BURBANK – Today, Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) joined Governor Gavin Newsom in South Los Angeles for a press conference where the Governor signed an historic package of housing legislation. Included in this housing package were two measures by Assemblymember Friedman, Assembly Bill 671 and Assembly Bill 587.
These measures, along with AB 670, which was signed into law in August, form a set of bills put forward by Assemblymember Friedman to help combat the housing crisis. The bills work together to encourage more property owners to use ADUs to provide affordable housing throughout California.
As the debate over solutions to the state’s housing and homelessness crisis wages on in Sacramento, Friedman’s bills aim to bring on more housing by making the utilization of Accessory Dwelling Units (called ADUs or granny flats) more accessible to California’s property owners and affordable housing organizations. Friedman has long been a supporter of ADUs as a valuable tool for adding housing supply without disrupting communities.
“There are few issues in our state as challenging as the housing crisis. In the last decade, less than half of the housing we needed was built,” said Assemblymember Friedman. “Housing is an issue we need to address as soon as possible; but I also believe that it is one that needs to be handled with care. We need to be creative and look for innovative strategies that keep everyone involved at the table, and I believe ADUs are a great option that allows us to do just that.”
One of the common challenges property owners looking to construct an ADU face are unreasonable prohibitions from homeowners associations (HOAs). AB 670 eliminates HOA roadblocks and will allow homeowners to construct an ADU on their property. This measure earned unanimous support in the legislature.
In order to further assist property owners who are seeking to construct an ADU as a unit of affordable housing, Friedman proposed AB 671. The bill requires localities to provide incentive programs to homeowners for renting out their ADUs to low or very low-income people. Such ordinances have already seen great success in cities throughout California. The bill also requires the state to develop a list of existing grants and financial incentives available to local governments for this purpose.
As the cost of homeownership and rent continue to rise, ADUs have proven to be among the few ways to bring affordable housing to low and very low-income people. For years now, affordable housing organizations have attempted to use them as a way to secure affordable home ownership. However, existing law currently prohibits the separate sale of an ADU from the primary residence. In response, Friedman introduced AB 587, which creates a much-needed exemption for affordable housing organizations like Habitat for Humanity to sell deed-restricted land to eligible low-income homeowners.
“This bill is a major game changer for Habitat and exciting news for housing in California.” said Debbie Arakel, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity California. “With high land costs being one of the greatest barriers to providing affordable homeownership, this bill allows Habitat to better leverage property. We can double our home production in many communities and provide even more homeownership opportunities for low-income families throughout the state.”
Altogether, this package of bills by Assemblymember Friedman received broad support throughout the legislative process. With the Governor’s signature on all three, this further proves Friedman’s proposition that ADUs are a bipartisan, unobtrusive, but effective means of bringing more housing into our communities.
Laura Friedman represents the 43rd Assembly District which encompasses the cities of Burbank, Glendale, and La Cañada Flintridge, as well as the communities of La Crescenta and Montrose, and the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Beachwood Canyon, Los Feliz, East Hollywood, Franklin Hills, and Silver Lake.