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Amanda Lee is an associate in the Real Estate, Energy, Land Use & Environmental Practice Group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, a non-profit, non-partisan think tank, California is facing a jaw-dropping 3.5 million unit housing deficient for the current population. This despite several legislative sessions enacting a large number of bills aimed at boosting housing production. 2023 was no different. During its first year of the current 2-year legislative cycle, Governor Newsom signed an unprecedented 56 housing bills into law, reflecting the California Legislature’s continued effort to respond to the housing crisis, and the multi-dimensional approach to developing, retaining, and permitting housing options for Californians. In sum, the housing bills intend to incentivize and reduce barriers to housing production, especially “affordable” or below-market rate housing by addressing previously-identified hurdles in the market. To do so, some bills include further expansion of State Density Bonus Law, including Senate Bill (SB) 423’s extension of the sunset date in 2017’s SB 35. The package also includes bills aimed to keep tenants in their existing homes and reflects the state’s desire to limit local governments’ ability to deny housing projects.Continue Reading California Continues Trend of Pushing Housing Legislation to Address Ongoing Housing Shortage

In the City of Los Angeles, the “Homelessness and Housing Solutions Tax” (Measure ULA), commonly referred to as the “mansion tax,” went into effect on all qualifying real property transfers on April 1, 2023. Prior to Measure ULA, all real estate transfers in the City were subject to a City transfer tax of 0.45% and a County of Los Angeles transfer tax of 0.11%. Under Measure ULA, residential and commercial real property sales and transfers valued at or over $5 million, but less than $10 million, are subject to an additional tax of 4%. Sales and transfers valued at or over $10 million are subject to an additional tax of 5.5%. The Los Angeles Times noted that, based on the Multiple Listing Service, in March 2023 there were 126 homes and condominiums listed over $5 million in the City and in April, there were only two.[1] Understandably so, in anticipation of Measure ULA, owners and developers rushed to try to close escrow prior to the April 1st effective date.Continue Reading Measure ULA May Not Measure Up

In an effort to decrease the skyrocketing development costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Assembly Bill 2097 (AB 2097) aims to eliminate a key obstacle for new developments: parking. More specifically, starting on January 1, 2023, this law prohibits public agencies from imposing minimum automobile parking requirements for residential, commercial and other development projects if the project is located within a 1/2-mile of a “High-Quality Transit Corridor”[1] or a “Major Transit Stop.”[2] Continue Reading More Places, Less Spaces: California is Driving Down Development Costs