key housing, water data bills move forward
Two bills the Bay Area Council is sponsoring to remove barriers to an untapped source of affordable housing and improve how California uses data to better manage water cleared a first round of Legislative committees this week (April 21). Creating more workforce housing and improving California’s water system are among the Council’s top policy priorities.
SB 1069 by State Sen. Bob Wieckowski of Fremont would make it easier for homeowners to add second units, also known as accessory dwelling units (ADU), to single family homes. If ADUs were added to just 10 percent of Bay Area homes, this region alone would gain 150,000 new housing units. Council Housing Committee Co-Chair Denise Pinkston of TMG Partners testified in support of the bill, which is also backed by diverse coalition the Council has assembled including the AARP, California Chamber of Commerce, Western Center on Law and Poverty, Kaiser Permanente and Facebook, among many others. “Bay Area companies are having a tough time hiring employees because they cannot find housing in today’s tight market without having to drive two to three hours a day,” Pinkston said. “This common-sense bill makes modest changes, but will have huge impacts on the supply of affordable secondary units.” To engage in our housing policy work, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.
AB 1755 by Assemblymember Bill Dodd of Napa also moved forward this week with a bipartisan 12-1 vote of the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee. Developed with the help of the Council’s Water Committee under the leadership of Co-Chairs Jim Levine of Montezuma Wetlands and Andy Ball of Suffolk Construction, AB 1755 would create an open, publicly accessible online clearing house for critical water data that would improve water conservation, reduce waste and ensure greater reliability in times of shortages. Policy Director Adrian Covert testified before the committee about the importance of an open and transparent water market in helping California make better and smarter decisions about how we use water. Water data currently is fragmented across various state departments and agencies. This is an important success on the pathway to establishing a functioning statewide water market. To engage in our water policy work, please contact Policy Director Adrian Covert.