PRESS RELEASE: Gov. Newsom signs Senate Leader Atkins’ Historic Building Preservation Bill

October 10, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Legislation establishing a tax credit for the preservation and rehabilitation of historic buildings in California by Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) was signed into law today by Governor Gavin Newsom, putting into statute a measure that will spark reinvestment in California’s communities.

“This legislation will breathe new life into the buildings that give our cities and communities character and charm,” said Atkins, who authored SB 451. “Further, the Historic Tax Credit will increase the supply of affordable housing, support growth through infill development and encourage property rehabilitation and maintenance in economically depressed areas.”

SB 451 is a small piece of a larger puzzle to spur affordable housing creation in California. With this credit, California will now join 35 other states in offering such incentives, in addition to the federal Historic Tax Credit, which – since its inception – has spurred the creation of more than 300,000 new housing units, and the rehabilitation of more than 285,000 units – including more than 166,000 low- and moderate-income housing units.

One example in San Diego – the San Diego Athletic Club located downtown – took advantage of the federal Historic Tax Credit and was rehabilitated for the creation of 75 affordable low- to moderate-income housing units.

The Legislature had passed the bill unanimously.

SB 451 provides for a 20 percent to 25 percent tax credit toward rehabilitation expenses if the historic structure or qualified residence meets a specific set of criteria, and also contains transparency measures, including annual cap and reporting requirements.


Toni G. Atkins is President pro Tempore of the California Senate. Having previously served as Speaker of the California Assembly, she began her tenure in the Senate in 2016. As Senator for District 39, she represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. Website of President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins:

En Español