Protect Our Low-Income Communities - Oppose SB 35 Unless Amended

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SB 35 is a dangerous, double-edged bill that threatens to increase displacement of our urban communities where development is already “hot.” While this bill has the potential to make affordable housing development easier in less sensitive areas, it will bring negative effects to urban core cities where ethnic communities thrive by allowing developers to build without community process.  In low-income communities that are already grappling with gentrification and displacement pressures, accelerating and expediting market-rate development will hurt, not help.

 Development should not cause displacement.

 SB 35 does not address California’s real barriers to producing affordable housing: exclusionary zoning regulations and the lack of dedicated funding for affordable housing. We need policies that stem the tide of displacement and assure that all communities in California do their “fair share” to facilitate building housing that is truly affordable.

 The practical outcome of this policy will be to deregulate luxury housing development, which has been shown to be a common result in all of California’s major urban areas to cause displacement of lower-income communities, and exclude all but the wealthiest. High-priced housing developments are already destroying existing diverse neighborhoods, displacing current residents, small businesses, and jobs.

 Communities must have the ability to mitigate those impacts. SB 35 suppresses the right of the public to participate, and strips away people’s voice in ensuring that as much affordable housing gets built in as many parts of the State as possible. Participation by low-income communities have resulted in greater affordable housing, lesser environmental impacts, retention of small businesses, and a stable, diverse economic base.

 Yes, we need more affordable housing, and a well-crafted  and targeted “by-right” development bill might aid in that goal.  In its current form, however, this policy gives even greater power to profit-driven real estate developers to build whatever suits their needs. SB 35 is not a solution to affordable housing.

 



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