Senator Wiener’s Work on Transportation & Housing

Senator Wiener is a statewide and national leader in working to meaningfully address our severe housing shortage, to reduce traffic congestion, and to modernize and expand our public transportation systems. Senator Wiener understands that for California to succeed, we need more housing, we need that housing to be near jobs and public transportation, and we need access to non-auto modes of transportation (transit, cycling, walking, etc.) that provide a viable alternative to driving.

In 2017, Senator Wiener authored and passed SB 35, a landmark law 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. This law has already been invoked throughout California to expedite approval of many thousands of homes, including a huge number of affordable homes for low-income people. SB 35 is expediting approval of nearly 2,000 affordable homes in San Francisco alone. That same year, Senator Wiener co-authored legislation to create permanent funding sources for affordable housing. 

In 2018, Senator Wiener authored SB 828, which 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 has a long record supporting tenants. He co-authored legislation creating a statewide rent cap and just cause eviction requirement, as well as legislation creating an eviction moratorium during the COVID-19 pandemic and economic collapse.

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 and automated speed enforcement.

Senator Wiener authored landmark legislation, SB 50, to address California’s housing crisis by allowing more housing for families and working people near transit and jobs. (Currently, many communities ban apartment buildings, even right next to major transit and job hubs.) Although SB 50 did not pass, it remains the most influential piece of legislation in the housing conversation nationwide and fundamentally changed how we talk about housing.

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.