Yesterday, the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee announced that my housing bill – SB 50, the More HOMES Act – would not receive a committee vote and would not be moving forward this year. If this decision stands, then SB 50 will come up for a vote next January. If we have an opportunity to move the bill forward this year, we will absolutely do so.
This decision by the Appropriations Committee Chair, while very disappointing, isn’t the end of the road for SB 50. The bill is alive and well, albeit delayed, and I am 100% committed to passing it, as is our broad coalition of labor, environmental, affordable housing, business, student, and senior organizations. California is in a deep housing crisis, due to decades of bad housing policy, and we must shift course for our future. We need bold action to address California’s 3.5 million home shortage, which is equal to the combined shortage of the other 49 states.
SB 50 legalizes more housing near public transportation and job centers. It received nearly unanimous bipartisan 9-1 and 6-1 votes in its two committee hearings, has 18 bipartisan co-authors from all over California, and is backed by a massive coalition of labor, environmental, affordable housing, business, senior, and student organizations. A San Francisco poll showed 74 percent support for the bill, and two recent statewide polls show 66% and 61% support, with strong support across all regions of the state and all demographics. People understand that we need more homes and that we need those homes in job centers and near public transit, as opposed to more sprawl and resulting carbon emissions.
California’s failed housing approach is pushing people into homelessness, poverty, and mega- commutes, is forcing working families out of their communities and out of the state entirely, and is undermining California’s climate goals. We’re either serious about solving this crisis, or we aren’t. At some point, we need to make the hard political choices necessary for California to have a bright housing future.
All of these organizations and leaders agree, we need More HOMES and we need them now:
I want to thank the many people who have helped move this bill forward. We could not do this work without you.