January January 26, 2022

California Housing Laws: Changes January 2022


SB 9 – The California Housing Opportunity and More Efficiency (“HOME”) Act

SB 9 provides for the ministerial approval of converting existing homes occupied by a homeowner into a duplex if certain eligibility restrictions are satisfied. It also allows a single-family home lot to be split into two lots, and a duplex to be built on each lot, provided that the initial home is occupied by an owner who attests that the owner will continue to live in a unit on the property as their primary residence for at least three years. The most notable exceptions to duplex and lot split by right approvals are:

1) The property could not have been used as a rental for the past three years.

2) The property cannot already have an accessory dwelling unit or junior ADU.

3) The new lot may not be less than 40 percent of the property and must be at least 1,200 square feet.

4) Modifications to the existing home may not require the demolition of more than 25 percent of an exterior wall.

5) Neither the new duplex nor the lot split with up to four new units (a duplex on each) may not result in a significant adverse impact to the physical environment.

Senate Bill 10 – Local Control for Increase Housing Density

SB 10 authorizes local governments to rezone neighborhoods for increased housing density if that local government chooses to do so. SB 10 allows for up to 10 units per parcel. Only urban infill parcels or parcels located near high-quality public transportation for job-rich areas would be eligible.

SB 8 – Extending Provisions in SB 330 (the Housing Crisis Act of 2019)

SB 330, also known as the Housing Crisis Act of 2019 (HCA), which

1) Limits a locality’s ability to prolong the housing approval process,

2) Gives housing applicants an opportunity to invoke vesting rights against later-adopted changes to local ordinances,

3) Limits cities’ ability to impose or enforce housing caps and development moratoria

4) Requires developers who demolish existing housing to provide replacement housing and relocation benefits.

Many of these provisions were originally due to sunset in 2025.