YIMBYs Across California Call on State Legislature to Act on Housing

June 24, 2021

Four Priority Housing Bills Advance During YIMBY Lobby Week

“YIMBYs have a clear message: the time to act on housing is now”

Today, grassroots YIMBYs and pro-housing activists from across California wrapped up three days of meetings with state legislators to discuss the urgent need for reforms that will make it legal to build more homes in cities across the state. During meetings in which advocates urged their elected officials to act, the legislature advanced four of the highest-priority housing bills this session.

“California YIMBY’s strength in Sacramento comes from the tens of thousands of pro-housing activists across our state who demand urgent action to end the housing shortage,” said Brian Hanlon, CEO of California YIMBY. “For too long, our cities have been the leading impediments to housing. This week, YIMBYs brought a clear message to our leaders in the State Assembly and Senate: No more delay. The time to act on housing is now.”

As a part of Lobby Week activities, YIMBYs called for passage of a package of bills that would help reduce the housing shortage and streamline approvals for more homes, while also cutting unfair local fees that drive up the cost of housing. The package includes (but is not limited to) SB 9 (Atkins), SB 10 (Wiener), AB 1401 (Friedman), AB 602 (Grayson), SB 478 (Wiener) and SB 477 (Wiener).

Four of the bills — SB 9, SB 10, SB 478, and SB 477 — advanced through legislative committees this week; AB 1401 and AB 602 will be scheduled for votes by mid-July.

Organized by California YIMBY, YIMBY Lobby Week was co-hosted by a half dozen local and regional YIMBY groups and other pro-housing allies whose organizations focus on ending California’s housing shortage and affordability crisis.

Participating organizations include:

Advisory Council

  • YIMBY Action

  • Abundant Housing Los Angeles

  • Sacramento YIMBY

  • San Diego YIMBY Democrats

  • East Bay for Everyone

  • Santa Cruz YIMBY


  • San Fernando Valley YIMBY

  • Peninsula for Everyone

  • Cupertino for All

  • Ventura County YIMBY

  • South Bay YIMBY

  • People for Housing – Orange County

  • Housing Action Coalition

  • Urban Environmentalists

  • Grow the Richmond

  • Westside for Everyone

  • Southside Forward

  • Stories from the Frontline

  • Mountain View YIMBY

“The YIMBY movement has been gaining momentum across the state. While California’s housing shortage has raged, cities have failed to make it legal to build more homes — and the YIMBY movement is rising up to demand action,” said Laura Foote, Executive Director of YIMBY Action. “Pro-housing people are rallying together to push our elected officials to end this housing crisis.”

“The housing shortage and growing crisis of homelessness in Los Angeles is the result of deliberate choices our cities have made to limit the supply of housing,” said Leonora Camner, Executive Director of Abundant Housing LA. “We’re committed to advocating for reform at the city level, but we also need state action to bring more cities to the table. YIMBY Lobby Week has been a great opportunity to express this to our legislators.”

“The City of Sacramento has been remarkably responsive to our efforts to legalize more homes here, and our experience offers important lessons for legislators who may fear the outcome of reform — essentially, there is no reason to fear housing,” said Ansel Lundberg of Sacramento YIMBY. “It’s also good to show our legislators that there are a lot of us, we’re not going away, and we expect them to take action this year.”

“San Diego has been making great strides in legalizing more homes and addressing some of the systemic challenges we’ve faced around affordable housing, such as parking mandates,” said Marissa Tucker-Borquez of YIMBY Democrats of San Diego County. “We still have work to do, but with the election of our unapologetically YIMBY Mayor, we want to send a strong message to leaders in Sacramento: It’s not only safe to be pro-housing; it’s also the right thing to do.”

“State housing law has helped ensure the approval of major affordable housing projects our movement has fought for here in the East Bay,” said John Minot of East Bay for Everyone. “It has also brought about affordable homes that didn’t need a fight in the first place. The state has a vital role to play in ending decades of counterproductive and discriminatory housing policies, and it’s deeply meaningful to be a part of this movement for change.”

“Coastal communities like Santa Cruz have always had housing challenges, and they’ve only gotten worse as our cities have pushed people further and further from their jobs,” said Rafa Sonnenfeld of Santa Cruz YIMBY. “If we want vibrant communities, if we want to reduce climate pollution from cars, if we want housing security for our low-income and unhoused neighbors, we need the state to act. The time is now.”