SB 828 – Increasing Housing Supply

SB 828

SB 828 is a California Senate bill that will attempt to solve the housing crisis in the state by forcing local government to dedicate more land to housing for all income levels.  Current law requires a local municipality to meet the housing supply requirements, but SB 828 will require to meet 125% to 200% of the housing needs for all income levels.  You can read the full current text of the proposed bill here.  

SB 828 is introduced by the same state senator behind SB 827 – which sought to dramatically increase apartment density near train/bus stations in metro areas.  SB 827 was soundly defeated in early stages of legislation.  Instead of circumventing local zoning laws like in SB 827, the current bill is aimed at enforcing a little known and seldom used law that requires local government to supply 100% of the local housing needs (and SB 828, if passed, will require 125% and even up to 200%).  As evident by the current housing crisis, that goal was not met in 24 of the last 27 years.

The language of SB 828 calls for more oversight on the methodology of how the housing supply is determined.  It is unclear how the law will be enforced, since it was rarely enforced in the past – with many local cities and towns failing to meet the housing requirements.

SB 828 - Impact

How will SB 828 - Impact on Your Property

Unlike SB 827 that made specific changes to zoning laws, SB 828 has a more general impact by enforcing and expanding the housing supply laws in the state.  Right now the goals of housing supply are set per region and in a very arbitrary fashion.  SB 828 seeks to fix those loopholes by streamlining the allocation process and setting new goals for developments.

  • If local government will be forced to allocate more land for housing, they might be forced to up-zone certain neighborhoods.  This is obviously great news for local landowners and local communities.  Safe to assume that if local cities choose to up-zone land, it will be in under-served communities in order revitalize the area.
  •  SB 828 shifts power in land use from the local city to the state – this is significant since the state government is less concerned with NIMBY groups and more concerned with larger macro-economic trends.  
  • If local governments are forced to approve more housing, it might lead budgetary problems.  Local governments collect more tax revenues from local business and retail compared to residential development.  Residential neighborhoods need more services – schools, fire stations, police, and social services.
The battle over planning between local and state government continues.  In the meantime, the housing crisis continues to grow as rents continue to rise and house prices to soar.