major setback for ambitious housing reform bill

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Ambitious legislation that would have dramatically eased local zoning and removed other regulatory barriers to allow for more housing near jobs and transit got sidelined this week. The legislation (SB 50) by Sen. Scott Wiener (San Francisco) was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee by Chair Anthony Portantino (Pasadena) in a move that caught almost everyone, including Gov. Newsom, by surprise. The bill was part of a package of legislation the Council was supporting to increase housing production and provide various protections for renters and lower-income residents.

Sen. Wiener remained optimistic that his legislation still could be revived this year and, failing that, that it will return next year. The setback for SB 50, one of hundreds of housing-related bills introduced this year, is a major disappointment in what many had been calling “the year for housing.” To engage in the Council’s housing policy work, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.

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