Bill to boost multifamily development targets gentrification

State Senate measure requires property owners to live in the home for at least 3 years before subdividing or adding units

Bill to boost multifamily development targets gentrification
Scott Wiener and Toni Atkins (Wikipedia)

As they continue their push to add more housing across California, state lawmakers are adding a provision to bill aimed at boosting multifamily development, targeting gentrification.

Senate Bill 9, called by some the “duplex bill,” would allow up to four housing units on some lots zoned for single-family homes, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. Lawmakers amended SB 9 again this week, adding changes requested by the California Association of Realtors.

Now, a property owner must reside on the property for at least three years before being eligible to subdivide the home or add units.

CAR said the change would limit speculative development and gentrification in lower-income communities of color.

Lawmakers on Monday also changed the bill to allow local governments to block projects they believe would adversely affect public health and safety.

SB 9 is the latest in a string of state bills meant to promote housing density to address the state’s spiraling crisis. The first, proposed by state Sen. Scott Weiner, was Senate Bill 827, came in early 2018 and focused on transit-adjacent development.

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That didn’t pass and a softer version — Senate Bill 50 — was proposed a year later. It died in committee.

Weiner’s Senate Bill 902 also failed to pass last year.

SB 9 has had a tough go through the legislative process as well. The bill was one of several held up earlier this year over its union labor requirements.

State lawmakers adjourn for the year on Sept. 10. It will have to make it through the Assembly and then back to the Senate for a final vote before reaching Gov. Gavin Newsom’s for the final signoff.

A University of California, Berkeley study projected that a previous version of SB 9 would have a “modest but important impact” on housing supply, creating around 700,000 new units.

[LAT] — Dennis Lynch