Mother Jones: California Lawmakers Just Shelved Their Only Bill Focused on Solving the Housing Shortage Crisis

Mother Jones: California Lawmakers Just Shelved Their Only Bill Focused on Solving the Housing Shortage Crisis

“On the same day that a devastating new report on homelessness was released, California lawmakers shelved the only bill currently trying to tackle the state’s overwhelming housing shortage crisis. Senate Bill 50, California Sen. Scott Wiener’s aggressive and controversial bill that would’ve expanded the housing market to allow for faster, bigger, and denser residential construction, cleared two committees earlier in the year with nearly unanimous support. But that momentum came to an abrupt end Thursday when the Senate Appropriations Committee, without debate or fanfare, tabled it until 2020…

“SB50 is Wiener’s second attempt at ambitious housing legislation. Last year, his bill SB836, which lacked meaningful standards for low-income, affordable housing, didn’t even pass out of its first committee. SB50 has been met by opposition…

“But it also had widespread support, ranging from the California Labor Federation and the California Chamber of Commerce to the California League of Conservation Voters, Habitat for Humanity, and the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California. Unlike last year, the construction workers union supported the bill this time around, as did a number of environmental groups, and its momentum in the legislature suggested it would at least make it to the Senate floor. ‘Let’s be clear,’ Wiener said, ‘our vote count has been strong on this bill.’”

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Alina Harway