California State Legislature

Bill Title Housing discrimination: affirmatively further fair housing.
Hispanic Sponsors CA Assemb. Miguel Santiago (D-CA-053)
Date Introduced 02/15/2017
NHCSL Task Force
Human and Civil Rights
Primary Issue Area Civil Rights and Liberties
Issue Areas
Administrative law and government organization
Criminal justice
Economic development
Session 2017-2018 Regular Session


Existing federal law, the federal Fair Housing Act, requires, among other things, certain federal executive departments and agencies to administer their programs relating to housing and urban development in a manner affirmatively to further the purposes of the federal act. Existing federal law requires specified state and local agencies that contract with, or receive funding from, specified federal agencies to certify that they will affirmatively further fair housing by completing an assessment of fair housing and submitting that assessment to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. Existing law, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, generally prohibits housing discrimination with respect to the personal characteristics of race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income, disability, or genetic information. Existing law also prohibits the discrimination through public or private land use practices, decisions, and authorizations because of one of those personal characteristics. Existing law establishes the Department of Fair Employment and Housing in the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency, with the powers and duties to, among other things, receive, investigate, and conciliate complaints relating to housing discrimination. Existing law requires the Director of Fair Employment and Housing to investigate verified complaints that allege a violation of the act, subject to certain procedures and requirements, and requires the director, if attempts at mediation or other forms of dispute resolution do not eliminate a violation of the act, to file a civil action on behalf of the aggrieved person, as provided. This bill would require a public agency, as defined, to administer its programs and activities relating to housing and community development in a manner to affirmatively further fair housing, and to not take any action that is materially inconsistent with this obligation, as provided. The Planning and Zoning Law requires each city, county, and city and county to prepare and adopt a general plan that contains certain mandatory elements, including a housing element that is required to contain specified information and analysis, including a program setting forth a schedule of actions during the planning period that the local government is undertaking or intends to undertake to implement the policies and achieve the goals and objectives of the housing element, as provided. The bill would require the above-described program for achieving the goals and objectives of the housing element to affirmatively further fair housing pursuant to provisions added by this bill, and for revisions to the housing element that occur on and after January 1, 2021, would require the program to include an assessment of fair housing within the jurisdiction, as specified. Existing law requires the housing element to include an inventory of land suitable and available for development and requires that inventory to be used to identify sites that can be developed for housing within the planning period and that are sufficient to provide for the jurisdiction's share of the regional housing need for all income levels. This bill would require the inventory to be used to identify sites throughout the community, consistent with the provisions requiring the above-described program, within the housing element to affirmatively further fair housing. By increasing the duties of local officials, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. This bill would incorporate additional changes to Section 65583 of the Government Code proposed by AB 2162 to be operative only if this bill and AB 2162 are enacted and this bill is enacted last. This bill would incorporate additional changes to Section 65583.2 of the Government Code proposed by SB 1078 to be operative only if this bill and SB 1078 are enacted and this bill is enacted last. The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason. With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.