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A majority of Bay Area cities and counties this week struggled to meet a deadline for submitting plans required by the state to show how they will meet their obligations for addressing the region’s housing crisis. By our estimates, about 65 of the region’s 110 cities and counties missed the deadline to add a substantial 440,000 new homes to their housing elements, double previous requirements. 
Council Vice President Louis Mirante commented on the lacking local response in a San Francisco Chronicle story this week.
Local resistance to approving new housing is one of the major reasons for California’s housing and homelessness crisis. To address this intransigence, the Bay Area Council sponsored legislation (Weiner, SB 828) in 2018 that not only increased the allocation cities and counties receive for approving and permitting new housing but strengthened accountability to ensure they achieved their numbers.
Now, jurisdictions that miss the Housing Element deadline may be open to the so-called Builder’s Remedy, a law which the Council was instrumental in creating in the 1990s. Under the Builder’s Remedy, when cities and counties fail to submit compliant Housing Elements on time, homebuilders can build almost anything they want, anywhere they want, as long as 20 percent of the units are designated affordable and the project meets local design standards. It’s unclear how many new projects might proceed under the Builder’s Remedy, but the threat could be enough to light a fire under local jurisdictions. To engage in the Council’s housing policy work, please contact Vice President Louis Mirante.

For More Information Contact:

Louis Mirante image
Louis Mirante

Vice President of Public Policy, Housing

(510) 908-0537

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