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California's Housing Bills Fall Short

Three bills at the top of the Democratic leadership's housing agenda will have little impact on the state's chronic housing shortage according to multiple analyses, and wouldn't affect the outcome of a Bay Area mega-development controversy.
August 14, 2017, 7am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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"The three marquee measures under consideration — Senate Bills 2, 3 and 35 — aim to increase funding for low-income housing projects and ease development regulations," reports Liam Dillon, who covers California state politics and policy for the Los Angeles Times and is based in Sacramento.

The measures are unlikely to help spur enough home building in general. Development would still fall short by tens of thousands of new homes needed annually just to keep pace with projected population growth.

In July, Dillon reported on the four the parts of parts of a housing deal being advanced by Gov. Jerry Brown, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount), according to Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland). When the legislature reconvenes after their recess on August 21, the Assembly will deal with all three bills which have cleared the Senate.

SB 2 and SB 3  "require two-thirds votes in both houses of the Legislature," writes Dillon, which won't be easy. "Some influential Democrats likely needed to vote in favor of SB 2 are already balking at raising fees. And voters will ultimately decide the bond’s fate."

Legislators pressure Brisbane City Council on mega-development

"But none of the pending housing bills — as written — would immediately force the city of Brisbane’s hand," reports Katy Murphy for The Mercury News on the 4,400 housing unit proposal known as Brisbane Baylands on 684 acres just south of San Francisco, which was the target of four area Democratic state legislators in a joint August 7 statement.

Sen. Weiner,  Assemblymember David Chiu, and Assemblymember Phil Ting, all of San Francisco, and Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin who represents Brisbane, directed their statement at the Brisbane City Council which was deliberating the housing proposal:

“The Bay Area and California are in this housing crisis for a long list of reasons, but the fundamental issue is that we simply do not have enough housing that our residents can afford. California got here as the result of thousands of decisions, like the one being considered by the Brisbane City Council tonight, where the question was should we build housing and, if so, how much housing should we build. Too often the answer has been to either build no housing, or to build very little of it."

"But after hearing passionate arguments from both sides, the City Council shelved the decision, prolonging a land-use debate that has dragged on since 2005," adds Murphy.

Hat tip to David McCoard.

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Published on Friday, August 11, 2017 in Los Angeles Times
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