Senator Wiener’s Work on Transportation & Housing
Senator Wiener is a statewide leader in working to meaningfully address California’s severe housing shortage, to reduce traffic congestion, and to modernize and expand our public transportation system. Senator Wiener understands that for California to succeed, we need more housing, we need housing to be near jobs and public transportation, and we need access to non-auto modes of transportation (transit, cycling, walking, scootering, etc.) that provide a viable alternative to driving.
During his first year in the Senate, Senator Wiener authored and passed SB 35, a landmark bill to streamline and expedite housing approvals in cities throughout California that are not meeting their housing goals. SB 35 ensures that housing projects are not delayed or killed as a result of obstruction. The bill has already been invoked in a number of cities to streamline thousands of housing units, a large percentage of which are affordable to low-income and very low-income individuals. That same year, Senator Wiener co-authored bills to create permanent funding sources for affordable housing.
In 2018, Senator Wiener authored SB 827 and SB 828. SB 827 would allow more housing near public transportation by legalizing apartment buildings near transit. (Currently, many communities ban apartment buildings, even right next to major transit hubs.) Although SB 827 did not pass on its first try, Senator Wiener is reintroducing the bill for the 2019 session. SB 828, which was signed into law, creates a clearer, fairer, more data-driven, and more equitable process for how state and regional bodies assign housing goals to cities, thus reducing the political influences that have frequently allowed wealthier communities to avoid creating housing.
Senator Wiener co-authored SB 1, the largest transportation funding measure in California history, generating over $5 billion annually for road and highway repairs and new investments in public transportation. As part of the crafting of SB 1, Senator Wiener successfully advocated to triple the funds dedicated specifically to public transportation and bike/pedestrian infrastructure. Senator Wiener also authored or co-authored legislation to ensure safer streets for cyclists, pedestrians, and transit users and to allow congestion pricing pilot programs.
Before his election to the Senate, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Senator Wiener authored legislation to allow for new in-law units, allow for new rent-controlled units, increase housing density along transit corridors, generate more student housing, allow the construction of micro-units, and protect tenants at risk of eviction. He authored a ballot measure to tie funding for public transportation and bike and pedestrian improvements to population growth, generating tens of millions of new dollars for these critical projects. He also expanded San Francisco’s Transportation Development Impact Fee, thus requiring new developments to pay into the city’s transportation infrastructure fund.
Senator Wiener, while in local government, served as Chairman of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority and represented San Francisco on the regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District Board of Directors.