Escondido, CA
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Inadequate housing objectives in North County


Recently, I offered policy plans for North County to meet affordable housing goals (see Affordable Housing Challenges, January 10, 2019).  I am pleased to update you about how Sacramento has responded to these efforts.  Most responsive to the immediate and intermediate needs for affordable housing in San Diego County, Assemblymember Todd Gloria has introduced a series of bills to address these needs.  “The housing crisis is the most pressing issue facing us today.  It demands innovative and pragmatic solutions for us to build more and ultimately put roofs over the heads of Californians at prices they can afford,” said Assemblymember Gloria.  Here are the bills we should all be watching in inland North County:

AB 1260 (The Divide, Streamline and Build Act) allows North County cities to increase the number of subdivisions of infill lots from four to ten thereby increasing the amount of homes that can be built, while also maintaining expedited review so projects are not bogged down by bureaucracy.  Currently, only infill housing parcels (additional housing units into an already-approved subdivision or neighborhood) that are subdivided into four separate lots can receive expedited permitting.  This bill should receive bipartisan support as Democrats, who control both branches of the Legislature, and Republicans, who are eager to always cut red tape and streamline the process for developers. 

AB1408 (Permanent Supportive Housing for Parolees) Formerly incarcerated individuals face numerous barriers in housing that oftentimes leads to homelessness.  This bill creates more opportunities for people on parole to be properly housed after release back to the community.  By using existing funds to pay for permanent supportive housing, contractors with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation may use existing funds to pay for permanent supportive housing.

AB 11 (Community Redevelopment Law of 2019) brings back redevelopment agencies in California to fund affordable housing and infrastructure projects using tax increment financing.  I was once legal counsel for the Redevelopment Agency in San Diego and support the incentivization of affordable housing development.

AB 68 (Granny Flats/Casitas) requires permits for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to be issued in 60 days rather than 120 days and prohibits local ordinances that apply lot coverage, lot size, or floor area ratio requirements to ADUs.  Again, this bill streamlines and allows private property owners to facilitate affordable housing needs.  

AB 816 (Flexible Housing Program) establishes a consolidated funding source for homelessness and housing.  This bill will appropriate $450 million to the program annually to be available to all our North County cities and San Diego County.  

AB 1734 (Missing Middle Tax Exemption) provides a much-needed property tax exemption for multi-family rental housing for middle-income households.  

Collectively, these bills are a large part of a smart growth plan for all of North County and communities throughout California.  I urge support for all these bills.  We have much more to do, but I am encouraged by the leadership shown by Assembly by introducing these important affordable housing bills.  

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Alan Geraci is a candidate for the San Marcos City Council, District 3 and a Public Interest Attorney.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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