If you care about California’s housing crisis, give SB50 a chance this time

By Kerry Cavanaugh, editorial writer, LA Times, Jan 7, 2019

“Whatever you think of SB 50, it’s pretty much the only serious proposal on the table that deals with the root causes of the state’s housing shortage, including the decades-long failure to construct enough homes to keep up with population growth and the zoning restrictions that dramatically limit the number of homes that can be built. If the bill fails to leave the Senate, then California’s most ambitious effort to spur housing construction will be dead, again, for another year.

“[Wiener’s] amendments to SB 50 [aim to] alleviate … the … criticisms … that … the bill robs well-intentioned communities of the opportunity to accommodate denser and more affordable housing near transit on their own terms. … Now SB 50 allows cities two years to adopt their own plans to … increase the amount of market-rate and affordable housing built near transit and job centers.”

Read more here.

Meanwhile, in Palo Alto, “Councilwoman Lydia Kou refused to vote for new Mayor Adrian Fine — a proponent of SB 50 — on the grounds of his support for the proposed legislation. Reiterating earlier criticisms, Kou called the bill ‘one-size-fits-all’ and said any amendments would be ‘lipstick on a pig.’ On Monday, Fine said he plans to make housing one of his top priorities as mayor. ‘We’ve been averaging about 50 to 60 (new homes) per year,’ Fine said. ‘In my opinion, that’s not good enough.’ ” Fine, age 33, holds an MCP from UPenn.