Chapter 8. Code Enforcement Incentive Program of California Health And Safety Code >> Division 13. >> Part 1.5. >> Chapter 8.
The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The Department of Housing and Community Development reports
that one in every eight dwelling units in the state is substandard
and that unless health and safety problems are corrected,
habitability conditions generally deteriorate until the units become
life threatening and uninhabitable and must be removed from the
housing stock through closure or demolition.
(b) California is experiencing a housing shortage of significant
proportions, particularly in the affordable housing sector. The state
and many local governments are funding affordable housing from a
variety of sources at substantial costs. It is ill advised to neglect
timely code enforcement responsibilities and, as a result, to lose
housing that could have been retained.
(c) The lack of code enforcement on a single dwelling unit can
lead to the deterioration of an entire neighborhood as the
substandard or abandoned unit becomes a magnet for crime, vandalism,
fires, and other activities that rapidly infect the surrounding homes
(d) Many local governments endeavor to fulfill their statutory
responsibility for code enforcement. However, local governments with
a higher percentage of lower income households with families, living
in older, overcrowded housing stock, exacerbated by the neglect of
absentee slumlords, bear a disproportionate code enforcement cost and
responsibility compared with more affluent communities.
(e) Existing law provides building standards to assure decent,
safe, and sanitary housing for all Californians.
(f) Resources for code enforcement at the local level are
frequently allocated to construction-related code enforcement
activities, which generate fees to pay for regulatory services,
including building and permit inspections, rather than housing
maintenance activities that prevent or abate substandard conditions.
(g) The enforcement of housing maintenance codes for existing
housing is frequently performed only on a complaint-by-complaint
basis and frequently there is insufficient funding for the abatement
of existing violations through timely and effective administrative or
The Department of Housing and Community Development, upon
appropriation by the Legislature for this purpose, shall make funds
available as matching grants to cities, counties, and cities and
counties to increase staffing or capital expenditures dedicated to
local building code enforcement efforts. The funds shall be subject
to all of the following provisions:
(a) Grants shall be made to grantees that operate local building
code enforcement programs for more than three years.
(b) The city, county, or city and county shall provide a cash or
in-kind local match of at least 25 percent in the first year, at
least 50 percent in the second year, and at least 75 percent in the
(c) The maximum grant to a single recipient shall not exceed one
million dollars ($1,000,000). The department may establish minimum
grant levels and lower maximum grant levels, depending on the amount
and uses of funding sources.
(d) Funds may be used to supplement, but shall not supplant,
existing local funding for code enforcement related to housing code
maintenance. The applicants shall demonstrate an intent to ensure
cooperative and effective working relationships between code
enforcement officials and local prosecutorial agencies, the local
health department, and local government housing rehabilitation
(e) Within six months after completion of each program cycle
approved by the department and funded by the Legislature, grant
recipients shall submit a report to their local legislative bodies
and to the department regarding the results of the expanded housing
maintenance code enforcement efforts and recommendations for changes
in state or local laws and regulations related to code enforcement.
The department shall summarize the results and transmit the reports
to the Legislature within six months after the grant recipient's
submission date. The department may require submission of interim
(f) The department may use up to 5 percent of the funds
appropriated by the Legislature for administering the programs
authorized by this chapter.
(g) The department shall award the grants on a competitive basis
with criteria to be established and specified in a "Notice of Funding
Availability." The criteria shall be weighted for local government
applicants with neighborhoods populated by high percentages of lower
income households, with significant numbers of deteriorating housing
stock containing reported or suspected housing code violations and
often owned by absentee owners. The criteria shall also be weighted
for applications that propose to identify and prosecute owners with
habitual, repeated, multiple code violations that have remained
unabated beyond the period required for abatement. In addition to
those criteria, the department shall attempt to award grants to
cities, counties, and cities and counties in order to obtain a wide
range of population sizes and compositions and geographical
distribution. Eligibility criteria, applications, awards, and other
program requirements implementing this chapter shall not be subject
to the requirements of Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of
Part 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
(a) It is the intent of the Legislature in the enactment
of this section to do all of the following:
(1) Initiate a coordinated active community approach to code
(2) Create a pilot program in which the department awards grants
to communities that develop a code enforcement program pursuant to
the criteria established by this section.
