By Matthew Hinks
Governor Brown signed into law on September 27, 2014, AB2222, which amends the State's Density Bonus Law ("DBL"), Gov't Code §§ 65915, et seq. to establish significant constraints upon the use of the incentives provided by DBL in connection with certain real estate developments. The main purpose of AB2222 is to eliminate density bonuses and other incentives previously available unless the developer agrees to replace pre-existing affordable units on a one-for-one basis. The impact of the bill will be significant because it will remove the economic incentive to undertake density bonus projects where existing units are subject to rent control ordinances or similar restrictions.
Continue reading "Residential Development in California: New Density Bonus Law Makes New Affordable Housing Difficult to Build" »
By Matthew Hinks
State density bonus law -- one of many California statutes enacted to implement the state's policy of promoting the construction of affordable housing -- has withstood a significant challenge posed by the County of Napa (the "County") in a new California Court of Appeal opinion, Latinos Unidos del Valle de Napa y Solano v. County of Napa. The Court's opinion is good news, not only for advocates of affordable housing, but also developers of multifamily housing who rely upon the law, which provides valuable development incentives and is a useful and powerful tool in the permitting process.
Continue reading "Good News for Developers and Affordable Housing Advocates: California Court of Appeal Rejects Significant Challenge to State's Density Bonus Law" »
By Matthew Hinks
The California legislature has declared the availability of housing for every Californian to be a matter of "vital statewide importance." Thus, the legislature has charged local governments with facilitating the provision of housing for all economic segments of the community through the implementation of "housing elements" as part of the community's general plan. The components of those housing elements, including an assessment of housing needs for all income levels, the identification of adequate housing sites, and a program that assists in the development of such housing to meet the needs of low-income households.
San Jose's Inclusionary Housing Ordinance
To implement the state's inclusionary housing policy, the City of San Jose (the "City") passed in 2010 an Inclusionary Housing Ordinance ("IHO"). The IHO requires multi-unit residential developments including at least 20 units to set aside 15 percent of the units for purchase at a below-market rate to households earning no more than 110 percent of the area median income. Alternatively, the developer could comply with the IHO by paying an in-lieu fee not to exceed the difference between the price of a market rate and affordable housing unit or dedicating land.
Continue reading "Inclusionary Housing Ordinance Withstands Facial Challenge in New California Court of Appeal Decision; California Building Industry Association v. City of San Jose" »
We are getting older and living longer. The statistics for the growth of the elderly are compelling. In the past few years we have seen several types of new private eldercare facilities, such as independent living and assisted living pop up in the LA area, mostly in more affluent neighborhoods. But make no mistake: neither LA nor the rest of the nation is prepared to properly care for and house the emerging elderly population.
When I speak with people who now must find some level of assisted housing for their elderly parents, their frustration is all too common and similar: there are too few choices and none that are located in their neighborhood. What an interesting concept - siting eldercare facilities "in our neighborhood." This notion is not just for the convenience of the adult child, who wants to remain close enough to the parent for visitation purposes, it is also important for the elder parent, who should not be relegated to living out the rest of his/her life in institutional facilities along major commercial corridors. There must be a way to integrate eldercare housing into residential neighborhoods, including single-family areas.
Continue reading "Eldercare housing crisis looming " »
Two recent court decisions have materially changed the affordable housing game as it's been played by local governments throughout California.
In Palmer/Sixth Street Properties, L.P. et al. v. City of Los Angeles (a case in which JMBM represented the developer at all the administrative hearings), the California Court of Appeal upheld our challenge to a Los Angeles affordable housing mandate in the city's Central City West Specific Plan on the basis that it violated the state's Costa-Hawkins Housing Act. Los Angeles had attempted to impose a 15 percent affordable housing requirement on Palmer's 335-unit Piero II development. This would have effectively reduced the rental income from the project violating Costa-Hawkins, which prohibits cities from applying rent control to new projects. In the other case, Building Industry Association of Central California v. City of Patterson, the Court of Appeal invalidated an in-lieu affordable housing impact fee being assessed on a single family for-sale residential project. The court found that the fee, which the city had increased from $734 to $20,946 per unit, bore no relationship to the actual impact the development would have on the community.
Continue reading "Affordable housing mandates must comply with state law " »