Bringing you updates in legislation, policy, and other news relating to affordable housing, homelessness, and sustainable communities.

MARCH 2024


March Ballot Results May Portend Trouble in November

by Jacqueline Woo, Manager, CA Legislative Analysis | Global Policy Leadership Academy

The mixed results for Proposition 1, the Behavioral Health Services Program and Bond Measure, which would dramatically restructure how individuals who are unsheltered and living with mental illness can receive care through the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) and would fund more housing and shelter, could be a warning sign for the slew of ballot initiatives anticipated in November. Days after the March 5 election, results for the ballot are too close to call, with the “yes” vote gaining less than one percentage point over “no” despite the “Yes on Prop. 1” campaign amassing nearly $21M and the “No on 1” movement raising just $1,000.

Given California’s estimated budget shortfall of $35B, the Governor and Legislature have been counting on voters approving multiple initiatives on the November ballot that include tackling deferred maintenance in schools, climate bonds, and funding for housing.

Read more to see November’s housing-related ballot initiatives >

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Unravel the secrets behind Vienna's remarkable success in mitigating the global housing crisis. Join us for the Global Policy Leadership Academy’s immersive Social Housing Field Study, summer cohort, July 14 – 20, 2024.

Jumpstart your understanding of social housing intricacies and gain insights from Vienna's unparalleled model. Engage with fellow housing leaders, foster meaningful connections, and delve into profound learning experiences with Viennese housing experts to drive impactful solutions in your own community.

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Supreme Court Term Features Two Housing and Homelessness Cases

by Christina Mun, Chief Strategy Officer | LeSar Holdings, Inc.

The 2023-2024 Supreme Court term will feature two key cases highlighting tensions in the public discourse regarding housing and homelessness, particularly in California. The first, Sheetz v. County of El Dorado, California, concerns development impact fees, which fund local services and could impact costs of development and the development process; the second, City of Grants Pass, Oregon, v. Johnson, could grant California cities more clarity around enacting ordinances to sweep homeless encampments and further criminalize homelessness. The Court is expected to issue decisions by the end of June.

On January 9, the Supreme Court heard the case of George Sheetz, who applied for a permit to place a manufactured house on his land in El Dorado County and was required to pay a $23,420 traffic mitigation fee to do so. Sheetz is challenging the fee’s constitutionality, arguing that the fee violates the Fifth Amendment’s takings clause, which is intended to uphold the principle that the government should not single out isolated individuals to bear excessive burdens, even in support of an important public good.

Read more about what the rulings for these cases could mean for housing >

State Legislative Update: New Senate Pro Tempore and Notable Bills

by Jacqueline Woo, Manager, CA Legislative Analysis | Global Policy Leadership Academy

February 16th marked the deadline for new bills to be introduced for this year’s legislative session; 2,124 new bills were introduced, many of which attempted to tackle controversial issues beyond housing, including artificial intelligence and reparations. Some of these bills are “spot bills”, with details that still need to be fleshed out. All spot bills must be amended by March 18th to proceed through the remainder of the legislative process.

Senate members waited to finalize their bill packages until after the new Pro Tempore, Mike McGuire (D-Santa Rosa), formerly announced his leadership team and committee changes, which include Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Oakland) as Housing Committee Chair and Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) as Budget Committee Chair.

Read more about new and notable housing and homelessness-related bills >


Anoush Kervanian

Controller | LeSar Holdings

Anoush Kervanian has a successful track record as a CEO, COO, and CFO, where she has had roles in steering new business initiatives and propelling growth. She has made contributions across various sectors, including renewable energy, technology, healthcare, real estate, transportation, hospitality, and more, delivering expertise spanning business metrics and best practices, mergers and acquisitions, operations management, and financial management. She holds a BA in business administration and management from Cal State Los Angeles and a Master of Science in management from the University of Phoenix.

Read full bio >

Claudia Valenzuela

Director, External Affairs and Community Partnerships | LeSar Holdings

Claudia Valenzuela has more than twenty-five years of experience working in external affairs, community relations, and government relations in San Diego and Baja California, Mexico. Prior to joining LeSar Holdings, Claudia spent 18 years with Sempra and SDG&E where she worked as a company lobbyist, political action committee manager, and managed government affairs and public outreach efforts on various utility and municipal infrastructure projects throughout San Diego County. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Spanish from the University of San Diego, and a Juris Doctorate from California Western School of Law. She currently serves as a commissioner for the City of National City’s Planning Commission.

Read full bio >

Sabrina Vonch

HR Manager | LeSar Holdings

Sabrina Vonch provides subject matter expertise, strategic partnership, and implementation support across all functions of HR and payroll. With over 15 years of progressive experience as an HR leader and consultant, she has aided companies of various shapes, sizes, and industries in aligning HR initiatives and best practices to company objectives. Sabrina is PHR certified and graduated cum laude with her BA in sociology from Cal State Northridge.

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Housing + Climate Policy: Building Equitable Pathways to Sustainability and Affordability | Terner Center | March 2024

Understanding CalAIM Implementation Across California | Terner Center | February 2024

California’s Missing Middle | California Community Builders | February 2024

The impacts of rent burden and eviction on mortality in the United States, 2000–2019 | Social Science & Medicine | January 2024

The Effects of Minimum-Lot-Size Reform on Houston Land Values | Mercatus Center | January 2024

California ADU Reform: A Retrospective | California YIMBY | January 2024


Can income-restricted ADUs expand the affordable housing stock in Los Angeles? | Brookings | March 4, 2024

California lawmakers face a ballooning budget deficit | CalMatters | February 20, 2024

How the City of Sacramento found a solution to California’s affordable housing crisis | SF Chronicle | February 15, 2024

A prescription for housing? | Vox | February 13, 2024

What if public housing were for everyone? | Vox | February 10, 2024

Senators introduce bill to prevent use of algorithms to raise rent | SmartCitiesDive | February 8, 2024

Los Angeles’ one weird trick to build affordable housing at no public cost | CalMatters | February 7, 2024

How much can your rent go up in California? Check this website | LA Times | February 7, 2024 possibly paywalled

Why California legislators of both parties want to ban homeless encampments | LA Times | February 6, 2024 possibly paywalled

A New Bill Could Bring ‘Social Housing’ to New York | New York Times | February 6, 2024 possibly paywalled

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