Major Affordable Housing Group Announces Support for Bill to Create More Housing Near Public Transportation

April 13, 2018

Sacramento–  Senator Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) bill to create more housing near public transportation has received a key endorsement from a major affordable housing group. The Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH), which represents over 750 affordable housing developers and advocates, announced in letter that it supports SB 827, which will prevent small and mid-sized multi-unit buildings from being banned near public transportation. 

In their letter, NPH called SB 827 “A bold approach to address our state’s affordable housing crisis by promoting inclusive growth while combating restrictive and exclusionary zoning and protecting existing affordability.” 

NPH also said in the letter that SB 827:

  • Straddles the balance between promoting more housing growth while minimizing any potential displacement
  • Will promote more of the ‘missing middle’ types of homes for families that make too much for traditional affordable housing and too little to afford what is available in the market.
  • Will be a major tool to combat restrictive and exclusionary zoning that that has contributed to the Bay Area’s and California’s concentration of wealth and opportunity for the few to the detriment of the many

NPH came on in support of SB 827 after Senator Wiener’s made recent amendments to the bill, including setting affordable housing requirements in cities that don’t have local affordability requirements, refining the definition of transit corridors to focus on high-quality, all-day bus service (not just rush hour service), strengthening demolition controls to exclude properties where there has been an Ellis Act eviction, removing the bill’s 85-foot height allowance in order to focus the bill on 45-55 foot wood frame

buildings, and limiting the bill’s height increases to rail, subway, and ferry stops (with bus stops still triggering density increases, though not height increases). The amendments also delay implementation of SB 827 in order to give local communities time to plan and enact their own requirements for denser development near public transit.

Other recent support has come from a group of national fair housing experts who called SB 827 “a critical step towards housing equity and fairness” that “would allow more affordable housing than is currently permitted to be constructed where public transportation systems can carry job seekers to employment centers.” 

Environmental organizations Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment California, and Climate Resolve said, “SB 827 represents the scale of action necessary to meaningfully address the affordable housing and environmental crises.”

A group of urban policy professors from California universities said, “SB 827 can break the local gridlock and put housing where it belongs.”

SB 827 is slated to be heard in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on Tuesday April 17. SB 827 is co-authored by Senators Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), and Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), and is sponsored by California YIMBY. In addition to NPH, SB 827 is supported by the California Building Industry Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environment California, Climate Plan, the California Chamber of Commerce, the Council of Infill Builders, the California Apartment Association, the California Association of Realtors, the California Asian Chamber of Commerce, the Local Government Commission, Habitat for Humanity, the Bay Area Council, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, the Los Angeles Business Council, the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR), the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, the Tech Equity Collaborative, the Two Hundred, and a number of local pro-housing advocacy organizations.