BBK Firm Attorneys at Law logoIn part two of the 2024 Housing New Law Guidance series from Best Best & Krieger LLP (BBK), we cover important new housing legislation related to CEQA, code enforcement, housing development, the Housing Crisis Act (HCA), housing element, infill infrastructure grant and mobile homes. Below we provide takeaways and analyses of AB 1449, AB 548SB 4AB 1218AB 434SB 341AB 318 and AB 319.


AB 1449

Until January 1, 2033, this Bill exempts from CEQA certain actions taken by a lead agency relating to certain 100% affordable housing projects, including entitlement, leasing, conveyance, rezoning, specific plan amendments, general plan amendments or financial assistance. The Bill also lists requirements for the location of the project when developed in an urban area. In order to qualify for this exemption, the affordable housing project must be subject to a recorded California Tax Credit Allocation Committee regulatory agreement for at least 55 years upon completion of construction, and the project site must be served by existing utilities or extensions. It must also be confirmed that the project is not built on environmentally sensitive or hazardous land, a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment has been completed, and the site has been remediated. If the project is on a site not zoned for multifamily housing, there are specific requirements regarding proximity to potential hazards. For purposes of this Bill, an affordable housing project is:

  • A multifamily residential use or a mix of multifamily residential and nonresidential use. At least two-thirds of the square footage has to be for residential use and they all have to be dedicated to lower-income households.
  • The project must meet the labor requirements in AB 2011.

If the lead agency determines that the project is exempt from CEQA, it must file a notice of exemption with the Office of Planning and Research and the county clerk of each county in which the project is located.


AB 548

This Bill allows for local code enforcement to act on unhealthy or unsafe code violations in a multiunit complex by inspecting and notifying other tenants of the conditions in the shared building. The law now mandates that the local enforcement agency develop criteria that would trigger additional inspections which need to be consistent with current laws regulating inspections. The code officer needs to notify the property owner or building operator of each known violation observed, and provide a notice or order to repair. The officer is then required to re-inspect the property to verify that the violations have been corrected.


SB 4

This Bill adds Government Code section 65913.16 that now allows housing developments on land owned by an independent institution of higher education or a religious institution. The following requirements must be met for the approval:

  • The project must be located in an urbanized area or cluster with at least 75% of the adjoining parcels developed with urban uses.
  • The project must not be located on farmland, wetlands, Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones (VHFHSZ) — unless mitigation measures apply, hazardous waste sites, earthquake fault zones, flood hazard areas or certain other identified areas.
  • The project must not be located on a site that would require the demolition or alteration of affordable housing, rent-controlled housing, housing that was occupied by a tenant in the past 10 years, or a historic structure.
  • The Bill also limits the building of housing on sites within certain distances of industrial uses and properties.
  • Projects must be subject to affordability requirements memorialized in a deed restriction. The project must be 100% affordable for lower-income households, except 20% of the units may be for moderate-income households and up to five percent (5%) of the units may be for staff of the independent institution of higher education or religion institution that owns the land. The project must meet the affordability requirements and have them memorialized in deed restrictions with a term of 55 years for rental units and 45 years for for-sale units.
  • Off-street parking must be provided up to one (1) space per unit, unless exceptions on the statute apply.
  • Projects must comply with certain objective development standards and the agency has limited timeframes to notify the applicant if there is a conflict with the objective planning standards set forth in the statute.


AB 1218 

This Bill provides additional obligations when displacing tenants to make way for new development by amending multiple provisions of the HCA for both housing and non-housing development projects. The Bill includes more categories of “protected units” that must be replaced and timelines for replacing them, and applies existing state law relocation benefits and right of first refusal rights to lower-income households that must vacate due to new non-housing development. The Bill also requires the inclusion of information on how the new project will comply with unit replacement obligations imposed by the city. This Bill adds additional layers of review and analysis to determine if a project is in compliance with the HCA. Should you require specific advice for processing a project under the HCA, please contact your attorney for more information.


AB 434

This Bill reduces the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s (HCD) time to review adopted housing elements for compliance with California law from 90 to 60 days. Additionally, it grants HCD enforcement authority regarding certain provisions of the Housing Crisis Act, Permit Streamlining Act, Accessory Dwelling Unit law and the Housing Accountability Act among others.


SB 341

This Bill adds the qualifying infill area and catalytic qualifying infill area portions of the Infill Infrastructure Grant (IIG) Program of 2019 to the list of state programs that award additional points of preference to jurisdictions that have received a prohousing designation from HCD. Jurisdictions may apply to HCD to receive the designation if they have a housing element that is compliant with state housing law and have enacted prohousing policies.


AB 318

This Bill amends provisions of the California Health and Safety Code known as the Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Act (MRLPA) by extending the prior MRLPA sunset date by three (3) years and increasing HCD enforcement authority. Specifically, it grants HCD more discretion to determine which violations of the MRLPA should be forwarded for further action. This Bill also removes the mandatory informal negotiation period designed to resolve disputes before the matter is referred to the appropriate enforcement agency. Finally, it imposes a mandatory annual data collection reporting requirement to HCD.

AB 319

This Bill amends provisions of the Health and Safety Code also known as the Mobilehome Parks Act (MPA) by extending the sunset date for inspection programs from January 1, 2024 to January 1, 2025. It also requires HCD to establish conflict-of-interest reporting policies for mobile home park inspectors that are tasked with enforcing the MPA before January 1, 2025. The Bill also requires HCD to establish a process for documenting and handling allegations of inspector misconduct.

HCD may approve a city or county to act as a local enforcement agency and request authority to enforce the MPA and perform inspection activities for mobile home parks within its jurisdiction. The amendment provides HCD with instruction for receiving, processing and following up on statements of economic interests filed by each inspector.

Authored by BBK Partners Elizabeth W. Hull and Denise M. Hansen and Associate Evy Sotelo 

Disclaimer: BBK Legal Alerts are not intended as legal advice. Additional facts, facts specific to your situation or future developments may affect subjects contained herein. Seek the advice of an attorney before acting or relying upon any information herein.

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