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Which Bills Are California 'Housing Killers'?
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By CalMatters
Published 8 months ago on
August 20, 2023

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The California Chamber of Commerce has its annual “job killer” list, with a track record of spiking bills that is the envy of other industry groups. By its count, only 58 of the 824 bills labeled “job killers” between 1997 and 2022 made it into law without at least significant changes it wanted.

Similarly, California homebuilders have their own list of housing bills they oppose, though it’s lesser known and shorter-lived.

Lynn La

CalMatters

The California Building Industry Association’s “housing killers” are bills that it says would make the housing crisis worse by “increasing cost, time, and hurdles to build homes.”

For the current session, the list has six bills, including Assembly Bill 68, which was designed to streamline approvals for “climate smart” urban housing. But the association says the measure would “considerably increase” housing costs by “only allowing for much more expensive multi-family high-rise homes to be built.”

AB 1000 also landed on the list. It would restrict warehouses from within 1,000 feet of homes, schools and hospitals. The association says that amounts to a “de facto ban” that would “exacerbate supply chain issues,” “push more trade away from California ports and devastate housing production in the process.”

(The two-year bill, which was introduced by Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-Colton), is likely to resurface, according to the California Business Properties Association.)

Only one bill on the list is still alive — a record that could rival the Chamber’s success. That’s Senate Bill 253, which would require the California Air Resources Board to adopt regulations, including ones for companies, to report carbon emissions from homebuilding products. In an alert this week, the association says the measure would add costly delays and expenses to housing production.

  • Dan Dunmoyer, president and CEO of CBIA: “This Housing Killer bill would make our housing crisis worse as home prices and rents soar in California.”

The association puts a more positive spin by also highlighting “housing creators” — bills that would “reduce barriers to home construction or help address the need for more houses in California.”

California has averaged fewer than 80,000 new housing units annually over the last 10 years — 100,000 a year under what’s needed.

But the only measure on that list is dead for the session: SB 405, which would have required planning agencies to provide notice to owners of sites included in local housing inventory reports.

The association — made up of homebuilders, contractors, architects, engineers, designers, suppliers, and others in the development industry — says that to avoid housing becoming even more unaffordable, California needs to produce 180,000 new homes a year. But it has averaged fewer than 80,000 annually over the last 10 years.

(GV Wire contributed to this article.)

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About the Author

Lynn La is the WhatMatters newsletter writer. Prior to joining CalMatters, she developed thought leadership at an ed-tech company and was a senior editor at CNET. She also covered public health at The Sacramento Bee as a Kaiser media fellow and was an intern reporter at Capitol Weekly. She’s a graduate of UC Davis and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

About CalMatters

CalMatters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom committed to explaining California policy and politics.

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