Pacifica at Playa del Sol is a San Diego Housing Commission development that will remain affordable for 55 years. Courtesy of the commission

A bill to increase the number of affordable housing housing units statewide is headed to the Gov. Gavin Newsom after legislature approval Monday.

Authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, AB 2345 gives developers a shot in the arm to build affordable units by increasing the density bonus and incentives available for a qualifying housing project. The bill allows California’s Density Bonus Law to increase the number of affordable and market-rate homes constructed in cities across the state.

If signed into law, the state could see as many as 195,000 additional homes produces over a five-year period.

The legislation draws on lessons learned at the city level. In 2016, San Diego enhanced the State Density Bonus program, increasing the maximum bonus to 50-percent. According to Circulate San Diego’s 2020 report Good Bargain, the city has seen a 490-percent increase annually in project applications to use the density program, and a 356-percent increase annually in the number of combined affordable and market-rate homes, within the first 20 months.

“AB 2345 gets at the root of our severe housing crisis. This bill would boost housing production and increase incentives to build affordable housing units across the state,” Gonzalez said.

The state is currently experiencing a 3.4 million housing shortage, according to Up for Growth Action, a nonprofit organization that believes communities should grow for the benefit of every person.

— Staff report

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