SB 330- Housing Crisis Act of 2019 Information

On October 19, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 330, commonly referred to as the Housing Crisis Act of 2019. The bill went into effect on January 1, 2020 and declared a temporary statewide housing emergency with a proposed sunset date of January 1, 2025. SB 8, signed in 2021, extended SB 330’s sunset date to January 1, 2030. 

SB 330 made changes to existing legislation intended to streamline housing development, such as the Permit Streamlining Act and the Housing Accountability Act. The bill has three main goals:

  1. Increase residential unit development
  2. Protect existing housing inventory
  3. Expedite permit processing

SB 330 affected the following State Government Code Sections: 65589.5, 65905.5, 65913.10, 65940, 65941.1, 65943, 65950, 66300 and 66301. Applicants are encouraged to review the specific details of these Government Code Sections as this webpage is only intended to summarize the major provisions of the law applicable to applications for new private housing development projects.

To apply for a project under SB 330, please review the SB 330 Preliminary Application Form and SB 330 Preliminary Application Submittal Checklist.

Contact the Planning Division for more information or assistance at 626-570-5034.

What projects are subject to SB 330?

SB 330 applies to all “housing development projects” which is defined as project consisting of [Gov. Code Sections 65589.5(h)(2), 65905.5(b)(3)(A)]: 

  1. Residential units only
  2. Mixed-use developments where at least two-thirds of the square footage is designated for residential uses
  3. Transitional housing or supportive housing

Please note that some aspects of SB 330 apply to housing development projects consisting of only one unit while others do not.  

CEQA Compliance

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) standards still apply to housing development projects subject to SB 330. Case-by-case determinations will be made as to the appropriate level of CEQA review for a proposed housing development project. 

Preliminary Application

SB 330 established an optional preliminary application process for developers of a proposed housing development project to “lock-in” the City ordinances, policies and standards that will apply to the proposed project to what was in existence at the time the preliminary application was submitted. The “lock-in” only lasts for 180 days. A full project application submittal must be made by then or the “lock-in” is lost.

There are certain statutory exceptions to the “lock in,” including:

  • Any fee changes related to annual fee adjustments per cost index. 
  • Changes are necessary to mitigate or avoid specific, adverse impact upon public health or safety or under CEQA. 
  • Project has not started construction within 2.5 years, or 3.5 years for an affordable housing project, after final approval. 
  • Revisions to the project result in 20% or more changes to total residential units or building area compared to the Preliminary Application figures.

Application Processing

Housing development projects subject to SB 330 are generally processed in the same manner as other development projects, with a couple of exceptions:

Consistency Review

Once an application for a housing development project is submitted, SB 330 requires the City to inform the applicant of any inconsistencies or nonconformities the project has with applicable plans, programs, policies, ordinances, standards, requirements or other similar provisions within the following timeframes from the date the application is determined to be complete:

  • 30 days if the project has 150 or fewer housing units
  • 60 days if the project has more than 150 housing units

Written documentation must be provided supporting these determinations. Failure to comply with these deadlines means the project will be deemed consistent.

5-Hearing Limit

No more than 5 hearings can be held on a proposed housing development project. “Hearing” is defined broadly for the purposes of this limitation and includes any meeting conducted by any legislative body, subcommittee, or hearing officer of the city regarding the project. If a hearing is continued to another day, the continued hearing counts as its own hearing.

Deadline for Project Approval/Disapproval

Reduced timelines for approving or disapproving if an EIR has been prepared for the project under CEQA. The City has 90 days from the date the EIR is certified to approve or deny the project. This is reduced to 60 days for certain affordable housing projects.

Protected Units

Protected units are residential dwelling units that are, or were within the past 5 years, either:

  1. Subject to a recorded covenant, ordinance, or law restricting rents to levels affordable to low- or very low-income households;
  2. Subject to any form of rent or price control through a public entity’s valid exercise of its police power;
  3. Rented by low- or very-low income households; or
  4. Withdrawn from rent or lease pursuant to the Ellis Act within the last 10 years.

A proposed development project that involves the demolition of protected unit(s) must include the same number of units of an "equivalent size" as the units that exist on the property. In addition, existing residents that will be displaced shall:

  1. Be allowed to remain until six months before construction begins with proper notice;
  2. Be allowed to return at their prior rental rate if the demolition does not proceed and the property is returned to the rental market;
  3. Be given relocation benefits; and
  4. Be given a right of first refusal for a comparable unit in the new project at an affordable rent for a minimum term of 55 years.

Additional SB 330 Guidance

The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) has created guidance material for SB 330 and SB 8. Below is a link to their handout. This link is being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; it does not constitute an endorsement or approval by the City. The City bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

Senate Bill 330 and Senate Bill 8: Summary of Housing Crisis Act of 2019 (PDF)