Lorena Gonzalez Bill to Boost Affordable Housing Production in California Goes to the Governor

Monday, August 31, 2020

SACRAMENTO – (Monday, Aug. 31, 2020) – Today, the California Legislature voted to pass a bill by State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) that will increase the number of affordable housing units statewide. The bill, Assembly Bill 2345, is the most significant housing production proposal now headed to the governor's desk.

“AB 2345 gets at the root of our severe housing crisis. This bill would boost housing production and increase incentives to build affordable housing units across the state,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez said.

With California facing a 3.4 million home shortage, AB 2345 incentivizes developers to build the affordable units we urgently need in California by increasing the density bonus and incentives available for a qualifying housing project. Using lessons learned in the City of San Diego, AB 2345 expands California’s Density Bonus Law to increase the number of affordable and market-rate homes constructed in cities across the state.

Under existing Density Bonus Law, developers are able to receive up to a maximum of a 35-percent bonus of allowed density. However, after 40 years on the books, the law has failed to draw enough interest from developers and not resulted in a significant increase in affordable homes. Specifically, AB 2345 would:

  • Increase the maximum density bonus to 50-percent, depending on the number and level of deed-restricted affordable homes;
  • Provide local governments discretion to grant additional waivers for projects located within a half-mile of transit and 100% affordable;
  • Incentivize additional density bonus projects by reducing the maximum parking required by localities for qualifying projects.

According to an analysis by Up For Growth of permit level production data across the state, California could see as many as 195,000 additional homes produced over a five-year period if AB 2345 becomes law. Of the total forecasted production, 47,000 of these homes would be affordable to households earning very low incomes based on the requirements of the bill.

In 2016, the City of San Diego enhanced the State Density Bonus program, increasing the maximum bonus to 50-percent. According to Circulate San Diego’s 2020 report Good Bargain, the city has seen a 490-percent increase annually in project applications to use the density program, and a 356-percent increase annually in the number of combined affordable and market-rate homes, within the first 20 months.

For questions on AB 2345 or to schedule an interview with Assemblywoman Gonzalez, contact Sami Gallegos: samantha.gallegos@asm.ca.gov

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez represents California’s 80th Assembly District, located in southern San Diego County, including the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista, and National City. She serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Appropriations, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Women in the Workplace, and Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus. For more information on Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez visit https://a80.asmdc.org/