California Lawmakers Advances the Second Zoning Bill Aimed at Creating Affordable Housing

In a bid to reduce housing costs and arrest housing shortage, California legislators have advanced the second of the two bills in Congress aimed to cut down zoning restrictions. The lawmakers made this move in Congress on Thursday, August 26.

Senator Toni Atkins and House Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon sponsored Senate Bill 9. It would make the construction of smaller housing units on lots where single-family properties stand upon convenient. The Bill further states that up to four units of duplexes could be built if the lot is divided into two equal parcels. According to the Senate Leader, Bill’s ultimate goal is to allow American families to live their Dream in the state of California. 

The California Dream Can Become a Reality

Many families have always wanted to live the “California Dream”, but the sharp rising costs of homes over the years have prevented the “Dream” from happening. Atkins stated that the Bill could make peoples’ dreams a reality, whether it’s building a home for the elderly, buying your first home, or investing for income purposes. 

Atkins added that those who intend to apply for splitting would clarify that they intend to occupy one of the units as their primary residence for at least three years. This measure is to obstruct constructions that might hamper public safety. Out of the members present in the assembly, 45 out of 64 voted in favor of the second Bill. 

Despite the ingenuity of the Bill, Janet Nguyen, a Republican legislator objected to it. The woman who couldn’t sit to vote due to quarantine restrictions after testing positive for the Covid-19 revealed that the Bill would accelerate the construction of duplexes and lot splitting for single-family properties. 

On Monday, the Assembly passed Bill 10, which seeks to allow local governments to rezone neighborhoods close to transit for ten housing units or less. The Bill’s objective is to reduce environmental impacts and air pollution. It had 41 lawmakers in support against 9, although some aired their views that the Bill shouldn’t have been amended because it was recently done. 

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Different Groups Air Their Views on the Passed Bill

The California Community Builders praised the bill, citing the measures would bridge the racial wealth gap. Statistically, 60% of the white populace own homes, while the Black community accounted for only 35%. The Latino community accounted for just 40%. 

Moving from one group to the other, many Sacramento neighborhood groups weren’t supportive of the Bills. According to them, more financial organizations would own residential properties, leaving low and middle-class earners renters. The state awaits the final votes on the Bills in the Senate in September.

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