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Governor Newsom passes legislation addressing housing crisis in California
By Faith Petrie, Contributing Writer
Published October 17, 2019

Governor Gavin Newsom

Governor Gavin Newsom signed multiple bills last week in an effort to tackle California’s housing shortages and affordability crisis.

Many of the bills are directed at removing the cities’ power to hinder homeowners from constructing additional units known as “granny flats” in their backyards.

”Since taking office in January, my Administration has been urgently focused on California’s housing affordability crisis,” Newsom said in a press release. “The high cost of housing and rent is putting the squeeze on family budgets, and our housing shortage threatens our economic growth and long-term prosperity.”

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According to Senate Bill 330, the law prevents cities from limiting housing productions as well as raising development fees after the project has initially been approved granting faster construction times.

SB 330 otherwise known as the Housing Crisis Act of 2019 will take effect in 2020 until 2025.

The California YIMBY, a statewide non-profit organization aimed at finding solutions for the state’s housing crisis celebrated the signing and its implications for the future.

“This week marks another important step toward addressing the housing shortage for all Californians, and we’re grateful for Gov. Newsom’s continued housing leadership,” said Brian Hanlon, President and CEO of California YIMBY in a press release. “We now have more tools in the toolkit to help cities overcome NIMBYism and allow the construction of more homes, while also ensuring that renters can remain secure in their homes and communities as they grow.”

During a press conference in San Diego on Wednesday, Oct. 9 Gov. Newsom spoke about the realities of those struggling with the cost of living in California.

“This week we’re trying to make a real impact on reminding folks that roughly 8 million of us in the state of California are renters that [have] a deep anxiety every first and fifteenth of the month, that folks are feeling an enormous strain and stress,” Newsom said.

Newsom also emphasized that affordability is necessary in order to assure everyone can live comfortably.

According to Continuums of Care to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) study, California has an estimated 129,972 experiencing homelessness as of January 2018, the most of any other state in America.

“We need to address the issue of affordability, it’s connected to the dream,” Newsom said. “You’ve got an American dream and you’ve got a California dream. There’s no other state in the country that connects to a dream but the California dream is predicated on social mobility.”

AB 1482 hailed the “nation’s strongest statewide renter protection package” was also signed by Gov. Newsom, allowing for rent and eviction protection throughout California.

On Sunday, Gov. Newsom announced that he’d vetoed SB 5, a bill that would allot up to $2 billion annually to fund affordable housing in California.

In a letter addressed to the members of the California state senate, Newsom said, “Legislation with such a significant fiscal impact needs to be part of budget deliberations so that it can be considered in light of other priorities.”

The governor concluded the letter by ensuring he would uphold an environment in which affordable housing is met.

“I will continue to work collaboratively with the legislature next year to continue to support increased housing production at all income levels across our state,” Newsom said.

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