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author: Wiener
co-authors: Atkins, Allen, Arambula, Bocanegra, Bonta, Caballero, Gipson, Gloria, Grayson, Santiago, Vidak


California’s affordable housing crisis is devastating communities all across the state — well over 100,000 people are without homes. More affordable housing must be built as quickly as possible, which is the goal of SB 35. It streamlines regulations to encourage more housing construction. It also ensures prevailing wage for the workers building these projects, which was a key victory, and Governor Brown made its passage a pre-condition for supporting SB2 which created a permanent funding source for affordable housing through a new real estate fee. The mechanism established by the bill is complex, but it generally requires a limited percentage of affordable housing to be built if a developer builds so-called “market rate” housing, which is most often luxury housing. Grassroots activists agreed on the premise of the bill, but they were divided on the one size fits all approach that SB 35 takes. The bill fails to distinguish where streamlining would be harmful and where it would be beneficial. The groups most painfully impacted by the housing crisis — poor communities of color — strongly opposed it. After all was said and done, the bill gave away too​ much to luxury developers. The bill will lead to more market-rate and luxury housing without meaningfully adding to affordable housing stock. (This bill is now law.)