More Workforce Housing for a Growing Region

The Bay Area faces an unprecedented housing crisis that impacts every family, worker, and company in our region. Despite visionary state planning goals to “build in” and reduce our greenhouse gas footprint, our system of approving and building housing is failing to provide infill housing at a rate that corresponds with job growth, resulting in increased competition for fewer available homes, rising prices, overcrowding, longer commutes and community dislocation. The housing crisis threatens our diverse communities, our economy, and our environment.

The Council is advancing innovative, actionable solutions to address old, persistent problems that impede development.  In the past four years, we successfully passed four important pro-housing bills and helped shepherd many others to a successful conclusion. In the 2007-14 Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) cycle, the Bay Area permitted just 57% of the units needed to meet projected population growth – 17,500 per year. Our objective is to hit 125% of the 2015-2023 RHNA target and average 29,500 units a year (including accessory dwelling units) and implement policies to reduce the per unit costs by 20%.

Recent Wins

  • Continued progress on state housing legislation: AB 831 (Grayson) to streamline the approval process for housing created by SB 35; SB 1227 (Skinner) to expand student housing on campuses in Bay Area and rest of state; SB 828 (Wiener) to hold cities more accountable for meeting their housing obligations; and AB 2923 (Chiu, Grayson) to increase transit-oriented development near BART stations.
  • Endorsed and fought for projects that resulted in over 8,000 approved units.
  • Established “Casita Coalition”, a statewide initiative to support the construction of accessory dwelling units – ADUs, or granny units, which have the potential to add over 150,000 units of housing to the Bay Area. In 2020, the Casita Coalition raised more than $700,000 to launch a homeowner awareness campaign.  Learn more!

2021 Policy Activities

  • Push for large-scale zoning reform in California.
  • Sponsor and support legislation to reduce the per unit construction costs in California.
  • Increase diversity and access within the real estate industry.
  • Continue state and local advocacy to further expand the stock of ADUs.
    • Work to alleviate existing cost barriers such as development fees and stringent environmental regulations (Title 24), as well as supporting amnesty statewide and innovative finance mechanisms.

Housing Resources in the Time of COVID-19

The Bay Area Council in coordination with our regional partners: Bay Area Housing Advocacy Coalition, YIMBY ActionSPUR, and SV@Home, has created this guide to provide information for homebuilders, renters, and homeowners in the Bay Area during the COVID-19 “Shelter In Place” orders. The information was gathered from elected officials and staff in cities/counties. Please note, we have not independently verified any of the information.

We want to point out that this situation and rules associated with it are changing constantly. All of this information was current when the page was originally created, finalized on April 8th, 2020. If you have up-to-date information, additional information, or questions, please contact Policy Manager Kelli Fallon.

Get Involved! 

Housing Committee: Our housing crisis is impacting people, businesses, and communities well beyond the nine-county Bay Area. Participate in bi-monthly meetings to support our efforts in addressing the housing shortage.

Committee Chairs:

Mary Murphy, Partner, GibsonDunn & Crutcher LLP
Dave Hopkins, Chief Operating Officer, Sares Regis Group of Northern California

Project Endorsement Subcommittee: Help the Bay Area Council support more housing by reviewing well-planned mixed-use and residential developments in the region, or submit your project for our endorsement.

Committee Chairs:

Jonathan Fearn, Sr. Director, Development at Greystar
Jeremy Bamberger, Architect, Solomon Cordwell Buenz

Casita Coalition: Interested in advocating for more accessory dwelling units? The Bay Area Council is a proud co-founder of the Casita Coalition.  The Casita Coalition believes that small homes – ADUs, cottage clusters, and small multiplex – can improve housing choice and opportunity throughout California.  Visit their website to learn more! www.CasitaCoalition.org

If interested in any of these efforts, email kfallon@bayareacouncil.org and check out our upcoming events

Policy Leads

Matt Regan image
Matt Regan

Senior Vice President, Public Policy


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