Senator Skinner and Council Talk Solutions to Housing Crisis

On Thursday (June 29), the Bay Area Council Housing Committee met with State Senator Nancy Skinner, whose district covers large parts of Contra Costa and Alameda counties, to discuss Sacramento’s appetite for comprehensive housing reform. Despite efforts by Senator Skinner and other legislators to move the needle on housing, including Skinner’s SB 167 Housing Accountability Act to make it more difficult for cities to say no to housing, broad political will for bold action is missing. Even though this year was coined the “year of housing,” much of the legislation that has been introduced unfortunately only chips away at the massive problem.

Senator Skinner welcomed innovative ideas from both the Bay Area Council and speaker Brian Hanlon, co-founder of the California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund and YIMBY party member. Some potential policy solutions that were discussed included making transportation funding contingent on meeting regional housing need allocations (RHNA), using CEQA against cities that downzone, and exploring what could be accomplished under a Housing “State of Emergency.”

In addition to offering new housing policy ideas to the Senator, the Housing Committee also welcomed new Co-Chair Carla Boragno, Vice President of Site Services at Genentech. She joins Co-Chairs Kofi Bonner of FivePoint and Denise Pinkston of TMG Partners. The Council is thrilled to be adding her fresh perspective as a large Bay Area employer to the committee. Welcome Carla!  To engage with the Housing Committee, contact Senior Vice President Public Policy, Matt Regan.

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