Written by: Laura Craven — Image by: Alfred Twu

In mid-September Governor Newsom signed into law California Senate Bills 9 and 10. SB10 concentrates more on the increase of housing in “High Quality Transit Corridor” areas allowing up to 10 units per parcel and will be discussed in more detail in a future post. These bills were written out of a desire to increase much needed housing and change the impact single family residential zoning has had in our communities over the past many decades.

SB9 (full text here) goes into effect on January 1, 2022 and gives property owners the ability to split (subdivide) their lot, add a 2nd home to a lot, or both – split the lot and build 2 homes on each for a total of 4 residences. The obvious benefit to the property owner, who must commit to living in one of the residences for 3 years as stipulated by the legislation, is income generated from renting the additional space(s). The community benefits by having 4 households on land that previously had one. The opportunity to purchase one of these residences can provide the path to homeownership that has become increasingly out of reach for many.

For the homeowner-to-be, duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes can offer a way into property ownership at sales prices that will naturally be less than purchasing a single family residence. Additionally, a vacant land purchase brings the opportunity to build 2 homes, split the lot, and build homes 3 and 4 with that same 3 year stipulation of residency. The vacant land purchase scenario makes the property owner a “developer” while the construction is underway.

A Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley report from July 2021 noted that SB9 could allow for the creation of more than 714,000 new homes (primarily duplexes) in California that would not otherwise be market feasible, while also indicating that SB9 will not lead to the overnight transformation of residential neighborhoods. 

Only time will tell how SB9 will affect the housing issues we are currently trying to address in the most positive way possible. Should you have any questions regarding SB9 and how your current or desired property might benefit, please contact us at hello@ashbygraff.com or 800-430-6613 to discuss your path forward.