Calif. Governor Newsome Calls for Cuts in Building Regulations

By August 26, 2019 Uncategorized

As Home Construction in California begins to slow Gov. Gavin Newsome is urging California lawmakers to send him bills to limit rent spikes and cut building regulations before their 2019 legislative session ends next month

Capping rent increases is a top priority for him over the next month. He is working with the Legislature to get a rent gouging ordinance on his desk before the legislative session ends. The rent-gouging bill moving through the Legislature, Assembly Bill 1482 by Assemblyman David Chiu , D- San Francisco , would cap annual rent increases to 7 percent plus inflation.

He stresses the need to see more permitting, and more housing being constructed and hopes lawmakers pass Senate Bill 330 by Sen. Nancy Skinner , D- Berkeley , which would suspend some local development rules to speed up housing permitting.  Newsom said the measure aims to streamline local regulations and crack down on abuses by local governments that are trying to avoid building new housing.

There is a  patchwork of regulations on rent control and tenant protections throughout the state, however there needs to be more statewide regulation protecting Californians from rent spikes.

Newsome called for the Legislature to pass his plan to steer $331 million the state received in 2012 from a lawsuit against financial institutions over unfair mortgage practices. Courts determined the state initially misspent the money and ordered Newsom and the Legislature to fix it.

During his campaign, Newsom set an ambitious goal to build 3.5 million units by 2025, however he faces significant headwinds to hitting that target. If approval rates continue as they have during the first half of the year, the state is on track to approve just 107,000 housing units this year, far less than the state would need to build to reach Newsom’s goal.

The rate at which cities and counties are approving housing permits is down more than 15 percent during the first half of the year compared with the first half of last year, according to the data from the state’s Department of Finance .

The state’s severe housing shortage is driving up housing prices and skyrocketing homeless populations in California. In Sacramento alone, researchers estimate the homeless population has increased nearly 20 percent over the last two years.

The shortage has been decades in the making, due in part to building regulations and opposition from cities and counties as barriers to building more housing in the state.

Meanwhile, home prices in California continue to rise. In June, for the third straight month, median home prices hit a record high of $611,420 .