Legislative update, learn about the status of these bills:
- AB 790 (Quirk-Silva) Consumer Legal Remedies Act
Will help prevent PACE lenders from using technical arguments to evade their obligations when a senior whose home has been put at risk because of a PACE loan seeks relief under the CLRA.
- AB 1095 (Cooley) Affordable Rental and Owner-Occupied Housing
Adds homeownership opportunities for low-income individuals to the programs that can be funded by the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program beginning July 1, 2022.
- SB 539 (Hertzberg, McGuire, Allen) Statutory Implementation of Proposition 19b
Provides necessary clarifications to ensure for proper implementation of Proposition 19’s provisions statewide. These clarifications help ensure Proposition 19 is implemented consistently throughout California, as well as provide certainty to qualifying homeowners and owners of family farms.
Hot Issue Update – C.A.R. Clarifies Pro Act Federal Labor Bill
Earlier this month an “Opinion” article was published in Inman News about H.R. 842, the PRO Act. The PRO Act is a labor bill that touches upon different aspects of the employer and employee relationship. The focus of the article is the possibility that the PRO Act could make changes to the ability of REALTORS® to do business as independent contractors. The opinion piece inferred passage of the bill by the Senate was imminent. “This is simply not the case,” reports C.A.R. “This bill, as currently written, will not achieve the necessary votes in the U.S. Senate to pass.”
This topic, of vital consequence to REALTORS®, is a good example of the work that C.A.R. and NAR do to support and allow you to do business. Both have worked for years to educate members of the Legislature and Congress on the importance of REALTORS® having the choice to be independent contractors or employees.
Last year, C.A.R. was successful in amending AB 5 and, thus, protecting the ability of California REALTORS® to continue their half-century practice as independent contractors. C.A.R. continues to assist and support NAR’s efforts to maintain its members’ independent contractor option as lawmakers debate H.R. 842 and other bills that deal with this issue. We expect to be successful in these efforts. Additional information may be found at:
Independent Contractor Bill AB 5 Signed: Real Estate Licensees Can Remain
NAR Stresses Support for Independent Contractor Classification
Update on C.A.R.-Sponsored Bills
AB 119 (Salas) Special Districts: Fee Transparency
Direct fees on residential parcels of land have been a growing local government finance tool since the creation of Mello-Roos and the establishment of benefit assessment districts. These districts allow special fees to be imposed on property owners to finance public improvements like park maintenance, water, electricity, sewage and drainage, infrastructure and more. AB 119 would create more transparency for the buyer about these fees before entering into the transaction. It would require the County Auditor/Controller to post the combined direct levies accessed on real property along with the current tax rate on their website. Additionally, if a County Auditor/Controller posts the contact information for each direct levy accessed within their jurisdiction, that notice shall also include a range fees accessed on individual parcels of real property subject to the special district’s assessment.
AB 244 (Blanca Rubio) Updating California’s Affordable Housing Cost Study
Home production cost increases are often passed along to buyers in the form of higher home prices. Sponsored by C.A.R., AB 244 would require the state’s housing agencies to update the California Cost Study, last released in October 2014, to provide actual costs to constructing affordable and market rate housing. This transparency of these costs is crucial to solving the state’s housing supply crisis.
AB 571 (Mayes) Density Bonus: Fee Reduction to Construct Below-Market Rate Unit
Fees and costs associated with the construction of affordable units are often passed along to buyers in the form of higher home prices or can increase the amount of subsidy needed to build affordable housing units. Sponsored by C.A.R., AB 571 prohibits local governments from assessing affordable housing fees on the deed restricted affordable units contained within a density bonus application. Affordable deed restricted housing should not be required to pay a fee intended to construct other affordable housing as it simply increases the cost of the affordable housing being built. This fee only serves to increase costs to construct deed restricted affordable housing, making it less likely that developers maximize the affordable unit set aside within their density bonus application.
