Celebrating Affordable Housing Victories, And Looking to the Future

California is growing. From all corners of the United States and from countries across the world, people come to build a life in the Golden State. But California is failing to provide for all people equally. And the state's inability to produce enough housing threatens its very future.

When there are not enough homes, prices skyrocket. Low- and middle-income residents get displaced. Historic neighborhoods disapear. The California housing crisis is why homelessness is on the rise, even in the very richest parts of the state.

To keep up with demand, California should be building 180,000 homes each year. But the state has built just 80,000, on average, in each of the last 10 years. As a result, researchers have called for California to build almost 2 million homes by 2025.

At long last, California lawmakers this year approved a set of bills designed to address the interconnected factors behind the housing crisis. These hard-won legislative victories will begin to close the housing-production gap and will allow millions of hard-working California families to find—and keep—a safe, quality place to call home, with Governor Gavin Newsom's signature.

SB 330:

Also known as The Housing Crisis Act of 2019, this bill will spur affordable housing production across the state by streamlining the complex process by which permits for housing production get approved.

AB 1482:

To protect hard-working Californians who rent, this bill prevents rent-gouging by capping annual rent increases; it also protects against discriminatory and retaliatory evictions.

AB 1486:

This bill expands access to “surplus” public lands across the state, making them available for new affordable housing development.

AB 1487:

To address the acute needs of the Bay Area, this bill establishes a new housing agency for the region, and will help raise money for affordable housing production.

Additional affordable housing bills approved by the legislature this year include AB 68, AB 881, AB 1483, AB 1485, SB 18, and SB 6.

These victories are only the beginning of the movement for housing production and affordability in California.

In 2020, lawmakers will have the opportunity to vote on other priority reforms, including SB 50, a critical bill that would counter some of the trickiest barriers to housing production. And in between now and 2020, the legislative recess represents an opportunity for continued advocacy.

The Three P’s coalition represents a broad and diverse set of organizations from business, labor, housing, environmental justice, local government, and other sectors who have come together to secure California’s housing future—and this work will continue as long as is necessary.

Together, we can uplift our neighbors, protect families, seniors, veterans, and other vulnerable populations, and ensure the future prosperity of our state.

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