Special to the Vanguard
San Francisco, CA – Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), along with California Conference of Carpenters, Related, Mission Housing Development Corporation, California Housing Consortium, YIMBY Action, Inner City Law Center, and California YIMBY gathered to celebrate the recent passage of Senate Bill 423. SB 423 extends and expands Senator Wiener’s landmark SB 35 (2017), one of the state’s most successful tools for accelerating development of new housing. The bill is currently on Governor Newsom’s desk.
The press conference and celebration were held at the grand opening of Kapuso, a 131-unit housing development affordable to low- and very low-income families. The project was approved and constructed under SB 35, which has been a leading driver of affordable housing development across California since its passage in 2017. In San Francisco, more than 3,000 units, of which 93% were affordable, have been streamlined under SB 35, while over 18,000 units have been streamlined under the bill across the state, 70% of which were affordable.
“SB 35 has been a game changer for California’s housing crisis, and the Legislature just supercharged it,” said Senator Wiener. “California’s housing shortage is at the heart of so many challenges the state is facing, but the passage of groundbreaking laws like SB 423 sends a clear message: we are committed to turning the tide.”
“The California Housing Consortium was proud to work with Senator Wiener as a co-sponsor of SB 423 because it achieves a simple goal: This bill will make it *a lot* easier to build the affordable housing California needs, especially in communities falling behind on their housing goals,” said Marina Wiant, Vice President of Government Affairs at the California Housing Consortium. “California has set a target of producing 2.5 million housing units over the next decade—at least 1 million of which need to be affordable to lower-income households. This bill is an essential part of the solution, and we hope the Governor will sign it.”
“Without a doubt, housing affordability is the most destabilizing issue facing Californians,” said Danny Curtin, Director of the California of Carpenters. “Working families, struggling from paycheck to paycheck, are staring homelessness in the face. We applaud Senator Scott Wiener for his persistent and determined work attacking California’s housing crisis, specifically this year by authoring SB 4 and SB 423. We’re proud to have played a role in this effort.”
“Governor Newsom has made it clear that he supports making it faster, easier, and less expensive to build affordable homes in our coastal cities,” said Brian Hanlon, CEO of California YIMBY. “With SB 423 now law, many more Californians from all walks of life will be able to afford to live—and thrive—in the Golden State. Housing policy is climate policy,” Hanlon said. “SB 423 will allow more homes to be built where they’re most needed, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. California YIMBY was proud to co-sponsor this legislation, and we thank Sen. Scott Wiener for his continued leadership on housing and climate.”
“SB 423 has the potential to be a boon for housing in California,” said Laura Foote, Executive Director of YIMBY Action. “YIMBY Action has and will continue to use our grassroots members to ensure these important housing accountability laws get implemented. Congratulations Senator Wiener.”
“The biggest barrier to ending homelessness is the lack of affordable housing,” said Mahdi Manji, Director of Public Policy at the Inner City Law Center. “SB 423 will ensure that every city in California builds its fair share of affordable and mixed-income housing. Inner City Law Center was proud to co-sponsor SB 423, and we thank Senator Scott Wiener for his continued leadership advocating for Californians struggling with the cost of housing.”
“While no single policy is going to solve all of our chronic housing challenges, SB 423 will transform the housing production process in California, making it significantly faster and easier for cities to provide housing for residents of all income levels,” said Corey Smith, Executive Director, Housing Action Coalition. “We thank Senator Wiener, the Carpenters, and all of the pro-housing advocates who played a part in getting SB 423 across the finish line.”
“To address the Bay Area’s housing crisis, the solutions are crystal clear—we need to produce more housing, at all affordability levels, and especially on infill sites,” said Ahmad Thomas, CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “SB 423 tackles this solution head-on. SVLG is proud to join with Senator Wiener and other important stakeholders in supporting this measure which would help to accelerate the pace of new housing, strengthen the region’s business competitiveness and quality of life for all. We urge Governor Newsom to sign SB 423 into law.”
SB 35 has cut housing permitting processes that frequently took 2-4 years or more down to 6 months or less. The law expedites approvals in any jurisdiction that fails to comply with its state-mandated housing goals. Earlier this year San Francisco set a goal of permitting 82,000 homes for the next 8 years, but the City has struggled to enact the changes necessary to meet the goal.
Due to a provision in the bill providing extra oversight to San Francisco, the bill is likely to take full effect in San Francisco early next year. The reason Senator Wiener included extra oversight for San Francisco is that the City has the longest permitting process in the state, has anemic housing production numbers, and has demonstrated a propensity to reject zoning-compliant projects for political reasons, relying on bogus CEQA arguments. SB 423 will put an end to those tactics and allow the City to lead by example in tackling the affordable housing crisis.
SB 423 extends the successful provisions of SB 35 to expedite mixed-income developments as well as affordable developments. This expanded streamlining will support the City’s efforts to build missing housing for the missing middle and for low income communities. The bill also extends the sunset on SB 35, which was due to expire in January 2026.
SB 423 is sponsored by the California Housing Consortium, California Conference of Carpenters, the Inner City Law Center, the Local Initiative Support Corporation, and California YIMBY.