New California laws aim to speed housing construction - Houston Chronicle: SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A new California law aims to stop communities from delaying construction of new housing projects.
It's one of 18 housing bills signed Wednesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
California is in the midst of a housing crisis with far fewer homes and apartments than necessary to house its nearly 40 million people. Lawmakers have passed dozens of bills aimed at boosting funding for affordable housing, easing development restrictions and helping renters facing rising costs.
The bill by Sen. Nancy Skinner of Berkeley caps the number of public hearings on new projects, bans local governments from increasing fees on projects once an initial application is submitted and stops urban areas from freezing new construction. The measures are aimed at stopping cities and counties from delaying building when they have already zoned for new housing units.
Residential building permits fell 20% in the first half of this year compared to the same period in 2018, Skinner's office said.
"Scarcity drives up cost, whether you are paying rent or trying to buy a home," Skinner said in a statement. "And the skyrocketing cost of housing hurts all of us, whether it's our neighbors who