SB 9

California has a severe shortage of middle-income housing, or small (fewer than 10 homes) multi-family housing developments near jobs and transit; the lack of such housing is driving the displacement and severe rent burden of Californians across the state. The problem: it is illegal to build middle-income housing in over 70 percent of the state.

SB 9 would legalize this middle-income housing by adopting best practices from housing experts at the University of California Los Angeles. It will also help California respond to historic job loss in the construction sector and a 45-percent decrease in home construction due to COVID-19.

SB 9 makes two important changes to state law:

  • It allows homeowners in most areas around the state to divide their property into two lots, thereby increasing opportunities for homeownership in their neighborhood; and 
  • It allows two homes to be built on each of those lots, with the effect of legalizing fourplexes in areas that previously only allowed one home. 

SB 9 also contains important protections against the displacement of existing tenants. SB 9 is a reintroduced version of SB 1120.


Authors: Atkins (D, SD 39), Caballero (D, SD 12), Rubio (D, SD 22), and Wiener (D, SD 11)

Co-authors: Gonzalez (D, SD 33), McGuire (D, SD 2), Robert Rivas (D, AD 30)

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Press Coverage

Democratic Squabbling Doomed California’s ‘Year Of Housing Production.’ What Will Happen In 2021? – Capital Public Radio

California bill would allow duplexes on single family lots – LA Times

Here’s an important part of the solution for the state’s housing crisis – CAL Matters

California’s housing priorities tumble amid coronavirus chaos – The Mercury News