Equity, Affordable Housing Groups Across California Endorse SB 50 – the More HOMES Act

January 17, 2020
People protesting for SB 50

“California needs SB 50” – Habitat for Humanity
Organizations Embrace Strong Affordable Housing Provisions, Tenant Protections

Sacramento, CA – Today a coalition of equity, affordable housing, and anti-poverty organizations across California announced their support of SB 50 – the More HOMES Act. The organizations noted the bill’s aggressive affordable housing and tenant anti-displacement provisions, which resulted in large part form successful negotiations with affordable housing and equity-focused groups. 

“The housing crisis is very real, especially in communities like Pacoima,” said Veronica Padilla, Executive Director of Pacoima Beautiful. “As transportation investments are earmarked for frontline communities, it is imperative to include anti-displacement language into policy such as SB 50 in order to avoid unintended consequences for these communities. We applaud Senator Wiener for including a neighborhood preference amendment to SB 50, through which 40% of new affordable housing units are prioritized for residents living within one-half mile of the development.”

“We support SB 50 because California needs real solutions to address the housing shortage” said Roberto Barragan, Executive Director, California Community Economic Development Association. “As an association of non-profit community developers, we see first-hand the need to build more units and provide equitable access to housing our communities. We work in underserved communities under the threat of gentrification, and know that this bill will protect our neighborhoods while encouraging appropriate density and thus drive affordability. Overall, SB 50 will lift housing bans and make it legal for cities like LA to build more affordable housing where it’s needed, as opposed to where NIMBYs push it. That’s why we, along with a large coalition of diverse groups, urge our senators to vote in support of SB50.”

“We need a housing solution that will allow community members to live near their work and increase the amount of affordable housing available,” said Carlos Vaquerano, Executive Director, Clinica Monseñor Oscar A. Romero. “SB 50 does this by treating affordable housing as a priority rather than an afterthought, prioritizing development near job centers and transportation — and establishing the most aggressive protections for renters ever proposed in state law. These solutions will help the many Los Angeles residents we work with improve their living situation, health, and quality of life. ”

“California needs SB 50,” said Debbie Arakel, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity California. “Vulnerable and low-income populations have been displaced for too long, and homelessness has skyrocketed because there is not enough affordable housing. SB 50 will aggressively counter this trend while protecting renters in the process. It deserves support from the California Senate.” 

“We need every option on the table to solve California’s housing crisis, and ensure that housing remains affordable for low-income populations,” said Ricardo Flores, Executive Director,  Local Initiatives Support Corporation, San Diego. “San Diegans have been hit hard by sharp increases in home prices, and SB 50 is a needed solution that protects renters from displacement and makes it easier to build affordable housing.”

Orange County families are struggling with high housing costs and we have seen a dramatic increase in homelessness,” said Mohammed Aly, Esq., Executive Director of the Orange County Poverty Alleviation Coalition. “SB 50 will both protect renters against displacement and increase the amount of affordable housing available. SB 50 is the right solution to help deal with our housing shortage in California without burdening underserved communities.”

“The Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California was founded over 40 years ago to fight for a Bay Area where everyone has a place to call home and where low-income communities and communities of color can stay and prosper,” said Amie Fishman, Executive Director, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California. “We’re proud to support SB 50 for its innovative approach to bring more homes for all Californians at every income level, while prioritizing critical protections for longstanding residents and low income community members. And we’re committed to continuing critical, thoughtful dialogue with community stakeholders to ensure that this bill produces the most affordable homes possible and empowers sensitive communities to create their own neighborhoods’ future.” 

New provisions added to SB 50 in January by affordable housing and equity advocates give local residents priority in new affordable housing that is built under the bill; 40% of these units will be prioritized for current low-income residents who qualify. The bill also still gives sensitive communities five years after the bill is signed to craft strong plans that protect their residents from displacement and gentrification. Senator Wiener, California YIMBY and our allies are working to ensure these communities receive state resources to support the planning process during the 5-year period. 

In addition, high-resource communities with higher average incomes, high concentrations of jobs, good schools, and access to amenities will have two years to show they can create more affordable housing than SB 50, or the provisions of SB 50 take effect — a win-win for affordable housing and for incorporating local knowledge in planning decisions across the state.

“Under SB 50, we’ll see more affordable housing and stronger tenant protections in our cities than we’ve ever seen in California,” said Brian Hanlon, President and CEO of California YIMBY. “We’re honored to be joined by these organizations that fight to ensure low-income Californians have access to social, educational, economic, and health opportunities, and aren’t displaced by the housing shortage. We look forward to working with them to pass SB 50 and ensure everyone in California has an affordable, secure place to live.”  

To learn more about amendments to the More HOMES Act – visit