SB 9 Home Act California - Key Benefits & Challenges for Homeowners

The SB 9 Home Act, recently passed in California, has been a hotly debated topic in the real estate world. This new law will allow homeowners to build up to two additional residential units on their existing property without the need for local government approval, streamlining the process and providing new opportunities for homeownership and rental income. "A 2021 analysis by the Terner Center estimated that over 700,000 new homes would be newly feasible to build if SB 9 passed and taking into account on-the-ground market dynamics."

Proponents of the SB 9 Home Act argue that it will help address the state's housing crisis by increasing the housing supply, lowering rental costs, and providing affordable homeownership opportunities. According to recent statistics, California has an estimated housing shortage of 1.5 million units, with high rental costs and a lack of affordable housing options. The California Association of Realtors estimates that the law could generate up to $12 billion in economic activity and create over 80,000 jobs in the state.

A recent survey by the Public Policy Institute of California found that 69% of Californians believe that the state is facing a housing affordability crisis, with 43% of renters saying that they spend more than 30% of their income on housing.

On the other hand, opponents of the SB 9 Home Act argue that it could lead to overcrowding and increased traffic congestion in neighborhoods. Some also fear that it could negatively impact property values and harm the character of residential neighborhoods. 

This blog post will explore the key benefits and challenges of the SB 9 Home Act for California homeowners. Whether you are a homeowner, investor, or simply interested in the future of California's housing landscape, this blog

post is a must-read.

Key benefits of SB 9 for homeowners in California

Key benefits of SB 9 for homeowners in California

The SB 9 Home Act, recently passed in California, presents several key benefits for homeowners. The law allows homeowners to build up to two additional residential units on their existing property without the need for local government approval, streamlining the process and providing new opportunities for homeownership and rental income. This can help homeowners achieve financial stability by creating new income streams and increasing their property's value. "Only 22% of California households can afford to buy a home at the state's median price of $800,000." - according to the California Association of Realtors.

Additionally, the law addresses the state's housing shortage and provides affordable housing opportunities for Californians, which can ultimately benefit the economy as a whole.

Build wealth through their property.

SB9 provides new opportunities for rental income and property appreciation. Homeowners can build up to two additional residential units on their property without the need for local government approval, which can provide additional rental income streams. We explain in our previous post how adding more units to a property can increase your property value, allowing homeowners to build equity and wealth over time. This can be especially beneficial in a state like California, where high housing costs can make it difficult for individuals and families to achieve financial stability.

Create Additional Living Space

SB9 benefits homeowners with growing families, elderly parents, or those who need additional space for home offices or other uses. Additionally, the law can help address the state's housing shortage by increasing the supply of housing units. By providing more opportunities for affordable housing and allowing homeowners to make better use of their property, the SB 9 Home Act can ultimately improve the quality of life for Californians.

"SB9 will make it easier for homeowners to build accessory dwelling units and duplexes, creating more affordable housing options for Californians." - California State Assemblymember Richard Bloom.

Protects single-family neighborhoods

The SB 9 Home Act includes measures to protect single-family neighborhoods by limiting the size and design of additional residential units. The law sets requirements for lot size, parking, and setback distances to ensure that new units are built in a way consistent with the surrounding neighborhood's character. This helps prevent the potential negative impacts of overdevelopment, such as overcrowding, traffic congestion, and reduced property values.

"SB9 will lead to more diverse and inclusive communities by allowing for greater housing choice in California's single-family neighborhoods." - Urban Land Institute Senior Fellow Ed McMahon.

Preserves historic neighborhoods and landmark districts

The law allows local governments to opt out of the new regulations in areas designated as historic districts, protecting these neighborhoods' architectural and cultural character. This helps preserve these communities' unique history and identity while still providing opportunities for new housing development. 

More control over cities and local governments

By allowing homeowners to build up to two additional residential units on their property without the need for local government approval, The law streamlines the process and reduces the power of local governments to restrict new housing development. According to a recent op-ed in CalMatters, this increased control is important for homeowners in high-demand areas where local governments have historically limited housing development.

Benefits homeowners, NOT institutional investors

The SB 9 Home Act benefits homeowners and not institutional investors by making it easier for individuals to build new residential units on their property. The law limits the number of units that can be built, ensuring that the development remains within homeowners' control, not large investors. According to a recent op-ed in the LA Times, the law prioritizes homeowners over investors by allowing homeowners to add value to their properties and create new income streams without the need for outside investment.

