California Enacts Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Law

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a fair housing bill (AB 686) that will require California cities and counties to affirmatively further fair housing. This law came about as a reaction to HUD’s rollback of the Obama administration’s affirmatively furthering fair housing mandate. Starting on Jan. 1, 2019, hundreds of cities, counties, and state agencies in California will have to take proactive measures to fix housing inequality on the basis of race, national origin, disability, and other protected classes.

In addition, beginning in 2021 this new law will require each city and county to include an analysis and action plan to combat housing discrimination as part of its General Plan. The General Plan, required by the state, serves as the local government’s “blueprint” for how the local jurisdiction will grow and develop. The California Department of Housing and Community Development will be the agency providing guidance to jurisdictions on updating their General Plans and oversee that process.