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How does the Housing Crisis Act of 2019 help developers?

| Mar 26, 2020 | Construction Law |

The Housing Crisis Act of 2019 was signed into law late last year — and it promises to significantly increase California construction projects and housing developments.

It’s no secret that California is in the middle of a housing crisis. Median home values in the state hover at $610,000 (compare that to states like Ohio, where the median home value is just a little over $152,000) — which is too hot for most average people to handle. It isn’t remotely unusual for people to spend more than half of their income on rents, and homelessness is a serious issue. Yet, new housing keeps getting delayed. In early 2019, requests for new building permits dropped 20% from the same period the year before.

Experts blame the problem on high permit fees, an overly long approval process and zoning issues by communities who don’t want to sacrifice their aesthetic for new homes.

How can the Housing Crisis Act help? Among its provisions:

  • The application process to get a development project approved (“deemed complete”) has generally been improved. The entire process is now expedited so that projects can begin sooner.
  • Local governments have a more limited ability to hold public meetings on a development after it has reached a certain stage. Those often turn contentious, which can drastically slow down a development.
  • Local governments can no longer limit the number of homes that can be built. Zoning regulations and a general attitude of “not in my back yard” from residents in certain areas have massively impeded the ability of California’s housing developers to keep up with the demand.

If your company hopes to take advantage of the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, find out how an experienced construction law attorney can help.