New California Legislation Makes Home Ownership More Affordable

Governor Brown gave Community Land Trusts a big boost when he signed AB 2818 – Property Taxation: Community Land Trusts on October 1, 2016.

CLAM board members Susan Scott and Eric Oldmixon played key roles in the passage of California AB 2818 – Property Taxation: Community Land Trusts. Susan represents CLAM at the California Community Land Trust Network (CA CLT) that drafted and sponsored the bill, authored by Assembly Members David Chiu (San Francisco) and Tony Thurmond (East Bay).

AB 2818 requires county assessors to prepare property tax bills taking into account the fact that Community Land Trust homeowners own only the improvements on the land (the house and other buildings), not the land itself. This will help CLT homeowners save thousands of dollars a year.

The CA CLT team made numerous trips to Sacramento, meeting with legislators and staff and appearing at numerous legislative hearings. There are now legislators, legislative and agency staff and Assessors who understand the Community Land Trust model and its potential to stabilize communities undergoing gentrification, evictions, and wildly escalating property costs.

California AB 2406 – Junior Accessory Dwelling Units allows homeowners to create private apartments from spare bedrooms without all the onerous requirements of second units.

Governor Brown also signed California AB 2406 – Junior Accessory Dwelling Units on September 28, 2016 permitting Junior Accessory Dwelling Units and went into effect immediately. Jurisdictions throughout California can now quickly and easily adopt code that will allow homeowners to create small private apartments from spare bedrooms. AB 2406 will create an abundant source of rental housing, while at the same time making owning a home in California more affordable. It better utilizes the built environment by more efficiently using underutilized space in existing homes. These units will help homeowners remain in their homes and age in place by housing loved ones, caregivers and people who work in the community. This will help reduce carbon emissions from the thousands of workers who must commute long distances to get to their jobs. They will also help more people qualify to purchase homes given the additional income these units generate.