June 26, 2020
C.A.R. Legislation – November 2020
On June 26 the California State Legislature passed a strong bipartisan measure (Assembly Constitutional Amendment 11) co-sponsored by the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.) and the California Professional Firefighters that is poised to be placed on the November ballot. This new ballot initiative is known as “The Home Protection for Seniors, Severely Disabled, Families, and Victims of Wildfire or Natural Disasters Act” (ACA 11).
This is great news as it builds on C.A.R.’s original initiative, strengthening the provisions we care most about and incorporates dedicated funding for fire protection and emergency response to safeguard millions of lives in communities across the state. The new initiative will continue to expand Proposition 13 property tax portability for all homeowners over 55 years old, people with severe disabilities, and wildfire victims by removing unfair location and cost restrictions to allow homeowners to move anywhere in the state. In addition, it will open up housing inventory throughout California, creating home ownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers.
This legislative solution passed through the California State Legislature with two-thirds support in the State Assembly and State Senate with strong bipartisan support. Together, C.A.R. and the California Professional Firefighters built an unprecedented broad and diverse coalition including local elected officials, business groups, labor, agriculture, Republicans and Democrats. Some of the supporters include the California Farm Bureau, California Fresh Fruit Association, California Forestry Association, California Business Roundtable, California Building Industry Association, California Business Properties Association, California Cattlemen’s Association, as well as wildfire victims, local elected officials, school officials, and senior groups.
This updated initiative generates hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenue for local governments and school districts without raising property tax rates. It also creates a historic dedicated Fire Response Fund providing needed revenue to help protect millions of homes and lives across the state, including dedicated revenue for historically underfunded fire districts in rural and urban communities.
In addition, the initiative will provide added tax relief for California’s family-owned farms and ranches. The additional tax savings for a farmer or rancher will help protect generational farming.
Lastly, the initiative continues to constitutionally protect the right for parents and grandparents to pass the family home to their children and grandchildren so they can afford to live in the home as intended by Propositions 58 and 193. Since family transfer benefits have been under attack and face potential elimination, this initiative protects family homes for Californians.
The next step is for Governor Newsom to sign legislation in the next few days that will officially place ACA 11 on the ballot.
We are in an even stronger position to pass this important initiative that will improve housing affordability, benefit communities, and all Californians. I appreciate your support. Our team will be providing you with updates soon on how to get involved.
SB 50: Senate Rejects Transit Density Bill
SB 50, the controversial proposal in the California legislature that would have rolled back zoning requirements in urban areas around transit, fell three votes short of the 21 needed to advance to the State Assembly.
Senate Bill 50 was aimed at scaling back local zoning rules that limit the density of housing near transit lines and job centers. There are reports that the bill could return for reconsideration. But the clock is ticking for Sen. Scott Wiener to collect votes. Under the Legislature’s rules, the bill would need to clear the Senate by last Friday in order to advance to the Assembly.
Speaking on the Senate floor , Wiener argued that restrictions on the scale of new buildings imposed by cities and counties in the last 50 years have exacerbated the state’s affordable housing shortage and smog-producing urban sprawl.
“We have a policy in California that it’s not a priority to have enough housing for those who need it,” said Wiener. “Restrictive zoning puts a hard cap on our ability to get out of this housing crisis.”
Allowing developers to construct larger apartment buildings in areas already well-served by transit, argued Wiener, would also give more people alternatives to driving.
In its current form, SB 50 would reduce minimum parking requirements and density restrictions applied to housing developments near train stations, bus stops with frequent service, and areas with a high number of jobs. Cities would also have to allow up to four units on lots now exclusively reserved for single-family homes.
Local governments would have until 2023 to come up with their own plans to add more housing units and decrease transportation emissions—or abide by the rules laid out in the bill.
Impact for Los Angeles
In Los Angeles, where the bill could impact zoning rules for nearly half the city’s land, the City Council voted unanimously last year to oppose SB 50. Echoing criticisms from affordable housing advocates, local leaders argued that the bill did not do enough to address the needs of low-income renters who would likely be unable to afford newly built apartments without affordability requirements.
The bill has since been amended, and Wiener said the previous week that affordability requirements would be added in the coming months. He also emphasized that the bill includes demolition protections to avoid renter displacement—and that Los Angeles would be effectively exempted from many of SB 50’s provisions due to existing incentives for affordable housing development near transit.