"SB9 is a commonsense solution to California's housing crisis that will benefit homeowners, renters, and communities alike." - California Association of Realtors President Dave Walsh.

Promotes strategic infill growth

The SB 9 Home Act promotes strategic infill growth by encouraging the development of new residential units on existing properties in established neighborhoods. This approach can help reduce sprawl, promote more efficient land use, and provide new housing opportunities in areas with existing infrastructure and services. The SB 9 Home Act can help address the state's housing crisis by encouraging infill growth while preserving open space and protecting natural resources.

Establishes a maximum number of units

The SB 9 Home Act establishes a maximum number of units that can be built on a single-family lot, ensuring that development remains within reasonable limits. Under the law, homeowners can build up to two additional residential units on their property, helping to address California's housing crisis while maintaining the character of established neighborhoods. According to a recent op-ed in CalMatters, these limitations ensure that new development remains manageable and does not lead to overcrowding or strain local infrastructure.

SB9 Act challenges in California

The SB 9 Home Act faces some challenges in California, including concerns over local control and potential impacts on existing communities. Critics argue that the law may lead to overcrowding, parking shortages, and other negative effects in neighborhoods that are already struggling with limited resources. According to  - California Housing Partnership, "California has a shortage of 1.5 million affordable homes, and is ranked 49th in the nation for housing affordability." 

However, supporters mention that the law is necessary to address the state's housing crisis and create more affordable housing opportunities for California residents.

Financial Costs

Challenges related to financial costs of the SB 9 Home Act for homeowners in California may include:

✓ High construction costs.

✓ Limited access to financing for new development.

✓ Potential impacts on property values.

These challenges may limit the ability of some homeowners to take advantage of the new opportunities provided by the law and may have unintended consequences for communities and neighborhoods.

Zoning and Building Regulations

The SB 9 Home Act may also face challenges related to zoning and building regulations in California. Local governments may need to adjust their regulations to comply with the new law, which could create confusion and delays for homeowners seeking to build additional units on their properties. Additionally, some critics argue that the law may lead to inconsistent development patterns and disrupt established zoning plans.

Construction Challenges

The SB 9 Home Act poses potential construction challenges for homeowners in California. "In Los Angeles, SB9 could create up to 700,000 new homes, more than double the city's current housing stock."  according to Los Angeles Times.

The law allows for the construction up to two additional units on single-family lots, which may require significant modifications to existing structures and infrastructure. These challenges could create additional costs and delays for homeowners seeking to take advantage of the law.

"SB9 is a step in the right direction towards increasing housing supply in California, but more needs to be done to address the affordability crisis." - California State Senator Scott Wiener.

Neighbourhood Resistance

The SB 9 Home Act may encounter challenges related to neighborhood resistance in California. Some homeowners and community groups may oppose the law, arguing that it will disrupt established neighborhoods and lead to overcrowding and increased traffic. These challenges may create tension between different stakeholders and require careful community engagement and communication.

Property Management-Maintenance and Repair Costs

The SB 9 Home Act may also pose challenges related to property management, maintenance, and repair costs for homeowners in California. Adding additional units to a property requires ongoing upkeep and may increase property management, repairs, and maintenance expenses. These challenges could create additional financial burdens for homeowners seeking to take advantage of the law.

Conclusion

SB9 home act conclusion

In conclusion, the SB 9 Home Act presents both benefits and challenges for homeowners in California. The law allows for the construction of up to two additional units on single-family lots, providing opportunities for homeowners to build wealth, create additional living space, and promote strategic infill growth. The law also helps to protect historic neighborhoods, preserve open space, and promote sustainable development.

However, the SB 9 Home Act also poses challenges related to financial costs, zoning and building regulations, construction, neighborhood resistance, and property management, maintenance, and repair costs. Homeowners seeking to take advantage of the law may face significant construction, property management, and ongoing upkeep expenses. Additionally, local governments may need to adjust their zoning and building regulations, which could create confusion and delays for homeowners seeking to build additional units on their properties.

Despite these challenges, the SB 9 Home Act represents an important step toward promoting sustainable, equitable, and affordable housing in California. By carefully addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by the law, homeowners, communities, and policymakers can work together to build vibrant, livable, and sustainable neighborhoods that benefit all Californians.

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