California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a law designed to expedite the approval process for religious institutions and colleges seeking to build low-income housing on their properties as the state continues to experience a homelessness crisis.
One bill signed by Newsom is S.B. 4, also known as Yes in God’s Backyard and the Affordable Housing on Faith Lands Act of 2023. Sponsored by Democratic State Sen. Scott Wiener, the measure was approved by the Democratic-controlled California Senate in a 33-2 vote and by the Democratic-controlled California Assembly in a 73-1 vote. While the measure achieved strong bipartisan support, all of the votes against it came from Republicans.
Abram Diaz, the policy director for the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, praised S.B. 4 as “a powerful new tool that harnesses the mission of our religious institutions and colleges to address the homebuilding needs of our state.”
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