California is facing a severe housing crisis, and Californians need real housing solutions.
The state will need an estimated 1.8 million new homes by 2025 in order to meet demand, yet on average, only 80,000 new homes are built per year, according to the Department of Housing and Community Development. As communities throughout California work to accommodate projected growth, there is a unique opportunity to pursue legislation and policies that support the needs of local governments and Californians.
In an effort to create housing opportunities and solutions for California, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), and Senators Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), along with Senators María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), Richard Roth (D-Riverside), and Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), have introduced the “Building Opportunities for All” Senate Housing Package.
The package of bills empowers homeowners who want to help solve the crisis, provides more land-use tools and flexibility to meet the needs of local governments and community partners, and streamlines procedural hurdles. With the continued threat of COVID-19 and the danger it poses to workers and families without adequate housing, addressing this issue is critical.
Individually, these bills each address a variety of causes that have contributed to the lack of housing production in our state. Together, they make up a unified approach to this challenge, creating pathways to home ownership, stable housing for vulnerable families, and a pathway to economic stability for individuals and families.
(Atkins, Caballero, McGuire, Roth, Rubio, Skinner, Wiener)
Senate Bill 5 establishes the initial framework for a statewide housing bond that would fund the creation of new, affordable housing for homeless and low-income families.
Senate Bill 6 authorizes residential development on existing lots currently zoned for commercial office and retail space such as strip malls or large “big box” retail spaces. The bill requires the development of residential units be at a minimum density to accommodate affordable housing and abide by existing local planning and development ordinances.
Senate Bill 7 seeks to improve the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process by extending and expanding provisions of AB 900, which streamlined paperwork and expedited legal challenges to large, multi-benefit housing, energy, and manufacturing projects. SB 7 would extend the 2021 ‘sunset’ of AB 900, which created jobs and investment in the state, through 2025.
California is in an extreme housing shortage. We now rank 49th in the number of housing units per capita and are home to 33 of the 50 US cities with the highest rents. SB 8 will address our housing crisis by focusing on opportunities to ensure housing production can continue to move forward in the state.
Senate Bill 9 promotes small-scale neighborhood residential development by streamlining the process for a homeowner to create a duplex or subdivide an existing lot in residential areas. This bill builds on the successful approach of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and expands options for homeowners who wish to be part of the solution in solving California’s housing crisis.
SB 10 allows cities to upzone areas close to job centers, transit, and existing urbanized areas to allow up to ten units without having to go through the lengthy CEQA process. SB 10 will make it easier for cities to build housing affordable to young people and working families.