Assemblymember Robert Rivas’s ‘Entry-Level Home Ownership Bill’ Held in Committee

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Rivas Pledges to Continue Fight for Smart, Sorely Needed Housing Production in California

SACRAMENTO, June 4, 2020Today, Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) announced that the Assembly’s Appropriations Committee did not advance AB 3155—The Entry-Level Home Ownership Bill. This important bill, with broad support from housing advocacy groups like Habitat for Humanity and California YIMBY, proposed to streamline the approval process for smaller unit developments in urban infill areas, like townhouses and row houses—assuring new, naturally affordable home ownership opportunities for lower and moderate-income residents.

Rivas said, “I am disappointed that this urgently needed legislation for entry-level housing did not advance out of the Appropriations Committee. It is smart, creative solutions like AB 3155, which would have spurred housing production without the need for public subsides, that are especially required now given the unprecedented economic conditions created by the current pandemic. COVID-19 has only deepened housing insecurity for many of our residents, necessitating more than ever innovative, new housing policies for our State.”

“AB 3155 was based, in part, on a Los Angeles Ordinance allowing construction to begin with a permit and a Temporary Map,” Rivas explained. “This helped lower costs and expedite significant building following the 2000 and 2009 recessions. AB 3155 would have created similar economic opportunity and housing solutions statewide during this critical time.”

CEO of California YIMBY Brian Hanlon said, “AB 3155 would have made it faster, cheaper, and easier to build small housing developments in our neighborhoods—exactly the kind of entry-level housing California needs. The reforms in AB 3155 are essential if we want hard-working Californians—teachers, first responders, nurses and millions of others priced out of their communities—to achieve the dream of owning their own home.”

Habitat for Humanity California Executive Director, Debbie Arakel concurred: “The Assembly Appropriations Committee’s failure to advance AB 3155 out of committee today is disappointing to all Californians struggling to find affordable, secure housing.” Arakel added, “Our state’s housing crisis has become more dire as Californians deal with furloughs, layoffs, and long-term financial uncertainty. We can’t expect economic recovery in our communities unless the Legislature steps up to end the housing shortage.”

Rivas said, “Simply saying no to housing production—or proposing small changes that preserve the status quo—is no longer acceptable, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 health crisis. Providing our families and children with dignified housing opportunities and housing security must be our highest priority. In this challenging time, I want every Californian to know that they have a future in our state.”

Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) represents California’s 30th Assembly District, which includes all or portions of the cities and towns of Aromas, Big Sur, Chualar, Gilroy, Greenfield, Gonzales, Hollister, King City, Morgan Hill, Salinas, San Martin, San Juan Bautista, Soledad, Spreckels, and Watsonville.
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