Letter: Support for SB 423, Streamlined Housing Approvals

Photo by Liz Sanchez-Vegas on Unsplash

Dear Chair Caballero:

On behalf of the Southern California District Council of Laborers, I am writing in strong support of Senate Bill 423. We believe that SB 423 strikes a balance that has the potential to expand multi-family housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Californians while also growing a sustainable middle-class construction workforce.

SB 423 would remove the sunset of SB 35 (Wiener, 2017) and make the law permanent that allows for a streamlined, ministerial process for multi-family, urban infill projects with affordable components in jurisdictions that have not approved housing in compliance with their targets according to their regional housing needs allocation.

California is in the depths of a housing crisis. Housing production has not kept pace with the state’s population growth, resulting in skyrocketing costs, particularly for lower income individuals. California ranks 16th highest among all states when measuring poverty rates. However, when the high cost of housing is considered, California jumps up to first place; 20.4% of California residents live beneath the California Budget Center’s supplemental poverty measure.

SB 35 helped address this by providing streamlined, ministerial approval of projects in cities that have not built sufficient housing, as determined by the state. This approach has led to increased housing production in communities where it is needed most, and importantly, has been a crucial source of new affordable units.

The Southern California District Council of Laborers supports housing policies that open the door to ownership for many of the union construction workers who currently build these housing developments but have been “priced out” of the market.

To help ensure California workers have an opportunity for home ownership, SB 423 requires that developers meet a range of responsible wage and training standards. Prevailing wage is required on all projects. And, for projects of 50 or more units, contractors must either participate in a state-approved apprenticeship program or request the dispatch of apprentices from a program and provide health benefits for their workers The bill also includes new enforcement mechanisms to ensure these payroll and benefits requirements are being met.

SB 423 is a step in the right direction to increase the housing production necessary to help Californians work and live in their communities.

For these reasons, the Laborers are in strong support of SB 423 and respectfully request an “Aye” vote when it is heard in your committee. Please feel free to contact me at (909) 553-4288 if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DISTRICT COUNCIL OF LABORERS

Jon P. Preciado
Business Manager

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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