Resounding Council YES to Denser Housing near Transit

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The Bay Area Council Housing Committee this week endorsed Sen. Scott Wiener’s revised legislation aimed at increasing housing density near public transportation. Under SB 50, housing density limits would be raised near transit, job centers and high-quality public schools. The Committee also heard from TMG Partners CEO (and former Council Chair) Michael Covarrubias about a bold regional plan to address the region’s housing crisis. Covarrubias is a Co-Chair of Committee to House the Bay Area, or CASA, which the Metropolitan Transportation Commission convened to come up with solutions. The 10-point, 15-year “emergency policy package” CASA unveiled on Wednesday (Dec. 12) included a range of proposals to speed up new housing approvals, encourage denser housing near transit, expand rental and housing assistance programs, promote accessory dwelling units and impose emergency rent caps, among others. The plan calls for creating 35,000 housing units a year, well above current levels. Many of the proposals would need legislative action to take effect. The Committee took no action on the CASA plan and the Council is continuing its review. The Committee also received a presentation by Nomaad, an Italian company that manufactures an innovative new housing type that uses high-rise technology to create extremely light stackable all-inclusive micro units. The Committee also endorsed three projects that would add 1,187 new units of much needed housing in Berkeley, Mountain View and Lafayette. To engage in the Council’s housing policy work, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.

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