Sen. Wiener on Santa Clara Board of Supervisors Endorsement of SB50

December 20, 2019

Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Endorses Senator Wiener’s SB 50 – More HOMES Act

Santa Clara County joins a growing coalition in support of Senator Wiener’s zoning reform bill


San Francisco – Today, the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 to endorse Senator Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) Senate Bill 50. SB 50 eliminates hyper-low-density zoning near transit and job centers, thus legalizing apartment buildings and affordable housing in these locations so that more people can live near transit and near where they work. It also reduces or eliminates minimum parking requirements for new developments. California has a 3.5 million home deficit, equal to the housing deficit of the other 49 states combined. California ranks 49 out of 50 states in homes per capita. Since the early 1960s, California population has almost tripled, while its housing production has declined by about 75%. Santa Clara County is the largest county in the Bay Area.

Former San Jose Councilmember and current Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese, who serves regionally on MTC and ABAG, expressed his support for a growth mindset to ensure housing is accessible to all income levels: “The housing crisis in California is exacerbating socio-economic inequality and raising serious environmental concerns in every city and county of our great state. The state must utilize a multi-pronged approach to stimulate housing construction in job-rich and transit-rich areas that includes increasing funding, removing red tape, and streamlining the process.” 

“California’s severe housing shortage is hurting so many people. California is increasingly becoming a place where young families are getting priced out, and where more and more people are forced to sleep in their cars,” said Senator Wiener. “I’m thrilled to see Santa Clara County come on board and proactively support SB 50, which presents a bold solution to our housing crisis. It’s great that Silicon Valley is embracing the need for more housing density, helping avoid environmentally disastrous sprawl near our major urban centers. This is terrific forward momentum for SB50.”

Community leaders also spoke out regarding Santa Clara County’s endorsement of SB50:

"SB 50 is key to a more equitable, affordable, and sustainable California,” said Michael Lane, the Deputy Director of SV@Home, an affordable housing advocacy group based in Silicon Valley. “We are very grateful that the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors is supporting this legislation that will allow more homes to be built near quality transit and jobs here in Silicon Valley. SB 50 promotes development in the right places to increase housing availability and affordability and decrease traffic congestion and related carbon emissions. We hope the California State Legislature is taking note."

“It’s great to see that Santa Clara County is all in on ending our housing crisis. They are supporting proactive, bold steps that will allow us to build more homes near transit and jobs. I expect we will now see more counties across the state endorse SB 50, which puts the burden on our wealthier suburbs to build more housing that is affordable to working people,” said Todd David, the Executive Director of the Bay Area Housing Advocacy Coalition.

A number of community groups also addressed a letter to the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors, supporting and asking the board to endorse SB 50. Those groups include the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the Silicon Valley Organization, South Bay YIMBY, Livable Sunnyvale, the Associated Student Government of San Jose State University, SPUR’s San Jose office, and more.

Additionally, SB 50 is supported by a broad coalition of labor, environmental, affordable housing, senior, student, and business organizations, including the California Labor Federation, the California Chamber of Commerce, the State Building and Construction Trades Council, the California League of Conservation Voters, AARP California, the UC Student Association, the California Building Industry Association, the Northern California Carpenters Regional Council, the Natural Resources Defense Council, CALPIRG, Environment California, Habitat for Humanity, the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, the California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund (CaRLA), the California Apartment Association, and a host of other renter, business, and labor organizations. It is sponsored by California YIMBY, the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, and the California Association of Realtors.

It also enjoys bi-partisan support from members of the Legislature and support from numerous mayors and city council members from around the state including San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, and Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs.