California Enacts Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Law

California Governor Jerry Brown (D) on September 30 signed a fair housing bill (AB 686), sponsored by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D) of Los Angeles that will require California cities and counties to affirmatively further fair housing.

Starting on January 1, 2019, hundreds of cities, counties, and state agencies in California will have to take proactive measures to fix housing inequality related to race, national origin, color, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religion, and other protected characteristics. All cities and counties will have to reach out to and engage constituents on issues of inequity and discrimination in housing.

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.

The bill was co-sponsored by the National Housing Law Project, the Western Center on Law and Poverty, and Public Advocates. 

Public Advocates’s press release in response to the signing of this bill is at:

The bill’s text can be found at: