The SB9 housing act went into effect in January 2022. It has received quite a bit of pushback from cities and counties within California since. Here is what you need to know about SB9 and what jurisdictions have been doing to fight it.
What Is SB9?
SB9 or the California Housing Opportunity and More Efficiency (HOME) Act, allows for owners of single-family residences to build secondary units on the same plot of land, and sometimes split that lot in two to build a third unit. It was created to help fight the ongoing housing crisis in California and is seen by many as a great solution to the problem.
However, many other people see it as a path to overcrowding that will ruin the scenery of their city/county. Due to this, many jurisdictions have begun restricting the implementation of the bill in their area by imposing various obstruction tactics.
Why Is SB9 Good?
SB9 allows you to build a secondary unit on your property that can be much bigger than an ADU. You can use this extra living space to rent out to other families to keep them off the streets while bringing in extra income to yours. You can also use the extra space for multi-generational housing to keep your own family members off the streets.
SB9 Obstruction Tactics
As we mentioned before, not everyone agrees with allowing SB9 units to be built. ADUs exist as a way to create affordable housing to combat the housing crisis without making too much of an impact on the area since they are so small. Therefore, many jurisdictions would rather just have ADUs in their area, and not big SB9s.
As a result, jurisdictions have employed obstruction tactics such as forcing SB9 units to be overly affordable, to match their neighbors that don’t match each other (making it impossible to match both and therefore impossible to build), to install 400 square-foot gardens, and to have very large street access. One of the most effective ways jurisdictions are obstructing SB9s is by excluding lots based on zoning eligibility.