CSAC Bulletin Article

Bill Amended to Remove SB 1 Funding Link with Housing Development

April 11, 2019

Governor Newsom and legislative leaders remain committed to addressing California’s housing crisis through a variety of policy interventions, including linkages between state transportation investments and local housing decisions. In recent weeks, the Administration has focused the discussion on providing incentives, holding bad actors accountable, and revamping the Regional Housing Needs Allocation process.

As counties recall, the passage of SB 1, The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, created a much-needed, annual funding source for transportation projects across the state. In a significant victory for counties, voters defeated Proposition 6, which would have eliminated SB 1 funding, on the November 2018 ballot. Under SB 1, counties receive ongoing formula funding to invest in safety projects, bicycle and pedestrian improvements, and the repair and maintenance of roads and bridges.

In February, Assembly Member Kevin McCarty introduced AB 1568, which would have withheld SB 1 transportation funding from local governments if housing production failed to meet the jurisdiction’s regional housing need allocation. This would have penalized local governments for the private sector’s inability to build housing as a result of market conditions, as well as the lack of subsidy to build homes affordable to lower-income families. CSAC and other transportation stakeholders submitted a letter of opposition to the initial version of the bill.

Similar to the discussion around the January budget release, the conversation around the transportation funding and housing link has shifted to focus more closely on the factors that local governments directly control, including adequately planning to accommodate housing growth. To that end, recent amendments to AB 1568 no longer link formula transportation funds to housing production. Instead, the current version of the bill would prohibit a city or county that is out of compliance with various state housing laws, including requirements to identify adequate sites to accommodate projected growth, from applying for state grants beginning in 2023.

While CSAC is pleased that AB 1568 no longer ties SB 1 local formula funding to housing production, we remain concerned by the breadth of the amended current language—even though it is unlikely that any individual county would violate the provisions of housing law referenced in the bill. We are still reviewing the current version of the bill to determine which county programs could be affected by it.

CSAC is interested in receiving county input on AB 1568. Please email comments and feedback to Marina Espinoza.

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