The 15 bills which make up California's new housing package went into effect January 1st. The laws aim to ease local regulations and make affordable housing more available.
Ben Metcalf is the director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development. He says the housing package focuses on three basic areas. "Facilitate the streamlining of new construction of housing, hold cities and local governments accountable to do their part under state law and bring some new money to the table," says Metcalf.
Part of that money comes from a new real estate transaction fee. "In many cases there are questions coming in from assessors and county recorders' offices where they are looking for clarification about the applicability of those fees," says Metcalf, adding that their website is a one-stop for anyone with questions about the new laws.
That fee is expected to generate an estimated $250 million a year to finance the construction of affordable housing. In November, voters will weigh in on a bond which would provide $3 billion to finance affordable housing for low-income residents and 1 billion to help veterans.
Check out the California Department of Housing and Community Development page for summaries for all 15 bills and downloadable materials; frequently asked questions and implementation plans will be added soon.