Removing Housing Obstacles: Governor Signs Skinner’s Bills to Strengthen Accountability

September 29, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Friday, September 29 – Governor Jerry Brown signed a package of bills aimed at easing the state’s housing crisis at an affordable housing development site in San Francisco, California. Two of the signed bills, Senate Bill 166: No Net Loss and Senate Bill SB 167: Housing Accountability Act (HAA), were authored by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley).

“Getting a permit to build housing should not be a shell game," said Senator Nancy Skinner. “My bills, SB 166 and SB 167, tackle the 'Not in My Backyard' obstacles that too often keep needed housing from being built."

SB 166 strengthens the No Net Loss zoning law by requiring local governments to immediately identify a replacement site if a project that differs from the housing category originally designated is approved. Additionally, SB 166 requires that the replacement site must meet the specific housing affordability level that was lost.

SB 167 strengthens the Housing Accountability Act so housing proposals that meet zoning and land use requirements can’t be arbitrarily denied. Specifically, SB 167 increases the burden of proof that a local agency has to meet to deny a project, awards damages to plaintiffs if a local government is found to be acting in “bad faith” and allows courts to leverage fines on cities that are not in compliance.

“Homelessness, displacement, and rising costs are all impacts of California’s housing shortage,” said Senator Skinner. “SB 167 and SB 166 remove barriers so housing can get built across all affordability levels.”

SB 166 and SB 167 will go into effect on January 1, 2018.