Preserving Housing in the Gateway Cities
Housing Preservation Resources
The UC Berkeley Urban Displacement Project website linked below provides definitions for a wide range of housing preservation and anti displacement tools and policies, and maps the jurisdictions in which they have been adopted throughout the Los Angeles region. The Project also provides a wide range of research, explainer videos, and resources to explain the concept of "gentrification," a force that can be associated with displacement, and the need for housing preservation.
Policy Tools - Los Angeles | Urban Displacement Project Chapple, K. & Thomas, T. (2021). Berkeley, CA: Urban Displacement Project
According to the State HCD, thousands of publicly assisted housing units in California are eligible to change from low-income to market-rate housing during the next decade due to the termination of various government subsidy programs and/or restrictions on rental rates. These units, known as “at-risk” units, are a valuable source of affordable housing for families statewide and, as a result, each jurisdiction's housing element must include a detailed analysis and proactive policies and programs to preserve at-risk units. If units are found to be at-risk, the housing element must estimate the total cost of replacing and preserving these units and include a list of entities with the capacity to acquire multifamily developments at-risk.
Rent stabilization ordinances limit rent increases above allowable limits within a specified period of time, and provide eviction protections for renters. The Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (Protection Act) enacted by the State of California extended a cap on rent increases and eviction controls to anywhere in the state where rent control didn't already exist. Local jurisdictions may also adopt rent stabilization policies that are more strict than the statewide controls.
Community Land Trusts
As defined by the California Community Land Trust Network, a Community Land Trust (CLT) is a non-profit organization that provides and stewards land and properties for the benefit of its low to moderate income community members through a ground lease that ensures permanent affordability. A CLT acquires land from the speculative real estate market, then ensures permanent affordability by leasing the land for a renewable term of 99 years to its residents.
West Santa Ana Branch (WSAB) Light Rail Line
The WSAB Transit Oriented Development Strategic Implementation Plan (TODSIP) provides an overarching vision and strategic guidance for local jurisdictions to use as they develop and implement plans, policies and strategies in their station areas, in order to ensure that station areas transform equitably and sustainably and are safe and accessible. The WSAB transit project will eventually bring new development interest to the rail corridor, which will likely result in increasing land prices, property values, and ultimately housing costs. The risk of current corridor residents being displaced may increase as existing residents become unable to pay rising rents. The Equitable Development & Community Preservation section of the plan addresses these issues and provides descriptions of a number of actions that local jurisdictions may take to ensure that populations in the corridor today can stay in the corridor in the future.
ADU Amnesty Programs
San Mateo County is offering a pilot amnesty program for existing second units (aka granny units, in-law units, accessory dwelling units) built without some or all necessary permits and approvals.
Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH)
NOAH is housing that is affordable for low to moderate income renters, typically due to its older age and condition, but is not protected by any affordable housing covenants. Real estate investors move into areas that have unsubsidized, unprotected affordable housing for low to moderate-income renters so they may redevelop the property into higher-yielding rental properties. NOAH Programs can target neighborhoods that face gentrification, and improve and protect the affordable housing there.