The Good, The Bad, and The Opportunity: NPH’s 2019 Legislative Wrap-Up

The Good, The Bad, and The Opportunity: NPH’s 2019 Legislative Wrap-Up

As this year’s legislative session comes to a close, we’re thrilled to share that most of NPH’s Priority Bills passed out of the legislature and are on their way to the Governor’s desk for his signature! Together, this package of affordable housing and housing justice bills moves forward the vision that there is a pathway to strong, healthy, affordable communities around the Bay Area and the state of California, and embraces the three-pronged production, preservation, and protection framework as the strategy to advance that vision.

NPH is so proud of the “bold, visionary leadership we saw this legislative session, as lawmakers stepped up with housing solutions in response to our state’s communities in need,” NPH Executive Director Amie Fishman shared with press in a statement at the close of session last week. We offer great thanks to our members, partners, elected champions, and staff who led our legislative strategy to success. 

 

The Good

Key NPH Priority Bills that are moving forward to the Governor’s desk include AB 1482 (Chiu), AB 1486 (Ting), and AB 1487 (Chiu): 

  • AB 1482: This tenant protections bill will help families stay in their homes by limiting extreme or unreasonable rent increases and preventing arbitrary evictions. We’re happy to share that the Governor has strongly indicated that he will sign this bill into law! 

  • AB 1486: Sponsored by NPH, this Public Lands for Public Good bill will strengthen the state’s Surplus Land Act to transform unused public land into affordable housing. This bill builds on the Governor’s State Surplus Land Executive Order, and it will be critical to deliver the message to the Governor that AB 1486 deserves his signature.

  • AB 1487: Co-sponsored by NPH, this Bay Area Regional Housing Solutions bill will provide new regional funding and programs to strengthen the Bay Area with more affordable homes and protections for longtime residents. This bill offers the first ever comprehensive regional approach to the Bay Area’s housing strategy, and the Governor must hear from Bay Area leaders and advocates on this specific policy.

 

>> Urge Governor Newsom to Sign AB 1486 and AB 1487 into Law! <<

 

We’re also excited to share that NPH Priority Bills SB 329 and SB 330 have also passed out of the Legislature. SB 329 will help stop housing discrimination by prohibiting landlords from rejecting prospective renters just because they get government assistance to pay their rent. SB 330 will create more affordable housing opportunities for California families and workers by ensuring local governments each maintain consistent rules and regulations.

Together, these bills touch upon all “3Ps” of affordable housing approaches: Production, Preservation, and Tenant Protections, and are critical for moving our region and state forward with common-sense housing solutions. 

Other NPH priority bills that moved forward include:

  • SB 5 (Beall): This bill will re-apportion existing local allocations into the Educational Revenue Augmentation Fund (ERAF) to fund affordable housing and infrastructure investments. 

  • AB 268 (Wiener): This bill supports fair elections for local community affordable housing, education, and other critical needs, by expanding transparency and voter clarity on local revenue measure impacts. 

  • SCA 1 (Wiener, Allen): This constitutional amendment would repeal Article XXXIV, a discriminatory article passed in 1950 which essentially prohibits the development of affordable housing unless there is a majority vote of the public to approve the project. SCA 1 passed out of the Senate with unanimous support and it will now be held until 2020 to be taken up by the Assembly. 

  • SB 9 (Beal) This bill ends the sunset for certificated tax credits. The bill was held in the Senate but included as part of the budget.

 

Of course, there is still work ahead…

 

The Bad

We’re disappointed to share that some of NPH’s Priority Bills were turned into 2-year bills, delaying solutions while families suffer. NPH is determined to keep working to turn these bills into reality, so that our state can make meaningful progress in building more homes, and especially affordable homes. Those bills include:

  • AB 10 (Chiu), which would have renewed the expansion of the state’s Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC) for five years to ensure more Californians can find safe, stable, affordable places to call home has turned into a 2-year bill, which means it is on hold until 2020. 

  • SB 50 (Wiener), which would have created more housing options for California families to find safe, stable, affordable homes, and saved workers hours of commute time while preserving the voice of low-income residents in planning decisions has turned into a 2-year bill, which means it is on hold until 2020.

  • ACA 1 (Aguiar-Curry), which would have lowered the voter threshold from a two-thirds majority (66.67%) to 55% for municipal bonds, including affordable housing measures, failed to reach the necessary level of support in the Assembly. The author of the bill, Assemblymember Cecila Aguiar-Curry, will now look to build support for the proposed constitutional amendment in 2020. 

 

The Opportunity

This year’s legislative wins are a testament to the momentum our movement has been building for smart affordable housing solutions, especially those represented by the “3Ps” framework of Production, Preservation, and Tenant Protections. The drumbeat of support our affordable housing movement has been building shows that we have the momentum to see even more success in 2020 and beyond. 

AB 1487 represents an especially unique opportunity to address the Bay Area’s housing challenges through new funding, programs, and tools. If signed into law, MTC and ABAG leadership will be able to place a regional ballot measure that would enable the Bay Area to pursue big and bold regional affordable housing solutions. “This bill recognizes that our housing problems don’t stop and start at county borders and helps us make sure our strategy and solutions don’t either,” Fishman said in a statement last week. 

As AB 1486 and 1487 head to the Governor’s desk, it’s important that we ensure these bills get signed into law. We’re asking you and all affordable housing supporters and leaders to take one last action this legislative session to ensure that these two crucial bills become law: Let Governor Gavin Newsom know how critical AB 1486 and AB 1487 will be for our neighbors, friends, and families by submitting a letter of support now.

 


 

This truly has been another transformative legislative session, as lawmakers passed critical solutions that can bring relief now for California seniors, veterans, working families, and other vulnerable communities. So, how did we get here?

Working with our members and partners, NPH Senior Policy Manager Pedro Galvao and Director of Advocacy and Community Engagement JR Starrett led efforts to strengthen our coalitions, build relationships with lawmakers, provide timely and critical technical assistance and input, and demonstrate our movement’s growing power.

We are continuing to build our movement and grow momentum for support. From our 2016 Bay Area electoral successes, to the 2017 Historic Housing Package; from the strong majorities of voters who said Yes to multiple affordable housing state and local measures in 2018, to this year’s session, we are moving full-force ahead for big, bold, transformative solutions so we can create a Bay Area where all of our black, brown, and white neighbors have a safe, stable, affordable place to live. 

Thank you to NPH members, partners, elected champions, and staff who led our legislative strategy to success! 

Alina Harway