“We’re not all the way on this bill, but we’ll get there,” he said.
Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) said promises of future affordability measures and anti-gentrification stipulations already added weren’t enough to address the concerns of both renters and homeowners in areas impacted by redlining and other segregationist policies.
“Single-family homeowners are not a monolithic group,” said Mitchell, pointing out that many of the South LA residents she represents own their homes. “We have single-family homeowners that are holding on by their fingernails.”
Wiener spokesperson Catie Stewart says the senator hasn’t “figured out next steps yet” but is “committed to addressing the housing crisis.”
Newsom Signs Bills Affecting Housing
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two bills into law last week meant to address the housing/homeless crisis. AB 1482 caps rent increases in multi-family structures, SB 330 other limits public hearings on developments. READ MORE
C.A.R. Red Alert – Restrictive Rent Caps
UPDATE – Sept. 10, 2019: Senate Passes 1482
The bill now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk; he has said he will sign it.
Assembly Passes AB 1482
Now Assemblymember David Chiu, author of AB 1482, essentially combined two with newly amended bill text:
This bill would, with certain exceptions, prohibit an owner of residential property from terminating the lease of a tenant that has occupied the property for at least 12 months without just cause, as defined.
The bill would require, for certain just cause terminations that are curable, that the owner give a notice of violation and an opportunity to cure the violation prior to issuing the notice of termination. The bill would require, for no-fault just cause terminations, as specified, that the owner assist certain tenants to relocate, regardless of the tenant’s income, by providing a direct payment of one month’s rent to the tenant, as specified. […] The bill would repeal these provisions as of January 1, 2023.
In this case, a “just cause” means failure to pay rent, “substantial breach of a material term of the rental agreement, […] refusal, by the tenant to sign a new lease that is identical to the previous lease, after the previous lease expired,” illegal conduct, damage to the unit, and similar complaints, according to Curbed.
C.A.R. OPPOSES UNLESS AMENDED
C.A.R. has been negotiating in good faith with the bills’ authors in an attempt to make reasonable amendments to both bills, thus removing C.A.R.’s opposition. As of now, those negotiations have stalled. As a result, C.A.R. OPPOSES both AB 1482 (Chiu), which creates a very restrictive statewide rent cap, and AB 1481 (Grayson and Bonta), which establishes statewide “just cause” evictions.
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Urge Your Senator to Oppose Legislation that Forces Landlords to Participate in Section 8!
C.A.R. OPPOSES SB 329 (Mitchell) because it effectively forces ALL residential rental property owners to participate in the voluntary Section 8 housing program by entering into a legally binding contract with a government agency – the provisions of which may be extremely difficult to fulfill. SB 329 will be considered as soon as TODAY on the Senate Floor.
Call your Senator TODAY!
Urge a NO Vote on SB 329!
Enter your NRDS ID or PIN number
followed by the # sign to be connected to your legislator’s office.
When staff answers the phone, you can use the following script:
“Hi, this is (insert your name). I’m a REALTOR® from your district. Please ask the Senator to Vote No on SB 329. Don’t force rental property providers into contractual obligations that they may not be able to meet.”
Support the Real Estate Industry
The REALTOR® Action Fund (RAF) and REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC) are lobbying against laws that hurt the real estate industry and make home ownership less affordable for clients.
CVAR is urging members to do their part to fight upcoming legislation that could devastate the California real estate industry.
The work that RAF and RPAC do includes raising and spending money to educate and elect candidates who understand and support issues that are important to our industry. We know that REALTORS® can make a difference. Each year CVAR sends REALTOR® members who support RAF to Sacramento to Legislative Day, sponsored by C.A.R., to meet and educate our legislators about issues impacting real estate.
“California REALTORS® cannot afford to ignore what occurs in the halls of government because Real Estate is one of the most regulated industries at the local, state and federal level,” according to C.A.R.
Support the fight for legislation that helps YOU do business–and your clients get into homes!