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News & Publications >> Press & Media >> 4 Ways New Calif. Affordable Housing Law May Play Out

4 Ways New Calif. Affordable Housing Law May Play Out

David H. Blackwell in Law360

Law360 (November 8, 2017) California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed legislation intended to fast-track approval of certain affordable housing projects in the state, and while the law may result in some development getting done more quickly, lawyers say many projects will still be subject to a long local review process. The law, SB 35, allows for projects in cities that have fallen behind on their affordable housing requirements to skip much of the local review process, but lawyers say the main problem with SB 35 is the long list of requirements that must be met in order for a project to be sped up. If projects seeking to use SB 35 have more than 10 units, they have to pay prevailing wages. "It's unclear how many projects will qualify for this and take advantage of it, simply because of the competing provisions in the bill," said David Blackwell of Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP. And that, Blackwell said, will hamper some projects, and developers will have to weigh the pros and cons of increased costs and time getting through the local review process versus increased cost of paying a prevailing wage.