by law.    


          3)Prohibits a local agency from disapproving a proposed housing  
            development project for very low-, low-, or moderate-income  
            households or an emergency shelter unless it makes written  
            findings as specified.


               a.     The jurisdiction has adopted and revised its housing  
                 element as required by law and has met its share of the  
                 regional housing need allocation.


               b.     The proposed development project would have a  
                 specific adverse impact upon public health or safety that  
                 cannot be mitigated without rendering the development  
                 unaffordable or shelter infeasible.


               c.     The denial of the proposed development project is  
                 required to comply with specific state or federal law and  
                 there is no feasible method to comply without rendering  
                 the development unaffordable or shelter infeasible.


               d.     The development project or emergency shelter is  
                 proposed on land that does not have adequate water or  








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                 waste water facilities, or is zoned for agriculture or  
                 resource preservation as specified.


               e.     The proposed development project or emergency  
                 shelter is inconsistent with both the jurisdiction's  
                 zoning ordinance and general plan land use designation as  
                 specified in any element of the general as it existed on  
                 the date the application was deemed complete.


          4)Requires, if a jurisdiction denies approval or imposes  
            restrictions that have a substantial adverse effect on the  
            viability or affordability of a housing development for very  
            low-, low-, or moderate-income households and is the subject  
            of a court action which challenges the denial, the burden of  
            proof to be on the local legislative body


          5)Authorizes the applicant or any person who would be eligible  
            to apply for residency in the proposed development or  
            emergency shelter to bring an action to enforce the Housing  
            Accountability Act.  


          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown


          COMMENTS:  


          Current housing element law requires each local jurisdiction to  
          identify and analyze existing and projected housing needs,  
          identify adequate sites with appropriate zoning to meet the  
          housing needs of all income segments of the community, and  
          ensure that regulatory systems provide opportunities for, and do  
          not unduly constrain, housing development.  To the extent that a  
          community does not have adequate sites within its existing  
          inventory of residentially zoned land, then the community must  








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          adopt a program to rezone land at appropriate densities to  
          accommodate the community's housing need for all income groups.   






          Current law, the HAA, requires a city or county to make one of  
          the following findings, based on substantial evidence in the  
          record, in order to disapprove an affordable housing project:





          1)The city or county has adopted an updated housing element in  
            substantial compliance with the law, and the community has met  
            its share of the regional housing need for that income  
            category.



          2)The project would have a specific, adverse impact on the  
            public health or safety, and there is no way to mitigate or  
            avoid the impact.



          3)The denial is required to comply with state or federal law.



          4)The project is located on agricultural or resource  
            preservation land that does not have adequate water or waste  
            water facilities.











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          5)The jurisdiction has identified sufficient and adequate sites  
            to accommodate its share of the regional housing need and the  
            project is inconsistent with both the general plan land use  
            designation and the zoning ordinance.



          Under current law, if a project was disapproved in violation of  
          the HAA, only the project developer or an eligible tenant of the  
          proposed development may bring action against the jurisdiction  
          to enforce the provisions of the Act.  AB 2584 would expand the  
          enforcement provision of the HAA by also allowing groups that  
          represent tenants or housing providers to bring a legal action  
          when a local government fails to comply with the Act. 





           Purpose of the bill:   According to the author: "For nearly 30  
          years, California's Housing Accountability Act has been a tool  
          to ensure that new housing gets constructed. Under the HAA,  
          local governments must follow certain legal mandates before  
          denying a housing development application. AB 2584 would  
          strengthen the HAA by expanding the list of those who can help  
          enforce its provisions."





           Arguments in support:   According to the sponsor the California  
          Apartment Association: "California is in the midst of an  
          unprecedented housing crisis caused by a severe lack of new  
          housing construction, both market rate and affordable.  One of  
          the most significant barriers to the construction of new  
          affordable housing is unjustified local resistance from NIMBY  
          (Not in My Backyard) groups? AB 2584 applies appropriate  
          pressure on local governments and citizens who attempt to stop  








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          the projects with no good cause. Ultimately, allowing  
          organizations that represent housing or tenant interests to  
          enforce the HAA will help combat NIMBY concerns and lead to the  
          construction of more housing."





           Arguments in opposition:   According to the League of California  
          Cities: "This is a serious expansion of the law.  If a city has  
          violated the law, then the developer should be the first person  
          to bring legal action.  Such a person will, in most cases, be  
          represented by an "entity that represents people eligible to  
          live in the housing." Allowing those entities to sue on their  
          own means disconnecting the city's decision from the people that  
          it affects."





           Staff comments:   AB 2584 expands the enforcement provision of  
          the HAA by allowing an "entity representing a housing provider"  
          to bring legal action, however this is not well-defined.  The  
          committee may wish to consider the following amendment to more  
          clearly define the scope of the bill:





          On page 8, line 21, delete and replace "an entity representing a  
          housing provider or a person who would be eligible to apply for  
          residency." with "a housing organization".












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          Add:  "A housing organization" means a trade or industry group  
          whose local members are primarily engaged in the construction or  
          management of affordable housing units, or a non-profit  
          organization whose mission includes providing or advocating for  
          increased access to affordable housing for low-income  
          households.  





           Double referred:  If AB 2584 passes this committee, the bill will  
          be referred to the Committee on Judiciary.


          


          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          California Apartment Association (Sponsor)


          Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles


          California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation


          Santa Barbara Rental Property Association










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          Western Center on Law & Poverty 




          Opposition


          League of California Cities




          Analysis Prepared by:Ken Spence / H. & C.D. / (961) 319-2085,   
          Ken Spence / H. & C.D. / (916) 319-2085