CSAC Bulletin Article

HCD Releases Fact Sheet for SB 9 on Housing Development Approvals

The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) recently released a fact sheet to help jurisdictions implement SB 9 (Atkins, 2021). SB 9 required ministerial approval of a housing development of no more than two units in a single-family zone (duplex), the subdivision of a parcel zoned for residential use into two parcels (lot split), or both.

The fact sheet is intended to serve as a resource to local agencies, homeowners, and other stakeholders, and it provides a high-level overview of key parts of the law and addresses common questions received by HCD from local agency staff and members of the public in recent months.

HCD does not have authority to enforce SB 9, but violations of SB 9 may violate other statutes over which HCD does have enforcement authority, including:

  • Housing Element Law
  • Housing Crisis Act of 2019
  • Accessory Dwelling Unit Law
  • Housing Accountability Act

As local jurisdictions implement SB 9, including through adoption of local ordinances, it is important to keep these and other housing laws in mind. HCD reports that its “Housing Accountability Unit” (HAU) has received 29 complaints about local SB 9 implementation that it is currently investigating in coordination with the California Office of the Attorney General.

As part of the 2021-2022 state budget, HCD received funding to add staff and increase its accountability efforts. While the Department notes that education and technical assistance are always the first step in its accountability efforts, the HAU holds jurisdictions accountable for their housing element commitments and other state housing laws.

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