SF Chronicle: Why Churches Could Become California’s Most Important Affordable Housing Developers

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Throughout California, faith-based organizations of all stripes are considering similar developments as they look to help solve what is perhaps the most pressing social justice issue of our time, the mounting affordable housing and homelessness crisis.California legislators have taken notice and just passed a bill, now headed to the governor’s desk, that could open the door for more projects statewide like Jordan Court.

SB4 by state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco would streamline the process of securing local governmental approval for new affordable housing built on land owned by faith-based organizations — in part by creating a set of minimum development standards these organizations could rely on for housing projects. In practice, these new rules would allow faith-based organizations to bypass onerous discretionary approval processes and sidestep local land use rules or litigious neighbors that otherwise might stall worthwhile projects.

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