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DoF Report: One in Five New Homes in California Are Now ADUs

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) in California have more than doubled in the last half-decade, making the yards of one in five single-family homes into multi-unit properties. California has experienced a rapid increase in ADUs since the state Legislature lowered building barriers in 2017 to resolve the housing crisis. The number of ADUs has increased from nearly 8,500 units in 2020 to more than 22,800 units in 2024.

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By California Black Media

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) in California have more than doubled in the last half-decade, making the yards of one in five single-family homes into multi-unit properties.

California has experienced a rapid increase in ADUs since the state Legislature lowered building barriers in 2017 to resolve the housing crisis. The number of ADUs has increased from nearly 8,500 units in 2020 to more than 22,800 units in 2024.

According to data from the California Department of Finance, one in five homes is an ADU. Property owners have expanded building projects in their backyards to accommodate family members are be used as rental units.

Since 2017, lawmakers have passed several bills to increase the availability of housing for residents statewide. Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) passed AB 68 in 2019 to help residents acquire ADU permits in no less than 60 days. Lawmakers passed AB 881 the following year, allowing property owners to build ADUs on rental properties and preventing communities from requiring landlords to live on the property.

However, housing advocates argue that the state needs to build a wider variety of housing including apartment buildings. However, expansion plans for affordable housing are restricted by the lack of land near developed areas and local zoning laws that limit building in infill areas.

“Our biggest challenge in California is that so much of our zoning is for single-family homes, which makes it next to impossible to build any new housing,” said Ting.

“This is the one housing product that you can actually build in these single-family neighborhoods,” he said.

These affordable housing units are popular in cities such as Berkeley, San Jose, and Oakland. Developers have helped fuel the increase in ADUs, companies such as BrightSky Residential used new legislation to build a 71-home subdivision with a total of 141 units with no requirement to change zoning on the property. Newer development companies such as Abodu sell pre-manufactured ADUs starting at $228,800 for a 340-square-foot studio. Some companies even offer custom-built ADUs that cost approximately $500 per square foot without water and electricity connection.

The state recently passed legislation that allows homeowners to sell ADUs as condos separate from their properties, starting in July this year.

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Antonio‌ ‌Ray‌ ‌Harvey‌

Sen. Steve Glazer Vows Redo After Journalism Tax Bill Placed on Hold

Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Contra Costa County) shared his thoughts expressed his views about Senate Bill (SB) 1327 at Capitol Weekly’s “Covering California: The Future of Journalism in the Golden State” conference, which was held in Sacramento on May 30.

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Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Contra Costa) was the keynote speaker at Capitol Weekly's Covering California: The Future of Journalism In the Golden State event held in Sacramento on May 30. CBM photo by Antonio Ray Harvey.
Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Contra Costa) was the keynote speaker at Capitol Weekly's Covering California: The Future of Journalism In the Golden State event held in Sacramento on May 30. CBM photo by Antonio Ray Harvey.

By Antonio‌ ‌Ray‌ ‌Harvey‌, California‌ ‌Black‌ ‌Media

Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Contra Costa County) shared his thoughts expressed his views about Senate Bill (SB) 1327 at Capitol Weekly’s “Covering California: The Future of Journalism in the Golden State” conference, which was held in Sacramento on May 30.

During his keynote speech message at the one-day event, Glazer said admitted he couldn’t get the votes he needed to pass the bill SB 1327 that proposes imposing a “mitigation fee” on major digital technology companies to fund journalism jobs.

Despite the challenges, the Senator vows to keep the Legislation alive.

“We have had setbacks, and we have a lot of work to do to fix this, but I certainly am not giving up,” Glazer said at the event near the State Capitol. Glazer is chairperson of the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee.

In addition to Glazer’s address, Capitol Weekly organized a probing conference that examined three of the most pressing issues facing California reporters.

Media experts, publishers, communications specialists, and political reporters assembled to discuss the preservation of fair, balanced, and accurate journalism. The need for media outlets to deliver high-quality news coverage that bolsters government, the assessment of new business models; and coverage of the State Capitol dominated the 5-hour event.

“It is nothing short of tragic I would say to see what is happening to the journalism industry,” said Tim Foster, Capitol Weekly’s Executive Director. “I’ve been in and around journalism since 1995 and what we are seeing today with the closing of the journalism industry is unprecedented in my lifetime.”

Glazer spoke for 45 minutes about the future of democracy and the role journalism plays in it. However, the Legislature’s failure to advance SB 1327 and why he pulled the bill was the main subject.

If SB 1327 should reemerge and be passed as law, fees collected would provide $500 million in employment tax credits to news organizations across California. The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to pass the bill with a 4-2 vote on May 16, but Glazer still needed a pathway for two-thirds of the votes required to make it off the Senate floor.

Glazer cited several reasons for why SB 1327 is facing opposition from digital tech giants like Google, Meta, Amazon, and publishers. These include concerns about increased advertising, the perceived threat of government influence, discrimination against larger publishers, a fear that the mitigation fee could trickle down to smaller news outlets as they expand, and nonprofit newsrooms that don’t pay taxes getting a share.

