Housing solutions fizzle in legislature

By Ethan Elkind, September 3, 2020

“Housing policy is at the center of all of our major societal problems in the United States.

“Expect worsening racial injustice and segregation, greenhouse gas emissions, and economic inequality until the state can meaningfully address” housing production.

“Why can’t we address the high cost of housing, particularly near transit and jobs? There are two culprits: high-income homeowners who support exclusionary local land use policies that restrict housing supply, which prevents others from moving into their communities and deprives them of the educational and economic opportunities that come with living in these areas. Second, the state and federal government are unwilling to provide sufficient public subsidies for affordable housing (though the scale of the need at this point is simply massive, especially given the country’s inability to build housing at a reasonable price).”

A dozen “housing bills from the original legislative ‘housing package’ in January did not survive.” The few that passed include:

AB 725 (Wicks): requires that no more than 75 percent of a city’s regionally assigned above-moderate income housing quota can be accommodated by zoning exclusively for single-family homes, with the remainder on sites with at least 4 units.

AB 1851 (Wicks): requires local governments to approve a faith-based organization’s request to build affordable housing on their lots and allows faith-based organizations to reduce or eliminate parking requirements.

AB 2345 (Gonzalez): increases the density bonus and the number of incentives available for a qualifying housing project.

SB 288 (Wiener): temporarily exempts from CEQA review infill projects like bike lanes, transit, bus-only lanes, EV charging, and local actions to reduce parking minimums, among others, until 2023.”

Read the full article here. (~3 ½ min.)

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