Carpenters Union Endorses Senator Wiener’s SB 50, the More HOMES Act


The Northern California Carpenters Regional Council represents over 35,000 union carpenters throughout Northern California

(From Press Release) –  Today, the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, which represents over 35,000 union carpenters throughout Northern California, announced its support for Senator Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) SB 50, the More HOMES Act. SB 50 eliminates hyper-low-density zoning near transit and job centers, thus legalizing apartment buildings and affordable housing in these locations so that more people can live near transit and near where they work. It also reduces or eliminates minimum parking requirements for new developments.

California has a 3.5 million home deficit, equals to the housing deficit of the other 49 states combined. California ranks 49 out of 50 states in homes per capita. Since the early 1960s, California population has almost tripled, while its housing production has declined by about 2/3.

“We are proud to endorse Senator Wiener’s SB 50,” said Augie Beltran, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs for the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council. “Our members and their families feel first-hand the impact of California’s housing crisis as they see their rent costs rise and their commutes increase. We need more housing for working families and individuals, and SB 50 will help ensure we are able to build that housing in an environmentally sustainable and equitable way.”

“Working families are deeply impacted by California’s extreme housing shortage,” said Senator Wiener. “Our housing shortage is forcing people into multi-hour commutes, pushing people into poverty and homelessness, and threatening our economy and environment. SB 50 will make housing more available and affordable for California residents.”

SB 50 is also supported by the California Labor Federation, the California Chamber of Commerce, the State Building and Construction Trades Council, the California League of Conservation Voters, AARP California, the UC Student Association, the Natural Resources Defense Council, CALPIRG, Environment California, Habitat for Humanity, the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, the California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund (CaRLA), the California Apartment Association, and a host of other renter, business, and labor organizations. It is sponsored by California YIMBY, the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, and the California Association of Realtors.

It also enjoys bi-partisan support from members of the Legislature and support from numerous mayors and city council members from around the state including San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, and Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs.

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13 thoughts on “Carpenters Union Endorses Senator Wiener’s SB 50, the More HOMES Act”

  1. Alan Miller

    Breaking news:  People who cluster into organizations that benefit by the $Billions from a legislative bill, support that bill.

        1. Craig Ross

          The reason that we need this legislation is that a lot of people are hurting for housing.  That was my point.  It’s easy to be critical of these bills when you own your house rather than when you don’t.

        2. Alan Miller

          It’s easy to be critical of these bills when you own your house rather than when you don’t.

          Are you talking to ME?  Are you talking to ME?

  2. Craig Ross

    It appears nine articles since April 12 – 4 of them press releases – 3 in favor – one against.  But also several articles written by him that are critical of the bill.

    Including –

    Not sure the point of Rik’s diatribe.  Most of this is simply an update on what’s happening.

    1. Rik Keller

      Yes, for example from the Senate Committee on Government and Finance  hearing on 4/24/19:

      “California is a geographically and demographically diverse state, and that is reflected in its 482 cities and 58 counties. Local elected officials for each of those municipalities are charged by the California Constitution with protecting their citizens’ welfare. One chief way local governments do this is by exercising control over what gets built in their community. Local officials weigh the need for additional housing against the concerns and desires of their constituents. Where appropriate, those officials enact ordinances to shape their communities based on local conditions and desires. Moreover, these planning actions and decisions take place within the confines of state laws that require local governments to plan and zone for new housing, subject to approval by HCD, and under threat of fines for improper denial as a result of recent legislation. SB 50 disregards these efforts and the unique features of California’s communities by imposing the same zoning standards statewide. It uniformly imposes minimums for height, bulk, and density of buildings around rail stations and ferry terminals, regardless of the specific characteristics of the community, even though one rail station might be at the heart of a bustling metropolis while another might be located in a relatively isolated rural town—even if the jurisdictions themselves have similar populations. To account for some of the differences among communities, the Committee may wish to consider amending SB 50 to provide different levels of upzoning or increased density based on the characteristics of each community, such as population or other metrics.”

    2. Rik Keller

      And also from the Senate Committee on Government and Finance  hearing on 4/24/19:

      SB 50 allows more units to be built and reduces costs associated with developments by granting additional waivers and concessions of development policies and letting developers off the hook for building expensive parking spots. SB 50 also allows developers to choose the density at which they build, potentially allowing them to maximize profits by building larger luxury units instead of smaller, lower priced ones. In exchange, developers must build or fund some affordable housing. However, California’s existing density bonus program already provides increasing benefits to developers for increasing SB 50 (Wiener) 3/11/19 Page 8 of 12 levels of affordability, and SB 50 grants additional benefits without requiring much beyond density bonus in the way of additional affordable housing. This upends the balance struck in density bonus law to capture for the public a fair and reasonable portion of the value created by upzoning. Proposition 13 (1978) further restricts the ability of the public to capture that value by placing constitutional restrictions on property tax rates—meaning local governments see less of a gain from increased property values than they otherwise would. The Committee may wish to consider whether SB 50’s inclusionary requirements and other provisions results in a fair distribution of the benefits provided by the density increases that it allows.”

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