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Two Bills Sponsored by Santa Monica Lawmaker Win Key Committee Approval


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By Lookout Staff

July 13, 2017 -- Bills sponsored by Santa Monica Assemblyman Richard Bloom to preserve affordable housing and create a new decal program for zero emission vehicles were approved by a key committee this week.

AB 1521, which passed out of the Senate Transportation & Housing Committee
on a 9-4 vote, requires owners of expiring affordable rental properties to accept market-rate purchase offers from "qualified preservation entities," Bloom's office said in a statement.

The new owner of the property must "intend to maintain" the affordability restrictions for multifamily rental properties of five or more units affordable to lower income households.

The current law, while stating the same goal, lacks provisions necessary for enforcement.

“AB 1521 gives the Preservation Notice Law the teeth it needs to be effective,” Bloom said. “There are currently tens of thousands of affordable rental homes at-risk of losing their affordability within the next five years.

"In addition to building new affordable units, we must also maintain our existing units and protect tenants from displacement.”

The second bill, AB 544, which passed the same committee on a 12-0 vote, creates a new decal program for zero emission vehicles and partial zero-emission vehicles after the existing program sunsets.

Under the new program, "clean vehicle" decals would be valid for three years and the number issued would be uncapped.

The current decal law will sunset six years before a 2025 deadline to put more than one million Zero Emission Vehicles on the road under California’s zero emission vehicle sales mandate.

“The Clean Vehicle Decal program is one of the most powerful and cost-effective incentive programs we have," Bloom said. "AB 544 will address this inconsistency between our goals and the incentives that will help us reach them.”

Both AB 544 and AB 1521 now head to the Senate Appropriations Committee.


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