Housing Committee Celebrates Productive 2019

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The Bay Area Council’s Housing Committee met Monday to reflect on what has been a highly productive year, with passage of a number of key bills focused on boosting housing supply, continuing success on accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and advocacy that helped win approval of thousands of new housing units across the region.

The Committee, under the leadership of Co-Chair Lou Vasquez, Principal and Managing Director of Build Inc., welcomed David Garcia, Policy Director for the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley, who gave an overview of the various reports they produced to inform and analyze state housing legislation considered this year. Garcia highlighted a report that largely refuted criticism of SB 50, a bill by Sen. Scott Wiener (San Francisco) to streamline local housing approvals and allow for higher density housing near transit-rich areas. Opponents blocked the bill this year, but it will be returning in 2020. Analysis Terner provided on impact fees, rent caps and accessory dwelling units also informed a number of other keys bills, Garcia said.

Council Policy Director Xiomara Cisneros reviewed the Council’s 2019 housing wins, including legislation to ease regulatory burdens and fees for building ADUs and a handful of regional housing production bills. Cisneros highlighted the Council’s endorsement of numerous housing developments that helped win approval of 7,853 units throughout the Bay Area. The Council also co-founded a new nonprofit called the Casita Coalition that is making great strides in advancing our groundbreaking work to expand ADU construction. And Cisneros described the Council’s continuing engagement regional housing initiatives like the Regional Housing Needs Allocation Methodology Committee. After the presentations, Committee members broke for the networking holiday reception, and raised a glass to the New Year! To engage in the Council’s housing policy work, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.

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