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Legislation by Assembly Member Santiago to Build More Housing Passes Key Policy Committees

For immediate release:

(Sacramento, CA) Yesterday, two pieces of legislation by Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) which will help build more housing and revitalize downtowns passed key policy committees. Sponsored by Central City Association of Los Angeles (CCA), AB 2909 and AB 2910 will bring more housing units online through adaptive reuse (the safe conversion of underused commercial buildings for residential uses).

“City centers across California are struggling to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic with commercial vacancies rising and businesses struggling due to declines in commuters, residents, and visitors,” said Assembly Member Santiago. “AB 2909 and AB 2910 will incentivize and facilitate the adaptive of reuse of office buildings into housing. This will catalyze economic recovery and breathe new life into downtowns across our state, including Downtown Los Angeles which I represent.”

“Adaptive reuse is a proven tool with numerous benefits: infill housing creation, environmental sustainability, infrastructure resilience, and economic vitality. AB 2909 and AB 2910 further sharpen this tool by unlocking the potential to build in this beneficial way and help alleviate our housing crisis,” said Nella McOsker, President & CEO of CCA.

AB 2909 expands the Mills Act to incentivize – through tax abatement – the conversion of commercial buildings to residential uses. Specifically, the bill would make buildings that are at least 30 years old and located in commercial zones within the City of Los Angeles eligible for Mills Act contracts and require that savings be reinvested in retrofitting and repurposing existing buildings to create new residential rental units.

AB 2910 enables cities with a population of 400,000 or greater to adopt alternative building regulations, subject to approval by the California Building Standards Commission, to facilitate the conversion of commercial buildings to residential units.

AB 2909 and AB 2910 will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee in May.

Assembly Member Miguel Santiago is the Assistant Assembly Majority Leader. He serves on the Arts, Entertainment, Sports and Tourism Committee, the Health Committee, and the Utilities & Energy Committee. He represents the 54th District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Commerce, Montebello, and Vernon.