Updates on Housing Bills

By Sharon Byrne   |   March 26, 2021

We attended the Senate Housing Committee hearing on March 18 and advocated for Montecito on the following bills:

SB15, Sen. Anthony Portantino: This bill allows local cities to replace sales tax lost from closure of big box stores and rezone for affordable housing.

Sen. Scott Wiener, who chairs the committee, and is putting forth the controversial bill, SB10, decided to only allow 15 of the 48 public commenters to speak. 

We supported SB15, as we know from homeless outreach efforts that the lack of affordable housing is a huge roadblock to moving people indoors.

SB344, Sen. Robert Hertzberg: This bill continues a program to give grants to shelters to help manage and care for pets when individuals go to shelters. We have had a hard time in outreach when we needed to deal with an individual’s pets, and shelters would not accept them. 

We supported this bill.

SB10, Sen. Wiener: This is the reintroduction of last year’s failed SB902, with Sen. Toni Atkins having signed on as co-author.

The bill incentivizes local government to concentrate multi-unit housing in urban infill, job and transit-rich areas. It provides cities with a tool to skip the California Environmental Quality Act, if they choose. It can be used to up-zone communities, up to 10 units per single family residential lot.

We opposed this bill. It overturns voter initiatives on protected spaces and is a giveaway to developers that destroys community livability. It does not require the housing to be affordable, which is the real need. Surprisingly, nearly every trade union also spoke against this bill. 

The bill is moving to the Government and Finance committee next. 

SB477, Sen. Wiener: The California Housing Data Act makes requirements for housing laws sporadic, so the state has no ability to gauge effectiveness of the laws. This bill would fix that. 

One wonders if they shouldn’t do this first, before passing laws that require more housing to be built to meet Regional Housing Needs Allocation requirements.

Attend a Town Hall on Housing Legislation

We will host a Zoom town hall with United Neighbors, a statewide coalition of communities fighting SB9 and SB10, on Tuesday, March 30 at 6 pm. Go to our website www.montecitoassociation.org/advocacy to register for the event.

 

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