Assemblymember Gloria Introduces Legislation to Increase Supply of Affordable Housing

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Gloria and City Leaders Unveil AB 2372, the CASA Housing Act, to Permit Compact, More Affordable Housing Units near Public Transit

SAN DIEGO, CA – Continuing his commitment to combat California’s housing crisis, California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) announced his introduction of new state legislation today to spur the production of affordable workforce and low-income housing within transit priority areas. AB 2372, known as California’s Sustainable and Affordable (CASA) Housing Act, is sponsored by the City of San Diego and was proposed by San Diego City Councilmember Georgette Gómez as part of her 2017 Housing Action Plan.

A large part of the severity of California’s housing crisis is the pressure it puts on middle-class families. These are Californians who have jobs, work full-time and are still priced out of the market yet unable to qualify for subsidized housing. This bill provides a solution,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “AB 2372 will not only increase the number of affordable housing units, but will also create naturally affordable, workforce units for working families and low-income individuals.”

The California Department of Housing and Community Development estimates 1.8 million new homes will be needed by 2025, which equates to 180,000 new homes annually. Currently, the State’s yearly production averages around 80,000 new homes.

To address this housing shortage, AB 2372 creates a statewide opt-in program for local governments to increase housing along transit corridors. Under current law, local jurisdictions are empowered to provide incentives or concessions for the production of low-income housing units; however, this is calculated using a dwelling units per acre formula. AB 2372 would authorize the use of a new floor area ratio (FAR) based calculation system, which increases the allowable residential floor area that can be used for units – encouraging, smaller and therefore less expensive housing units.

The lack of affordable rental units is a major issue contributing to the housing affordability crisis in our region,” said San Diego City Councilmember Georgette Gómez.  This legislation provides an innovative and important new tool for adding affordable and transit-supportive units to the market.”

In order for project developers to qualify for these incentives, the proposed project must be located in a transit priority area or within one-half mile of a public transit stop. Also, at least 20 percent of pre-density units must be for low-income individuals and be affordable at 50 percent Area Median Income (AMI) or less – which equates to approximately $31,000 per year for a single person in San Diego according to the San Diego Housing Commission. AB 2372 encourages the remaining 80 percent of units be capped at 120 percent AMI – or roughly $66,000 for a single person.

We need to take aggressive action to deal with the statewide housing crisis and this new legislation is another tool that will help us create more housing affordability for working families,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “We’re taking significant steps on the local level to build more housing, reduce costs and promote smart growth, and this action at the state level is key to moving the needle in the right direction.

AB 2372 maintains that project heights will continue to be regulated by the underlying base zone and also permits developer impact fees to be calculated based on square feet rather than on a per unit basis. AB 2372 also reduces parking requirements to 0.1 spaces per bedroom for all units at 120 percent AMI or less.

AB 2372 is co-authored by Assemblymembers Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher (D-San Diego), Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley), and Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles). Following today’s introduction, AB 2372 will be referred to the appropriate Assembly committees for consideration.

Assemblymember Gloria is a former City Councilmember, Council President and Interim Mayor for the City of San Diego. He now serves as the Assembly’s Majority Whip and a member of the Housing and Community Development Committee.