CA legislators should take a breath on housing ‘crisis.’


In recent articles in CalMatters, Susan Kirsch, founder and past President of Livable California, wrote “Sen. Scott Wiener’s controversial Senate Bill 50 is huffing and puffing its way back to the 2020 California legislative session. It aims to blow down formerly protected constitutional authority for cities to tackle their own planning and zoning…The objections citizens registered in 2019 when SB 50 was introduced are not mitigated by new amendments.”

“Legislators should take a breather. They could declare a moratorium on more legislation until the impact of the 40-plus housing bills passed in the last four years take effect, and they ought to analyze and address the underlying causes of income inequity.

Additionally, they could strive to restore harmony by collaborating with cities and citizens instead of blasting the music of giant corporate interests who seek to expand their real estate empires.”

“We have a housing problem, but the crisis is the loss of democracy brought about by the financialization of housing. When legislators become champions of the simplistic explanation that cities are to blame, they abandon critical thinking, their constituents, and their oaths of office.

Legislation that diminishes local control by expanding developers’ rights, investors’ profits, and regionalism will worsen the affordability crisis. Take a breather. Adopt a collaborative approach.  Review housing policy and projects at the local level that are proving successful. “

And they should permanently shelve Senate Bill 50.

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