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Week of April 22nd-Major California housing bill dies in first committee hearing

April 22, 2018

A sweeping bill that would have given the state unprecedented power over local development failed in its first committee hearing, crushing the hopes of those who saw it as the key to making housing in the state more affordable.

At a lively and crowded hearing Tuesday, the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee blocked Senate Bill 827, a bill to force cities to allow apartments and condominiums of roughly four to five stories within a half mile of rail and ferry stops — as well as denser housing near bus stops with frequent service.

The vote abruptly halted a feverish debate over one of the biggest housing proposals introduced in Sacramento this year — one which took aim at cities reluctant to embrace larger developments. Its demise also underscored the political realities and pace of change at the Capitol, even as pressure mounts for the state to respond to runaway housing costs.

“Every housing advocate should know that this was always going to be an uphill battle,” said Laura Foote Clark, executive of San Francisco YIMBY Action, which advocates for more housing construction. “Of course there are going to be setbacks, but we are going to rally and keep fighting for it.”  Read on...

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