Sacramento, Calif. — A bill authored by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D – Oakland) passed on the Assembly floor today to ease creation of middle class housing by streamlining the review process for mixed income or ‘missing middle’ developments.
“The extreme cost of housing is affecting our economy, environment, and quality of life for our residents,” said Wicks. “We have a long way to go to fully address and fix California’s housing shortage. AB 1485 will be a critical tool to accelerate mixed income housing production and slow the pressure of forcing people out of their homes and away from job centers.”
For decades, California failed to create enough housing stock to keep up with an exploding population, creating a massive housing and homelessness crisis. Home prices are the highest in the nation and homeownership is at its lowest rate since World War II. A 2016 study by the McKinsey Global Institute estimated California needs 3.5 million more homes by 2025 — or 180,000 units per year — but the state is currently producing less than half that amount.
California is taking steps to alleviate the state’s housing crisis. In 2017, Governor Brown signed SB 35 to streamline affordable housing developments providing on-site affordable homes. But skyrocketing costs, due to fees and construction expenses, combined with minimum affordability requirements make many new housing development projects unfeasible. AB 1485 will build on existing environmental streamlining law and encourage moderate income housing production.
AB 1485 received bipartisan support from Bay Area Council (sponser), Building Industry Association of the Bay Area, California Apartment Association, California Community Builders, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley, Hamilton Families North Bay Leadership Council, Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Related California,
[email protected], The 200, The San Francisco Foundation and TMG Partners.
The bill moves to California State Senate next as it makes its way towards passage.