Support SB 50 to help end California’s housing shortage

SB 50 will legalize affordable housing, protect renters from displacement, decrease climate pollution, and create access to opportunity for everyone.

Supported by a diverse coalition of organizations representing every facet of civil society in California

Why We Need More HOMES Now

The problem

California suffers from a shortage of 3.5 million homes, the consequence of decades of policies at the local level that have made it functionally illegal to build housing in our most jobs-rich, high-opportunity neighborhoods and communities.

The result: Skyrocketing homelessness; families struggling with housing costs; teachers, police officers, nurses, and other vital service providers commuting long hours in spirit-breaking traffic; businesses struggling to attract workers; and the acrid pollution that clogs our air, sickens our children, and exacerbates climate change.

Removing Barriers to Opportunity

California State Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 50, the More Homes Act, makes it legal to build new, affordable homes in our cities while enacting some of the strongest protections ever proposed for renters and sensitive communities. It focuses new development in transit corridors, and in areas with abundant jobs, to ensure new growth does not exacerbate traffic, pollution, and climate change. It breaks down barriers to opportunity in neighborhoods with good schools and high-quality amenities.

Supported by a Majority of Voters

In the spring of 2019, California YIMBY conducted a statewide poll of voters to gauge their interest in SB 50. The findings show that 66% of California voters support SB 50 and want to see more affordable homes built near jobs and transit.

New Provisions Give Local Governments the Lead

In January of 2020, Sen. Wiener, California YIMBY, and our allies added new provisions to SB 50 that give cities two years after the bill is signed to develop a housing plan that works for their specific needs. These “local flexibility” amendments were made in response to cities that said they wanted to achieve the goals of SB 50 with plans that were more customized to their conditions.

Meet or Beat SB 50 Standards

Under the Local Flexibility provisions of SB 50, local governments have two years to take the lead in creating housing plans that will make it more affordable for Californians to live near their jobs, transit, and amenities like good schools, daycare, and medical services. Cities that don’t have plans in place will be able to use the other provisions of SB 50 to solve their housing shortages. These provisions focus on changes to zoning near transit stops, and in communities rich in jobs and amenities.

Protections for Renters & Sensitive Communities

In addition, “sensitive communities” that are under-resourced and need to pair zoning reform with anti-displacement policy will not experience any zoning changes until 5 years after the bill is signed. 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. The bill still includes the most aggressive affordable housing provisions ever proposed in state law.

Building more mixed-income housing

SB 50 will result in more economically integrated neighborhoods across the state. By legalizing the development of mixed-income housing in high-opportunity areas, low-income Californians will gain access to the same services and amenities enjoyed by wealthier residents. SB 50 helps break the cycle of poverty, which is closely tied to historic and ongoing exclusion in our housing policies.

Preserving environmental review

Under SB 50, all housing projects will still be subject to environmental review, as well as existing labor and employment standards for new construction. Local development fees, community engagement processes, and architectural design review will remain as-is. Cities that have more stringent protections for renters, or higher targets for affordable housing, will be able to maintain those standards.

What's the status of SB 50 now?

SB 50 must be voted on by the state Senate by January 31, 2020. After it clears the Senate, SB 50 will be heard in the Assembly, which must pass all bills by August 31, 2020.

Get Involved!

Get the Official Fact Sheet

If you want to learn more details about SB 50, including specific provisions and a list of current supporters, download the Fact Sheet here.

How can I help?

Join us! Our movement to pass SB 50 grows every day, and there’s a lot you can do. Click here to sign up to volunteer in your community.

The latest on SB 50

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