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Controversial Housing Bill, SB 827 (Wiener), Goes Down to Defeat!

April 18, 2018

A controversial state senate bill that aimed to increase housing near public transit NO on SB 827throughout the state will not move forward this year after it failed to get out of committee on Tuesday.

SB 827, introduced by Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, which would have allowed developers to build five-story condominiums and apartment buildings near rail stops, even if local governments and zoning codes prohibited developments of that size, failed to get out of the State Senate’s Transportation and Housing Committee.

The Coalition for Economic Survival was joined by a long list of tenants’ rights organizations, community-based groups, legal services organizations, labor unions and California cities that included, Alliance for Community Transit-LA, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Action, Western Center on Law and Poverty, Community Coalition, League of California Cities, Sierra Club, Los Angeles County Democratic Party and cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco in opposing SB 827.

On the other side supporting the bill was California Apartment Association, California Association of Realtors, California Building Industry Association, Los Angeles Business Council, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, California YIMBY

While everyone agrees that we need to build more housing, particularly affordable housing near transit, SB 827 was not seen as the answer by opponents. In fact many groups believe that SB 827 could have had an even more detrimental impact on our housing crisis by increasing gentrification, destroying existing affordable housing and displacing low income and working class tenants.

SB 827 would have eliminated cities’ ability to regulate issues such as parking requirements, density and building heights within a half-mile of transit hubs or within a quarter-mile of major transit corridors.

“Density for density’s sake doesn’t necessarily lead to affordability,” said State Senator California_State_CapitolBen Allen (D-Santa Monica).

Just like the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act and the Ellis Act, SB 827 would have handcuffed local government from addressing its particular affordable housing needs and result in imposing regulations that will increase displacement and gentrification.

At the hearing a long line of opponents in testifying portrayed the bill as a threat to neighborhoods and low-income residents and at one point began chanting: “827, what do we say? Kill the bill, kill the bill.”

Senate Transportation and Housing Committee Vote on SB 827

Sen. Jim Beall, D-San Jose (chair): No

Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres (vice chair): No

Sen. Benjamin Allen, D-Santa Monica: No

Sen. Bill Dodd, D-Napa: No

Sen. Ted Gaines, R-El Dorado Hills: Yes

Sen. Cathleen Galgiani, D-Stockton: Not voting

Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg: No

Sen. Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga: Yes

Sen. Richard Roth, D-Riverside: Not voting

Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley: Yes

Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford: Not voting

Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont: Not voting

Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco: Yes


One Comment leave one →
  1. Carolyn Coleman permalink
    April 24, 2018 11:10 am


    Thank you and the Coalition for Economic Survival for your leadership and strong engagement in the effort to stop SB 827 this session.

    By working together and with other organizations, we were able to ensure that the constituents we serve and the members of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee understood the flaws in this legislation and why it would not have spurred more affordable housing construction.

    We all agree that California desperately needs the construction of more affordable housing, near transit that serves our very low-, low- and moderate-income families. With SB 827 tabled for the year, let’s continue our work together to develop policy solutions that will address California’s affordable housing crisis. I look forward to our continued partnership.

    Carolyn Coleman
    Executive Director, League of California Cities

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