Tag: 2020-04-nn-roundup

Scott Weiner has another bill to build denser housing in California

By Alexei Koseff, San Francisco Chronicle, March 9, 2020

“After failing to pass legislation to open up less densely populated parts of California to multifamily housing, state Sen. Scott Wiener is trying again with a ‘lighter touch’ plan aimed at suburbs.

“The San Francisco Democrat today introduced SB902, which would essentially eliminate single-family zoning across the state by allowing multi-unit housing in nearly all residential neighborhoods. Unlike [SB50], Wiener’s new proposal would cap the number of units that could be built in the smallest communities at two [per lot], three in midsize cities.

“SB902 would create a right to build or convert homes into small multifamily housing in any residential neighborhood in the state, outside of areas at high risk of wildfires.

“In unincorporated areas and cities up to 10,000 people, the bill would allow duplexes on any property. It would permit a building with up to three units in a city with between 10,000 and 50,000 people, and up to four units in a city with more than 50,000.

“The legislation would not make changes to local height or design standards — a major source of anxiety for many opponents of SB50.

“But the new bill does create an option for cities to rezone residential parcels for apartment or condominium projects up to 10 units, without having to go through the formal environmental review that Wiener said can add five to 10 years to the process. Unlike his previous measure, allowing such construction would be up to cities — it would not be a state requirement.

“The provision would apply to neighborhoods near public transit and in high-income areas with access to jobs and good schools. Cities could choose to adopt the change for any qualifying area through an ordinance.

“The League of California Cities, which led opposition to SB50, declined to discuss Wiener’s latest proposal before its members had a chance to review the language. But the organization shared a ‘blueprint for more housing’ that it released last week, which suggested that California should provide options for changes to local regulations. Among more than a dozen it suggested was ‘allowing up to fourplexes in single-family zones.’

“Led by Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins of San Diego, the Senate Democratic caucus is working on a new housing production bill to replace SB50, which left the Democrats bitterly divided. That forthcoming measure could remove some of the urgency for Wiener’s SB902, though he said his bill would be complementary to whatever the Senate leadership comes up with.

“There is significant political space to make change and move the dial around housing this year,” he said.”

Read the full article here. More information about the League of California Cities Housing Production Proposal referred to in the article can be found here.

San Jose’s Measure E passes; will fund homelessness services and affordable housing

By Richard Davis, associate editor

San Jose’s Measure E, a property sale transaction tax intended to fund homelessness services and affordable housing, has likely passed. Ballots were still being counted as of March 12.

According to SV@Home, “The Mayor’s March Budget Message included recommendations for the allocation of Measure E funds, which are expected to begin being collected in July. The Mayor’s recommendations follow the initial spending plan approved by the City Council in December that allocates Measure E funding as follows:

  • “45 percent for extremely low-income households (below 30% of area median income);
  • “35 percent for very low-income (VLI) and low-income (LI) households (30-80% of AMI);
  • “About 10 percent for moderate-income households (80-120% of AMI) and below-market rate housing; and
  • “10 percent for homeless prevention activities.

SV@Home, a membership organization, bills itself as “the voice for affordable housing in the Silicon Valley.”

In addition, “most of the new funding from Measure E will be used to expand current resources for developing affordable housing,” according to SV@Home.

Related priorities identified by Mayor Sam Liccardo include:

  • “Identifying sites for additional Bridge Housing Communities (small home communities for the homeless);
  • “Immediate ramping up of public and private investment in homelessness prevention,
  • “New programs aimed at homeless students;
  • “Additional investment in policies and programs to promote accessory dwelling units (ADUs); and
  • “Continued work on establishing a navigation center for people experiencing homelessness in the City.”

SV@Home’s full March 12 coverage of housing-related ballot measures in Santa Clara County’s recent election can be found here.

Dozens of homeless find housing in downtown San Jose

By Marisa Kendall, East Bay Times, March 6, 2020

“Villas on the Park officially opened its doors, providing permanent housing to more than 90 people who previously had been sleeping in cars, on the streets, or in other unstable situations.”

The facility “provides ‘permanent supportive housing,’ which includes services for residents such as medical and mental health care, case management, job training and résumé building, skills workshops, and social activities.”

“It’s one of three such buildings for the homeless that have opened in San Jose in the past seven months — a big shift in strategy for a city that, before last year, didn’t have any developments like it.”

Credit: Dahlin Group, Villas on the Park http://bit.ly/33jFbWq

“The Villas on the Park team started meeting with the community in 2015, hoping to convince neighbors the project would be a good thing. In the beginning, hundreds of people were opposed. By the time the plan went before the City Council, not a person objected.”

Ray Bramson, chief impact officer of Destination:Home, a non-profit developer of permanent supportive housing, “hopes that once neighbors see attractive, finished projects like Villas, they will let go of old stereotypes.”

“The project was partially funded by Measure A, Santa Clara County’s $950 million affordable housing bond, which has funded 21 projects since it passed in 2016. Other funders include the city of San Jose, Housing Trust Silicon Valley, the Santa Clara County Housing Authority, and Bank of America.”

Read the full article here.