(3) Substantially reduce the incidence of substandard housing
through the use of creative and coordinated techniques of code
enforcement involving an interdepartmental approach at the local
(b) The grant program established pursuant to this section shall
be known as the Community Code Enforcement Pilot Program. The
Department of Housing and Community Development shall administer the
Community Code Enforcement Pilot Program.
(1) The department need not adopt regulations for the program. The
department shall publish and distribute a Notice of Funding
Availability that contains application forms and instructions,
eligibility criteria, criteria for the rating and ranking of
applications, outcome evaluation criteria, interim or final reporting
requirements, and other information that the department considers
necessary or useful for implementation of the program.
(2) The department shall review, rate, and rank applications based
on its evaluation of the information provided pursuant to
subdivision (e), and their projected program performance as measured
by all of the following criteria, considering the size of the
(A) The minimum number of housing units affordable to lower income
households that will be rehabilitated or otherwise brought into
compliance with applicable building and housing codes.
(B) The estimated amount of grants and low interest rehabilitation
loan funds, from sources other than this program, that will be made
available to the owners of housing units affordable to lower income
households that are determined to need rehabilitation or repair
pursuant to the program.
(C) The incidence of poverty and deteriorating housing or housing
code violations in each target area.
(3) In addition to the other criteria in this subdivision, the
department shall attempt to award community code enforcement pilot
program grants to cities, counties, and cities and counties with a
wide range of population sizes and compositions and geographical
(c) The department shall award community code enforcement pilot
program grants for programs that shall operate for more than three
years. The grants shall not exceed four hundred fifty thousand
dollars ($450,000), which shall pay for costs incurred over the life
of the program. The department may establish minimum grant levels and
lower maximum grant levels, depending on the amount and uses of
(d) Each city, county, or city and county receiving a grant shall
develop a code enforcement team consisting of a least one full-time
code enforcement officer and a part-time city planner, health
officer, or comparable specialist. Each grantee shall provide, and
fund at its own expense, at least one city planner, health officer,
or comparable specialist for the duration of the pilot program, for a
minimum of 20 hours per week. The grant funds shall be used for the
code enforcement officer and related program costs, which may include
full-time or part-time personnel, in addition to the grantee's
contributions, or for capital expenditures.
(e) Grant proposals shall include all of the following:
(1) Demonstration of serious, current housing code enforcement
deficiencies within each target area, whether those code deficiencies
are in violation of locally enacted ordinances or state codes.
(2) A plan to have high visibility of code enforcement staff and
to create close and frequent communication and interaction with
residents and property owners of the target area, including in the
evenings and on weekends.
(3) A plan to convene community meetings to inform residents of
the pilot program.
(4) A plan to conduct ongoing frequent informal and formal
community meetings with the code enforcement team and residents of
the community involved in the pilot program.
(5) A plan demonstrating an intent to ensure cooperative and
effective working relationships between code enforcement officials,
local health department officials, local prosecutorial agencies, and
officials operating local programs providing public funds to finance
affordable rental housing rehabilitation and repairs.
(6) A plan for timely and effective administrative and judicial
enforcement of code violations.
(f) The administrator of each grantee's pilot program shall
evaluate the pilot program and report the findings and other criteria
requested by the department indicating the effectiveness of the
pilot program to the department within six months after completion of
each program cycle approved by the department and funded by the
Legislature. The department may require submission of interim
progress reports. The administrator shall evaluate the pilot program
based on criteria including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Results of a participant survey, including owners, residents,
and active community leaders.
(2) Comparison of each targeted area with similar neighborhoods
with respect to repeat calls for service and other criteria testing
the effectiveness of the pilot program.
(3) The extent of any perceived or actual property value change
between the commencement and the completion of the pilot program.
(4) The number of cases opened and the number of cases closed,
identifying the nature of code violations, the necessity of formal
proceedings, the cost and nature of abatement violations, or other
factors influencing the effectiveness of the pilot program.
(g) The department shall review and report to the Legislature
within six months after the grant recipient's submission date on the
findings of the pilot program administrators.
In implementing the programs governed by this chapter, the
department has all the general powers granted to it by Division 31
(commencing with Section 50000).