Senator Wiener’s Landmark Housing Measure Passes Assembly
SACRAMENTO – The Assembly passed Senator Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) Senate Bill 423, legislation to extend Senator Wiener’s SB 35 (2017), one of the state’s most successful tools for accelerating development of affordable housing. The bill passed 52-8 with bipartisan support and heads next to the Assembly, where it must pass by September 14.
“With the strengthened SB 35’s streamlining provisions, we're bringing California’s ambitious housing goals within reach,” said Senator Scott Wiener. “SB 35 has proven one of the strongest tools in our toolbox for driving affordable housing development. That’s why a growing labor, business, anti-poverty, and environmental coalition has gone to bat to strengthen and extend this important law.”
SB 35’s streamlined approvals have proven to be enormously successful at increasing affordable housing production in communities failing to keep pace with their housing goals—helping develop over 18,000 units of affordable housing and tens of thousands of high-wage jobs in the four years since it went into effect.
With the law sunsetting at the end of 2025, Sen. Wiener’s new bill, SB 423, would extend its provisions—and add strong new labor standards signed into law last year by Governor Newsom that will ensure it continues to produce both affordable housing and stable, high-wage jobs for California workers. The bill has drawn support from a wide range of construction unions, including the California Conference of Carpenters, the the District Council of Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ of Northern California, Northern California District Council of Laborers, the Southern California District Council of Laborers, and the California-Nevada Conference of Operating Engineers. Together, these unions represent the majority of residential construction workers in California.
The bill was amended in the Assembly to strengthen environmental protections around the coast and in extremely high wildfire risk zones.
The bill was amended in the Senate to apply skilled and trained workforce requirements in steel-frame tall construction. Mixed income projects over 85 feet would now require skilled and trained workforce to receive streamlining, as long as the project receives at least 3 qualified bids.
SB 423 is sponsored by the California Housing Consortium, California Conference of Carpenters, the Inner City Law Center, the Local Initiative Support Corporation, and California YIMBY.
Read more about SB 423:
- Editorial: A key law creating affordable housing in California cannot be allowed to expire (Sacramento Bee, May 14, 2023)
- Editorial: California cities want to stop fast-tracking affordable housing construction. Bad idea (LA Times, April 11, 2023)
- Op-ed: California’s most successful affordable housing law really works. But the state will lose it if we don’t act now. (Pasadena Star-News, May 12, 2023)