Inclusionary Housing Requirements Now Allowed

Zelda Bronstein
Friday November 03, 2017 - 07:41:00 PM

In his October 30 op-ed, “It’s time to drive away the developers,” Steve Martinot doesn’t seem to realize that on September 29, Jerry Brown signed a bill, AB 1505, that overrides the Palmer decision and allows cities and counties to establish inclusionary zoning requirements—that is, requirements that new residential rental projects include a specified amount of officially affordable housing.  

There is a condition that the bill’s sponsor, Assemblymember Bloom (D, Santa Monica) apparently added under pressure from Brown, that authorizes the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development to review a jurisdiction’s inclusionary ordinance that requires more than 15% of residential rental unit to be affordable to households at 80% Area Median Income, if the locality has failed to meet at least 75% of it share of the state-mandated Regional Housing Need Allocation for above-moderate households over at least a five-year period; or if HCD finds that the locality has not submitted its annual Housing Element report for two consecutive years. In such cases, HCD may require a county or city to submit an economic feasibility study showing that its ordinance “does not unduly constrain the production of housing.” 

That said, this is a major breakthrough for affordable housing in California.