council urges continued talks on by-right housing reforms

The Bay Area Council and Southern California Leadership Council, which are leading a statewide coalition of employers, affordable housing advocates, home builders and public policy groups in support of Gov. Jerry Brown’s by-right housing reforms, today (Aug. 12) issued the following statement urging continued negotiations on legislation to enact the Governor’s proposal. The bill would fast track approval of urban infill housing developments that meet affordability requirements and conform with all locally approved land use and zoning laws.

“California’s historic housing crisis won’t go away on its own, and it’s slamming the state’s door shut to future generations – sons, daughters, grandchildren – who can’t afford skyrocketing rents and home prices brought about by an epic shortage. In the final weeks of the current legislative session, we call on our legislative leaders to roll up their sleeves and negotiate with Governor Brown to craft workable, sensible reforms that speed the construction of all types of new housing statewide, especially affordable and urban infill housing that conforms with approved local land use and zoning laws. And we offer whatever assistance we can, including sitting down at the negotiating table, to help reach an agreement on this critical and forward-looking policy. 

“We can’t allow a few special interests that care more about preserving the status quo to undermine responsible and needed housing reforms aimed at helping millions of Californians — working families, seniors, young people, teachers and public servants, shop owners and workers, lower and middle class families with good jobs—who are being forced out, living in overcrowded conditions and battling grueling megacommutes. Californians who are spending up to 60 percent of their income on housing costs that are the main reason for the state’s nation-leading poverty rate.

“The problem could not be more clear. For decades, California has come up short in providing the housing that residents need. And while California has some of the strongest and most innovative land use and environmental protection laws in the world, those laws are too-often hijacked to keep out new residents and block new housing for reasons that have nothing to do with environmental protection. The results are equally clear: poverty, gentrification, displacement and growing commutes that threaten the state’s world-leading efforts to combat climate change.

“The state must act now to adopt reforms that will spur more housing and ensure that future generations have the same opportunity as those living here now to call California home.”

More than 2,200 Californians have signed the Council’s petition in support of the Governor’s by-right housing reform plan. Sign the petition>>

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