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Evaluating the Results of New Protections for Affordable Housing Development

California's Senate Bill 35 is touted by affordable housing advocates and other pro-development forces as an example of what good developments can happen when local obstructions are moved out of the way by the state.
November 26, 2019, 8am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Riverside, California
Orange Grove

More than 40 projects around California have used SB 35 since the law went into effect in January 2018, according to an article by Marisa Kendall. "The law requires most cities to fast-track residential and mixed-use projects that meet certain affordability and other standards."

Kendall is sharing the findings of analysis by The Mercury News, which concludes: "California city officials have approved or are still considering more than 6,000 homes proposed under the law — including about 4,500 in the Bay Area..."

The projects identified by The Mercury News include mostly subsidized units for low-income renters, but large mixed-income and mixed-use projects are missing from the list of projects enabled by the law.

"SB 35’s strict rules — requiring as much as half of a project be subsidized, low-income housing, and mandating a builder pay workers the local prevailing wage, for instance — aren’t worth the added expense for many market-rate developers said Oakland-based land-use attorney Todd Williams."

As noted by Kendall, a new law approved and signed in October, AB 1485, would expand the purview of SB 35 to include more middle-income projects.

Full Story:
Published on Monday, November 25, 2019 in The Mercury News
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