Assemblywoman Gonzalez Reintroduces Bill to Ban Discrimination in Mixed-Income Housing Developments

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – (Monday, Feb. 8, 2021) – Today, California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) reintroduced legislation Assembly Bill 491 to prohibit the discriminatory practice of building separate and unequal entrances and amenities for lower income residents who live in mixed-income housing.

“Imagine being a parent and having to tell your child that they can’t swim in the pool or enter through the same door as their neighbors.” Assemblywoman Gonzalez said. “As we push for more inclusionary housing throughout California, we need to make sure affordable housing residents aren’t treated as second-class.”

AB 491 creates a consistent statewide standard to ensure residents are not discriminated against based on their income status or prevented from accessing certain areas of a mixed-income multifamily housing development. This type of development planning has come under increased scrutiny in recent years as a discriminatory housing practice.

In 2019, San Diego residents opposed a downtown development called Pinnacle Pacific Heights that would have included two adjacent towers – one comprised entirely of affordable housing units and another of entirely market-rate housing – with low-income tenants given a separate residential entrance and prohibited from accessing the pool and roof deck amenities located in the market-rate tower. 

“California REALTORS® are proud to sponsor this much-needed bill to end the discriminatory practice of treating residents of affordable housing units in a building differently from those in market-rate housing units,” California Association of REALTORS® President Dave Walsh said. “We applaud Assemblywoman Gonzalez for her leadership on this very important issue.”

As the Legislature turns to address California’s housing crisis by incentivizing mixed-income development, this discriminatory practice may become more common, further segregating California’s housing stock and families.

Under AB 491, residents of the affordable housing units within that structure would have the same access to the common entrances, common areas, and amenities as the residents of the market-rate housing units. Assemblywoman Gonzalez first took on this issue in 2020 with her legislation AB 2344, which was unable to move forward due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

For questions or to schedule an interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez, contact Sami Gallegos: samantha.gallegos@asm.ca.gov