The Homework Newsletter

The HomeWork: August 25, 2021

August 27, 2021

Welcome to the August 25, 2021 Main edition of The HomeWork, the official newsletter of California YIMBY — legislative updates, news clips, housing research and analysis, and the latest writings from the California YIMBY team.

News from Sacramento

The Legislature is in full swing until September 10th, when the first year of our two-year session will end. Several of California YIMBY’s priority, pro-housing bills are still moving forward: the Assembly recently passed one of our sponsored bills, SB 10 (Wiener), which will provide local governments with a valuable new tool for planning “missing middle” housing. SB 10 is headed back to the Senate for final concurrence before advancing to the Governor’s desk for signature.
Also of major significance: SB 6 (Caballero), held at the Assembly Rules committee since earlier this year, has been amended and back in play. This bill would allow for the construction of housing in areas zoned for commercial uses, under certain circumstances. Several recent amendments might put the bill on a path to passage, but it’s too early to tell. SB 679 (Kamlager), which creates an affordable housing entity in Los Angeles, is also on the move again, under similar circumstances.
The Senate and Assembly appropriations committees will meet Thursday, August 26th to finalize the list of bills getting out of those committees. We’re keeping a close eye on SB 477, SB 478, AB 602, and AB 1401. Those bills will then go to a floor vote of the second house, if they leave their respective appropriations committees.

Housing Research and Analysis

President Biden’s Treasury Department Says: YIMBY

A recent article by Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo underscores a range of issues that are informing the Biden Administration’s housing policy efforts — and makes clear that, when it comes to housing, the Biden administration is YIMBY.

Key takeaways:

  1. Affordable housing is central to providing economic opportunity, and the lack of it is doing serious damage to the country’s poor and working class households.

  2. The supply of homes matters. Constraints on housing construction have severe impacts on affordability.

  3. The Biden Administration is putting forward a comprehensive agenda to build more housing — including 2 million affordable homes.


Solving the “Missing Middle” with Gentle Density: It’s Gentle

Senate Bill 9 has received a fair bit of fanfare for its relatively minor proposition: allowing lot splits and duplexes to be permitted on properties currently zoned for only one home, for a total of up to four homes. UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation has a new report coauthored by its new Managing Director Ben Metcalf (notably the former head of California HCD) analyzing its potential to marginally increase housing supply in California.


Key takeaways:

  1. Most parcels that would be allowed under SB9 would already be financially feasible to develop today by adding an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). SB9 would enable more incrementally more homes with these parcels.
  2. That incremental impact would still be huge. SB9 would enable market feasibility for around 700,000 new homes and expand the number of parcels that could see feasible development, increasing development potential in California by 40%.
  3. Widespread demolition is unlikely. The most likely scenario is dividing single-family parcels into duplexes.



Houser Headlines

YIMBY Social – Top Posts

Earlier this month, California YIMBY released our new video explainer: “What is ‘affordable housing?”

The video helps to de-mystify a complex topic: How to build housing that is affordable to people of all incomes.

Watch and share!

Video still image. Iris is retired and lives on a fixed rentWatch now »

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