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Why are key California affordable housing bills bottled up?

Original post made on Jul 29, 2021

Affordable housing advocates are asking why bills supported by Senate leader Toni Atkins are stuck in the Assembly. One answer appears to be a provision pushed by the State Building and Construction Trades Council.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, July 29, 2021, 9:23 AM

Comments (3)

Posted by Eric Filseth
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 29, 2021 at 11:28 am

Eric Filseth is a registered user.

Well, I think this is one of the major dichotomies that Assemblyman Kiley was talking about at the Assembly Housing Committee last month, regarding SB9 and similar bills: a Legislature “strategy of avoidance” that fights against cities (and their voters) on cosmetic but ineffectual measures, but not against Special Interests on truly impactful ones. He said:

“[There are] … many other commonsense solutions that reasonable people concerned just with implementing good policy would be able to agree on. But we’re not doing any of that.

“Instead the one lever that we’re going to try to pull is what this bill does, which is to address zoning, relax some of the restrictiveness of zoning … you have to ask why is that? Why is this the one thing that we’re really willing to do anything about?

“My read is you have in favor of a bill like [SB9], some very powerful interests that have a lot of pull on both sides of the aisle … enough political muscle to overcome the strong opposition, and quite legitimate opposition in some cases, of local government.

“And so because it’s Sacramento interests on one side, and just local government on the other, that’s a battle we’re willing to fight. But in order to address any of the other parts of the housing problem, suddenly then you have Sacramento special interests on both sides, and you have even more powerful special interests on the opposition side. And so we’re not willing to fight those battles.

“I’ve started to ask myself, am I, you know, enabling a strategy of avoidance, where we look like we’re doing something to address housing, but actually avoiding the much bigger issues that are responsible for us having by far the worst housing situation in the country.”

- Kevin Kiley, Assembly District 6, June 22, 2021
Web Link

Not what our kids learn in Civics class, is it. The question, of course, is where do other Assembly members stand?


Posted by Jeremy Erman
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 29, 2021 at 4:49 pm

Jeremy Erman is a registered user.

All of these "affordable housing" bills, and the ideas behind them, tap-dance around the real issue, which is that many landlords are greedy and won't charge reasonable rents for the properties they own, and won't build new basic apartments, only luxury ones.


Posted by pat
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 29, 2021 at 5:46 pm

pat is a registered user.

I was on a Zoom call a few weeks ago with Assemblyman Marc Berman and 193(!) other citizens who are concerned about SB9. Berman said he had not had an opportunity to study the bill yet, but was familiar at a high level. Not nearly familiar enough! He said the intention is to allow 4 homes on a lot after it had been split. Analysis shows up to 8 homes could be built on a split lot: Web Link

He asked for followup information which was sent to him a few days later. The letter contains many cogent arguments against SB9 and SB10 -- which most legislators are completely unaware of because they rely on the one-page "Fact" Sheet they get from the bills' authors.

I urge you to read the letter at:
Web Link


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