California has a housing emergency. According to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), from 2015 – 2025, approximately 1.8 million new housing units are needed to meet projected population and household growth, or 180,000 new homes annually.

The imbalance between supply and demand has driven California housing costs to be the highest in the nation, with an average median home price now 2.5 times the U.S. median. These high prices have prohibited occupations like teachers, nurses, public safety officers and younger professionals the ability to afford owning a home, essential for building a stronger and vibrant economy.

Since 2017, national retailers have been reducing their demand for future space in retail centers, are closing stores and abandoning retail sites at a record pace greater than during the Great Recession.
The intent of SB15 is to give incentives to cities that convert these abandoned retail sites into affordable and workforce housing. These fiscal incentives will be used by local governments to replace the sales tax revenues from these big box retail stores.
SB15 will enable local cities to receive from HCD the average of the annual amount of sales tax revenue generated by that site for the last seven years if the site has been converted and occupied with new housing. The city would receive that average amount for a total of seven years.

For a local government to receive this fiscal incentive, beyond just rezoning the sites, the city must approve a housing development project through its planning process, must be built and have a certificate of occupancy for the city to be eligible and receive the sales tax rebate.

Duperron will provide comments virtually on Thursday to the Senate Housing Committee in support of SB15.

Donna Duperron

Donna Duperron

President & CEO, Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce

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