The Bay Area Council’s unrelenting advocacy for removing barriers to creating badly needed housing is making an impact. On Monday (May 16) the Council scored a huge win when the State Senate overwhelmingly passed SB 1069. Authored by Senator Bob Wieckowski of Fremont and introduced at the Council’s request, SB 1069 would make it easier and less expensive to add accessory dwelling units (ADUs), better known as second units, by reducing parking requirements and streamlining the permitting process, among other features.
Even more significant, Gov. Jerry Brown made the unusual move of specifically endorsing SB 1069 in his May budget revision released the week before and announcing his support for “by right” approval of infill housing. The Council has long advocated for so-called “by right” approval, which can dramatically speed up the process and reduce costs for building housing that meets certain affordability and other requirements. The plug from Gov. Brown came shortly after meetings the Council held with top administration officials and legislative leaders on housing during our Sacramento advocacy day in early May.
Addressing the Bay Area’s lack of workforce housing is among the Council’s top policy priorities under the leadership of Housing Committee Co-Chairs Denise Pinkston of TMG Partners and Kofi Bonner of Lennar Urban.
SB 1069 now moves to the Assembly, where it faces stiffer opposition. The Council has assembled a diverse coalition of supporters, including business, environmental, social welfare and other organizations. Just recently, the Council helped secure SB 1069 endorsements from the powerful Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the City of Oakland. The Council estimates that if just 10 percent of the Bay Area’s 1.5 million single family homeowners added a second unit, the region’s affordable housing supply would grow by 150,000 units. To support SB 1069 and engage in the Bay Area Council’s housing policy work, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.