Preservation Strategies

The California Housing Partnership works closely with local governments, nonprofit developers, tenant advocates, local HUD offices and other partners to develop regional preservation strategies.

Toolkit for Preserving Affordable Homes Near Transit

In 2015, the California Housing Partnership created a toolkit offering policy makers and advocates a means of systematically assessing the risk of loss of affordable homes in places where transit investment is contributing to the rise in housing prices as well as strategies for preservation and anti-displacement.

Access the toolkit here.

See examples of the toolkit in use in San Jose and Fremont.

State Preservation Notice Law

Finding that federal notice laws do not go far enough in warning tenants and local governments of the potential loss of affordable homes or in encouraging preservation transfers, California enacted its own groundbreaking state notice law in 1987. Government Code Sections 65863.10-13 contain a series of provisions designed to give tenants sufficient time to understand and prepare for potential rent increases, as well as to provide local governments and potential preservation buyers with an opportunity to preserve the property. Made permanent in 2011, the state Notice Law has become a critical tool for preservation in the state as it has increased opportunities for preservation transfers, thereby extending affordability for an additional 30-55 years.

Read CHPC’s report for a detailed look at the requirements, scope, and enforcement of the State Preservation Notice Law.

Housing Element Law

California law recognizes the vital role local governments play in the supply and affordability of housing. Each city and county in California is required to adopt a comprehensive, long-term general plan for the physical development of its jurisdiction. The housing element is one of the seven mandated elements of the local general plan. Housing Element law, enacted in 1969, mandates that local governments adequately plan to meet the existing and projected housing needs of all economic segments of the community.

In 1989, Housing Element law was amended to require a detailed analysis of at-risk apartments including:

  • an inventory of at-risk apartments
  • assessment of conversion risk
  • cost of replacement versus preservation
  • list of entities qualified to preserve at-risk apartments
  • financing and subsidy resources available for preservation

In addition, cities and counties are required to provide in their housing elements a program for preserving at-risk properties, including actions to monitor, finance, provide technical and regulatory assistance, and actions to assist tenants.

Visit the California Dept. of Housing and Community Development website for more information on housing element law and resources.

Additional Resources

The California Housing Partnership is committed to developing resources to assist in the preservation of affordable homes in our state. Visit our Resources Library to view our full catalog of preservation resources.