“Opponents will always sell the ghost in the closet,” Glazers said of entities that oppose the bill. “The news business is facing an existential threat, and they are fighting with each other over who will be the last passenger on the Death Star.”

California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) vice chair Steven Bradford (D-Inglewood) said on May 16 at the State Capitol that his biggest concern about SB 1327 was whether it would benefit Ethnic Media, including Black media platforms. “They’re usually left and still need more assistance,” Bradford said.

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Business

Newsom Admin Takes Steps to Stabilize California’s Troubled Insurance Market

As growing numbers of Insurance companies announce plans to exit California’s insurance market — or cancel customers’ policies — Gov. Gavin Newsom says his administration is taking steps to reverse the trend. Speaking during a news briefing on May 31, Newsom highlighted the plan, which was unveiled as part of a trailer bill on May 28.

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By California Black Media

As growing numbers of Insurance companies announce plans to exit California’s insurance market — or cancel customers’ policies — Gov. Gavin Newsom says his administration is taking steps to reverse the trend. Speaking during a news briefing on May 31, Newsom highlighted the plan, which was unveiled as part of a trailer bill on May 28.

Newsom said the proposal speeds up approvals for rate increases and addresses rising costs resulting from incidents like wildfires. Newsom said, under his plan, the Department of Insurance will be required to decide and respond to rate increase requests within 120 days. The plan also calls for streamlining the process for filing for increases; builds in two 330-deay extensions for finalizing rate changes; and provides room for insurers to appeal decisions.

“We need to stabilize this market,” Newsom said. “We need to send the right signals.

Proponents, mainly insurance industry representatives like the Personal Insurance Federation of California, are praising the Governor’s actions while consumer advocates warn that the plan is a threat to public intervention rights California’s Prop 103, a 1988 state law adopted to protect state residents from “arbitrary insurance rates and practices.”

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara thanked Newsom for backing his office’s plan.

“To safeguard the integrity of the insurance market – composed of consumers, homeowners, and business owners – we must fix a system suffering from decades of deferral and delay,” said Lara in a statement. “This measure is one of several parts of a comprehensive plan to enact long-overdue regulatory reforms. The Legislature can do its part to support my reforms by giving this proposal a fair and full consideration, including public input. By enacting this important part of our strategy in statute, the Legislature can help us meet the urgency of the moment.

Lara is working on a longer-term strategy to shore up the insurance market that is expected to be released in December.

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California Black Media

LAO Releases Multi-Year Outlook: Modest Budget Deficits to Persist

The state budget deficit is projected to increase, which will require the Governor and Legislature to make more budget cuts over the next few years, California’s non-partisan Legislature Analyst’s Office (LAO) stated in a report last week. According to the LAO’s multiyear budget report that makes forecasts about the state’s general fund through the 2027-28 fiscal year, the state’s budget problem is $7 billion higher than expected due to lower revenue and spending estimates.

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By California Black Media

The state budget deficit is projected to increase, which will require the Governor and Legislature to make more budget cuts over the next few years, California’s non-partisan Legislature Analyst’s Office (LAO) stated in a report last week.

According to the LAO’s multiyear budget report that makes forecasts about the state’s general fund through the 2027-28 fiscal year, the state’s budget problem is $7 billion higher than expected due to lower revenue and spending estimates.

“Under our office’s revenue and spending projections, and assuming the Governor’s May Revision policies are adopted, the budget problem for this year is $7 billion larger,” the report reads.  “Put another way, the Legislature would need to take $7 billion in additional budget actions to balance the budget.”

This shortfall requires the Governor to reduce government spending by an additional $7 billion to balance the state’s deficit. However, if the legislature does approve the governor’s May Revisions the budget problems will carry over into the 2025-2026 fiscal year, increasing the existing budget deficit by nearly $10 billion.

California’s budget deficit could be as high as $73 billion, requiring the Legislature to consider harsh budget buts that can help the state economy recover long-term. However, the LAO’s spending estimates are lower than that of the state’s Department of Finance.

“The main reason that our estimates of the state’s operating deficits are slightly smaller than the administration’s is that our estimate of General Fund spending is lower than the administration’s estimates,” stated the LAO in the multiyear budget report.

The LAO’s estimates exclude spending on schools and community colleges, and lower estimated expenditures for Health and Human Services (HHS) programs. Based on the LAO’s estimates, Health programs grow annually by an average of 5.1 percent compared to the Newsom Administration’s estimated 8 percent.

“Our office has little insight into the components of, or assumptions underlying, the administration’s projections in HHS. As a result, we cannot identify the precise source of these differences—or the comparative reliability of our respective estimates — with confidence,” the LAO report stated.

Given the projections, the LAO recommends that the Legislature maintain an overall structure similar to the Governor’s May revisions in the final budget package.

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