Proposition 28 and Proposition 31

Propositions 28 and 31 are the easiest ‘yes’ votes on the California ballot. They both benefit kids, families, and the environment. And all the major candidates support both. Here’s the skinny: In both cases,…

Proposition 28 and Proposition 31

Propositions 28 and 31 are the easiest ‘yes’ votes on the California ballot. They both benefit kids, families, and the environment. And all the major candidates support both. Here’s the skinny:

In both cases, it’s important to remember that Proposition 28 doesn’t guarantee that the proposed plan will succeed, only that it would have a better chance of doing so. Proposition 31 would only require the new plan to be more cost-effective over the next five years than current law requires. It would not guarantee that it would succeed.

If Proposition 28 passes, we will likely see the same or even more strict new rules adopted for new developments throughout the state. Proposition 31 would keep older projects that already have met the standards established in Proposition 30 on the books. The current standards, adopted first in 1998, were written by the former Planning Commission staff, and the current staff is not likely to change them significantly.

The proposed rules are more specific and more restrictive than current law, requiring more analysis for smaller projects like shopping centers/neighborhoods, and limiting developments to a specific size for single-family homes. All are welcome changes.

The rules for small single-family homes are the most controversial, however. They would require the Department of Housing and Community Development to analyze the project’s “economic and social benefits” and to apply stricter standards including a 10 percent reduction in affordable housing.

The standards would be the same as those currently in Proposition 30:

The D of HCD is responsible for making a fair return for the public’s money for each proposed multi-family home development that provides affordable housing and meets the following criteria:

1. The project is for an existing household unit and meets the following criteria: 1. Has a total housing supply of one single unit or two or more units that are occupied by households at or below fair share or market rate and which are not part of an occupied building or facility; and 2. Has a housing stock of three or fewer units, such that the housing produced by the development can be used for low-income households.

2. The project does not increase total housing supply by five percent or more; and 3. Each unit has an average annual income level of 75 percent of median income for the

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