The Legislature’s Work is Done.  It’s Now Up to Governor Newsom

Industry News,

This article is contributed by Kate Bell, Kate Bell Strategies

The Legislature has finished the current year’s legislative sessions, which ended at midnight on August 30th.  The Governor now has until September 30th to sign or veto all proposed and passed legislation.  This year, the Apartment Association was proactively supporting rent relief, which was included in the state budget.  We also decided to sponsor and support legislation on accessory dwelling unit (ADU) streamlining because that is the most cost-effective way to create additional housing units. 

Below you will find the outcome of ADU legislation supported by the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles, the bills for which the Governor’s signature has been requested, and a list of bills for which a veto is being requested. Additionally, there are a few other end of session legislative outcomes discussed.

This fall, we will begin the work of evaluating priorities and goals for the next legislative session.  Although we made good progress during this year’s legislative session, there is much more work to be done on behalf of the rental housing industry.

Sponsored / Supported ADU Legislation on Governor’s Desk

Our sponsored bill, Assembly Bill 916 (Assemblymember. Salas), will streamline the creation of additional bedrooms by eliminating public hearings, passed both the Senate and Assembly unanimously and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. Assemblymember Salas is to be applauded for his efforts on behalf of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles.  Furthermore, there was a broad coalition of support, including YIMBY, SPUR, Home Building Alliance, realtors, and others.  We negotiated with all parties during August to reach an agreement on ADU height increases. The language originally in Assembly Bill 916 was incorporated with other height changes into Senate Bill 897 (Senator Wieckowski), which also reached the Governor’s desk. The height changes in Senate Bill 897 are as follows:

  • For detached ADUs on a lot with an existing or proposed single-family home, a 16-fppt height limitation is allowed.
  • For detached ADUs on a lot with an existing or proposed multifamily dwelling unit, an 18=foot height limitation is allowed.
  • For a detached ADU within one-half of one-mile walking distance of a major transit stop or a high-quality transit corridor, an 18=foot height limitation is allowed. Additionally, a local agency is required to allow an additional two feet in height to accommodate a roof pitch on an ADU that is aligned with the roof pitch of the primary dwelling unit; and
  • For ADUs attached to the primary dwelling, a height of 25=feet or the height limitation specified by the local jurisdiction that applies to the primary dwelling, whichever is lower, is allowed.

The third ADU bill that AAGLA supported this year was Assembly Bill 2221 (Assemblymember Quirk-Silva) which specifies that an ADU that is detached from the proposed or existing primary dwelling may include a detached garage, prohibits local governments from establishing limits on front setbacks, and improves the application process for ADUs, was also supported by the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles and made its way to the Governor’s desk.

Signature Requested Legislation

Assembly Bill 1695 (Assemblymember Santiago ) deals with adaptive reuse for multifamily housing and was supported by the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles and is pending signature on the Governor’s desk. The bill declares the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to provide funding for adaptive reuse projects that repurpose existing buildings to produce affordable housing units for extremely low and very low-income Californians.

Assembly Bill 2503 (Assemblymember Garcia), will require the state to revise lessor / lessee terms, was supported by the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles, and also has made its way to the Governor’s desk. The bill will require a study by December 31, 2024, to establish consistent terminology across the California codes to describe the parties to an agreement, lease, or other contract for the rental of residential real property, including potentially suggesting replacement terms for “landlord” and “tenant.”

Senate Bill 1262 (Senator Bradford) was also supported by the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles. This bill will require publicly accessible electronic indexes of defendants in criminal cases to allow searches and filtering of results based on a defendant’s driver’s license number, date of birth, or both. This bill also made its way to the Governor’s desk.

Veto Requested Legislation

Senate Bill 679 (Senator Kamlager-Dove) establishes the Los Angeles County Affordable Housing Solutions Agency (LACAHSA), and authorizes LACAHSA to utilize specified local financing tools to fund renter protections and the preservation and production of affordable housing units. The Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles was steadfastly opposed to the proposed bill along with other stakeholders such as realtor groups, the California Business Roundtable, and others. This proposed bill was considered a “high priority bill” throughout the current legislative session.  Although there was a respectable engagement of opposition near the end of the legislative session, and we were close to holding the bill on the floor without passage, Senate Bill 679 ended up passing with only a bare minimum number of votes required on the final night of the legislative session.  The effort and impact of member advocacy efforts were clearly impactful and visible. 

Senate Bill 1017 (Senator Eggman), could expand the list of family members for which domestic or physical abuse would constitute grounds for terminating a lease, is pending on the Governor’s desk. The proposed bill prohibits a landlord from terminating or failing to renew a tenancy based on an act of abuse or violence of tenant, immediate family member, or member of tenant household.  Also, the bill allows a landlord to terminate or refuse to renew a tenancy if the tenant voluntarily permits to the presence of the perpetrator of abuse or violence.  Finally, the bill also sets forth specific requirements for unlawful detainer proceedings, and would also make a landlord or agent liable to the tenant for actual damages and, except as specified, a statutory damages of not less than $100 and more than $5,000 in a civil action for violation of these provisions.

Additional End of Session Outcomes

Senate Bill 843 (Senator Glazer) would have created a renter’s tax credit and was supported by the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles.  Ultimately, the bill was sent to the inactive file at the end of the legislative session as it had failed to pass on to the Governor’s desk because it wasn’t taken up for a floor vote.

Finally, the Legislative Leaders came to deal at the end of the legislative session regarding housing production.  Details of their press release follow.

Agreement Reached on Housing Affordability, Production Package

Following weeks of negotiations, Senate President pro Tempore, Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), announced that an agreement has been reached on a package of legislation aimed at increasing California’s housing supply.

The agreement centers around Senate Bill 6, the “Middle-Class Housing Act,” proposed by Senator Anna Caballero (D-Merced) and Assembly Bill 2011, the “Affordable Housing and High Road Jobs Act,” proposed by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland), both of which are bills that focus on streamlining housing production in commercial zones. Senate Bill 6 is supposed to encourage the creation of housing in existing commercial and retail space, and help make homeownership more attainable for working families. Assembly Bill 2011 is supposed to accelerate production of millions of affordable and mixed-income housing along transit-friendly commercial corridors.

It is anticipated that the state will need an estimated 2.5 million new housing units over the next eight years, with more than a million units of those needing to be affordable for lower-income households, according to the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s 2022 Statewide Housing Plan. Working in tandem, the bills are anticipated to increase housing production efficiencies across California, while strengthening labor standards and growing the workforce that will build that housing for years to come.

Kate Bell is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Kate Bell Strategies, and was most recently a Partner of Capitol Advocacy, which is ranked among California’s top lobbying firms. Ms. Bell’s firm specializes in lobbying, strategic planning, coalition building, budget advocacy, procurement, and political involvement.  Kate Bell Strategies and Capitol Advocacy represent the interests of the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles through its affiliation with the California Rental Housing Association.  Both firms are based in Sacramento.  For more information, please visit