NEWS: The Housing Bill SB50 in California

The Housing Bill SB50, intended to solve the housing issue in California by upzoning many building areas in California and constructing high-density buildings near transit zones and job centers, have failed to pass through the state Senate due to a lack of votes on January 30, 2020. (Beam, 2020)

Senator Scott Wiener proposed the SB50 bill in 2018, and has been supporting this proposal for three years. Even after this year’s declination, Wiener will not give up on championing the idea.

The purpose of the SB50 bill was to support affordable housing in the state by allowing multi-family housing in areas previously intended for single-family housing. The bill would also have addressed the current high rents and homelessness issue by providing more than 3.5 million affordable residential dwellings by 2025. For example, allowance would have been given to the construction of new smaller apartments in five-story complexes within a half-mile of rail stations, ferry terminals, bus stops and job centers.

Success stories of similar upzoning bills can be found in other states and cities such as Oregon, which passed a similar bill on banning single-family housing statewide last year. At the moment the cities Maryland (Virginia) and Austin (Texas), have shown their interest in a similar way of upzoning and addressing the nation’s expensive housing problem. (Bliss, 2020)

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