Council’s Housing Advocacy Rewarded; More Work to Do

An intensive advocacy effort led by the Bay Area Council was rewarded late Thursday (June 9) when legislative leaders and Governor Jerry Brown announced a preliminary agreement on making landmark reforms to speed approval of new affordable housing statewide.

The Governor in his May budget revision included legislation that would allow cities to give simple administrative or “by right” approval of housing developments that are consistent with existing local planning, building and zoning regulations and that set aside either 20 percent of new homes for lower-income residents or 10 percent when the development is located close to transit. Meanwhile, legislators were asking the Governor for funding in the budget to boost low-income housing assistance programs.

In the deal announced Thursday, the housing assistance funding would be released as long as the “by right” reforms win approval in the legislature. The Council, under the leadership of Housing Committee Co-Chair Denise Pinkston of TMG Partners, in recent weeks has mounted an aggressive advocacy effort in support of “by right” housing approval, assembling a broad statewide coalition of business leaders and groups, meeting with key legislative leaders and driving a highly successful social media campaign. Our thanks to SV Angel Founder Ron Conway for his great support.

Like many things in Sacramento, however, the devil is in the details, and there is still work to be done on the specific language for by right approval. The Council is continuing its advocacy ahead of the budget deadline of June 15. To engage in our housing advocacy, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.

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