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Noozhawk: Brian Johnson: California Association of Realtors Fights For Fair Housing

March 17, 2021

The California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) has just released its 2021 Fair Housing and Equity legislative package that will fight for fair housing and equity issues.

Santa Barbara, California – Published 3/17/2021
By Brian Johnson, Managing Director, Radius Commercial Real Estate; President, Santa Barbara Association of Realtors
Brian Johnson, Managing Director Radius Commercial Real Estate
Brian Johnson, Managing Director, Radius Commercial Real Estate; President, Santa Barbara Association of Realtors

This is part of an initiative created by C.A.R. called Californians Need Housing Now that seeks to work with the state legislature to pass laws that address the housing affordability and availability crisis through increase housing supply and fair housing reforms.

“Realtors are on the front lines fighting to overcome California’s housing supply and affordability crisis, which includes ensuring fair housing opportunities for all people,” said Dave Walsh, C.A.R. president.

“This California Association of Realtors legislative package is a critical first step in what must be an ongoing effort to eliminate discrimination and other barriers that have historically prevented so many families from realizing the economic and societal benefits that housing provides,” he said.

The package of bills includes AB 491, a bill that would eliminate the “Poor Door” feature seen in many multifamily properties. The Poor Door is a separate entrance, often times on a different side of the building from the main entry, for the occupants of the affordable units.

The bill would ensure that multifamily properties provide occupants of affordable units the same access to common entrances, common areas and amenities that are provided to the occupants of market rate units and do not isolate the affordable units to one specific floor or area.

Another bill, SB 263, would amend the educational requirements for real estate licensees to include implicit bias training, and an update to the fair housing component that would provide for an “interactive participatory component that allows a licensee to experience role play situations as both a consumer and a professional licensee.”

Additionally, C.A.R. is co-sponsoring SCA 2, a state constitutional amendment that would repeal Article 34 of the California Constitution requiring that any development consisting of “low rent” (affordable) housing that is financed in whole or in part by any federal, state or local government be approved by a vote of the people in the jurisdiction where the project is located.

If repealed, this could go a long way toward creating more affordable housing in communities that have traditionally excluded them through voter efforts. This would be a strike against the activists who fight against increasing the supply of housing in California.

Brian Johnson is the new president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. He is a California licensed real estate agent and the managing director of Radius Commercial Real Estate. Brian handles all types of commercial real estate transactions, but has a special focus on multifamily investments. He can be reached at 805.879.9631 or bjohnson@radiusgroup.com.

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