No matter where you live, you're probably familiar with the exorbitant cost of housing in California. In an effort to tackle this issue, Governor Gavin Newsom has recently signed two bills into law that are aimed at alleviating the state's housing crisis. Senate Bills 9 and 10 have been met with intense opposition, but they are not as revolutionary as some may think. The traditional rows of houses in suburban California, each with its own patio and fence, are largely a product of something called single-family zoning, a regulation that dictates that there can only be one house per plot of land.
Senate Bill 9 was introduced two years ago as a way to help resolve the serious housing crisis in California by allowing homeowners to convert their duplex homes into a single-family lot or divide the plot in half to build another duplex for a total of four units. This bill has been the most controversial proposal and has provoked angry opposition from homeowners and local government groups, who have labeled it “the beginning of the end of homeownership in California.” The second bill, Senate Bill 10, seeks to ease restrictions on the development of emergency shelters by requiring that any development regulations that apply to emergency shelters be objective. It also provides benefits for mixed-use projects and clarifies that local governments must take into account the remaining portion when determining the amount of inventory required by the law on the absence of net losses. The housing reform package approved in California over the past four years, including these last two measures, “is probably the biggest change in housing in 50 years or more,” according to Conor Dougherty, a reporter for The New York Times who writes about the economy in California.
Advocates say it will address the state's severe shortage of affordable housing, create generational wealth, and provide more rental and ownership opportunities to people with prices outside attractive neighborhoods. However, it continues to pose significant obstacles and increases costs for affordable housing developers and public agencies, who must carefully design projects and funding sources to ensure that projects are exempt from or comply with Article 34, and affordable housing developers often must seek more expensive sources of funding to avoid imposing their requirements. With these two bills signed into law by Governor Newsom, California is taking a step towards creating higher-density neighborhoods and addressing its severe housing crisis. While there is still much work to be done, these bills are an important step towards creating more affordable housing options for Californians.
In conclusion, California's new housing laws are an important step towards addressing its severe housing crisis. These bills will help create higher-density neighborhoods and provide more rental and ownership opportunities for people with prices outside attractive neighborhoods. They will also help create generational wealth and alleviate some of the financial burden associated with buying a home in California.