Sep 30, 2022 - News

Gavin Newsom signs wave of housing bills

Gavin Newsom

California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a press conference on Wednesday. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed dozens of bills into law on Wednesday meant to "address the worsening housing crisis" in California by speeding up the production of new homes across the state, the Chronicle reports.

Details: Among the slew of bills were two (AB2011 and SB6) aimed at making it easier to convert underused or vacant commercial spaces β€” such as big-box stores, strip malls and office parks β€” into housing.

  • Another (SB 886), authored by state Sen. Scott Wiener, strives to streamline student and faculty housing projects for California's public colleges and universities by exempting them from the California Environmental Quality Act if they meet certain requirements.

What they're saying: "This is a moment on a journey to reconcile the original sin of the state of California, and that's the issue of housing and affordability," Newsom said during Wednesday's press conference in San Francisco. "We need to all be a little bit more accountable to this crisis of affordability."

By the numbers: Between 2010 and 2020, California added 3.2 times more people than housing units, according to census data.

  • Now, state officials say California needs to ramp up production to 310,000 new housing units annually over the next eight years β€” a pace that's 2.5 times faster than the current rate, NPR reports.

Meanwhile, San Francisco, which is under review by the state's Department of Housing and Community Development for its slow construction processes, must adopt a compliant plan by the end of next May outlining how it will build 82,000-plus units by 2031, the SF Planning Department told Axios on Thursday.

  • State officials told the city last month that its original plan needed multiple revisions.

What to watch: The full board of supervisors will hold a hearing on Nov. 15 to discuss the city’s updated housing plan, Supervisor Gordon Mar said this week.


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