A California State Assembly bill designed to “incentivize timely compliance with the housing element, or state housing laws,” authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom, was signed into law this week. Bloom represents Malibu in Sacramento.
Previously, governments had up to three years and 120 days to provide a housing element that provided “adequate sites to accommodate the need for groups of all household income levels.”
The new law, AB1398, essentially closes a loophole that allowed local governments to put off fulfilling housing stock requirements—as Bloom described in a social media post, “Sadly, there are instances where cities deliberately adopt faulty housing elements to avoid building their share of housing.”
“As the housing crisis grows, it is critical that every local government adopt a plan that meets the requirements of state law, that they do it on time, and that they carry out necessary rezones to make land available for the production of housing,” Bloom wrote.
Under the new law, cities will have just one year to rezone if they fail to adopt a proper housing element in their city.
The bill was one of “several other” housing-related bills signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday.