Newsom stops in LA, signs bills addressing housing crisis in California

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Gov. Gavin Newsom continued his statewide "rent and housing tour" with a stop in Los Angeles Wednesday, days after he signed a landmark rent control bill into law.

Newsom signed five new bills into law meant to address the state's housing crisis.

Some of the bills aim at making it easier for homeowners to turn their existing garages into "accessory dwelling units," or ADUs. The units then become affordable housing.

Assemblymember Laura Friedman authored the bills.

"With ADUs we have the power to harness a real public-private partnership with private homeowners to help provide an ADU that will add a good unit for an individual or a family in stable neighborhoods, with access to good schools and good amenities in a way that's low-impact for our communities," Friedman said.

Homeowner Felicia Smith's garage is an ADU in the making. She's partnering with United Dwelling, an organization that oversees the build out and even finds tenants.

Smith said her concern was helping the community.

"It's overpopulated here, and (the garage) was just taking up space," she said.

"We're not adding anything in terms of having to build," said Monique Brandon of United Dwelling. "We're utilizing space that's unutilized and we're helping to solve a problem because there's over 580,000 garages in L.A. County alone."

Newsom said in addition to the bills signed, close to $3 billion of "additional resources" were placed in the budget and beginning to be distributed to cities across the state for housing affordability and homelessness.

The bills include an amnesty clause that allows homeowners with illegal buildouts to transform those spaces into legal spaces for rentals.
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