SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – Two days after surviving the recall effort against him, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed several bills aimed at addressing the housing shortage and affordability crisis, one of the most pressing issues in the state.
“Having a significant impact on this crisis will require bold investments, strong collaboration between sectors and the political courage of our leaders and communities to do the right thing and build housing for all,” Newsom said in a press release.
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Some of the measures signed by Newsom include Senate Bill 9 by State Sen. Pro President Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego). The measure, also known as the California Housing Opportunity and More Efficiency (HOME) Act, would make it easier to build additional housing in areas zoned only for single-family homes.
“The intent of SB 9 is clear – to streamline the process so that homeowners can create a duplex or subdivide their existing property up to four units – and aims to put California home availability on the path to inclusion in order to that more families can make the California dream come true, “Atkins said in a statement.
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Newsom also signed Senate Bill 10 by State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who is also tackling the issue of zoning. Under SB 10, local governments can zone areas for buildings up to 10 units in areas close to public transportation, without having to go through the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process.
“It shouldn’t take five or 10 years for cities to switch zones, and SB 10 gives cities a powerful new tool to get the job done quickly,” said Wiener, who had pushed past measures to increase housing density in areas rich in transit.
Other housing laws signed by Newsom on Thursday include Senate Bill 8 by State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), who is extending provisions to speed up the housing approval process until 2030.
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The issue of zoning only for single-family homes has come under intense scrutiny in recent years as a cause of racial segregation in housing and as house prices have skyrocketed in California. Earlier this year, Berkeley and Sacramento by-laws put an end to single-family zoning.