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The Looming Dangers of California State Senate Bills 9 and 10

FALSE SOLUTIONS-It is important that Californians up and down the state understand just how terrible Senate Bills 9 and SB 10 are and that action must be immediately taken by all to express opposition to these measures to your local State Assembly representatives while the Assembly is in recess and returns on August 16th. Your local Senator should also be contacted.

These measures are being falsely promoted as a way to address California's affordable housing challenges, but they do NOT require any affordable housing units. Instead, they destabilize existing communities by incentivizing developers and institutional investors to gobble up our R1 houses and lots to build absentee-owned luxury and market rate units (6 to 14 units per lot depending upon the bill) wherever they choose without regard for infrastructure (e.g., water, sewer and electrical service capacity, schools, public services) or adjacent uses.   

Not only do Senate Bills 9 and 10 fail to provide affordable housing, but they undermine programs that require the provision of affordable units to obtain density bonuses. Why would a developer or institutional investment fund build where they must provide affordable housing units and maintain those units as such for 55 years to gain added density, height, and/or reduced setback and parking requirements? They are unlikely to voluntarily choose this option if they can build without such restrictions on R1 parcels.   

By allowing developers and investors to decide where new housing should be build -- based upon where profits and return on investment can best be maximized -- SB 9 and 10 leave taxpayers holding the bag. They will need to pay for infrastructure improvements in a hodge-podge and more expensive manner than if development is planned and focused on specific commercial mass transit corridors through carefully monitored transit-oriented bonus density programs.   

Planning is best done by local planning departments with local citizen input to more efficiently provide for needed amenities and to address the needs of local communities. The State of California has no business micromanaging this local planning function by implementing statewide, one-size-fits-all legislation that makes housing problems worse and more expensive at the local level. Further, individuals and families will have an almost impossible time competing with institutional investors to buy homes, leaving a growing tenant class in the wake of this legislation. Instead of helping to solve the homeless crisis in California, this legislation would lay the foundation for future generations of homeless people unable to keep up with rent increases implemented to meet the demands of investors. Not only does this leave tenants at the mercy of these absentee institutional owners, but it prevents families from having a home, establishing roots in a community, and passing that generational wealth to their children. It has been well-documented that having a mortgage is one of the best mechanisms to force savings and grow family wealth.   

Through the statewide planning process, local municipalities have been issued ambitious numerical housing goals and the responsibility for zoning land to meet those goals. It is time that Sacramento elected officials stop trying to zone from afar, without knowledge of local conditions or the needs of diverse local communities.   

The California State legislature will soon return from its summer recess. We can all make a difference now by spreading the word about this dangerous legislation. You won't read about these bills in the mainstream media, and it is the concerned public who will make a difference. It is up to each of us to make noise, spread the word, and be heard.    

 

Join a statewide Town Hall at 10 AM, Saturday, August 7, 2021.

Register at https://tinyurl.com/ytnxr64y     

You will receive a confirmation email about joining the meeting.

 

If you are unable to do so, visit the Livable California website:   https://www.livablecalifornia.org/

 

Or United Neighbors: https://www.unitedneighbors.net/

Both websites will offer frequent updates on this legislation.

 

Please sign this petition to the State Assembly at: https://tinyurl.com/SB9NO