Sophia Bollag

Sep. 11, 2023 Updated: Sep. 12, 2023 11:39 a.m.

 California lawmakers on Monday voted to extend a 2017 law that requires cities behind on their state housing goals to streamline approval of some projects, sending the measure to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Developers in San Francisco have used the law to speed up thousands of housing units since it took effect at the start of 2018. The law, which was written by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, is set to expire at the end of 2025. The measure lawmakers passed Monday, SB423, would extend them until 2036 with some modifications, including expanding the areas where the law applies to include parts of the coast that already are zoned for housing and wouldn’t be affected by sea-level rise.

Recent amendments to the bill single out San Francisco for more frequent assessments of its compliance with state housing requirements. Under the bill, the state’s Housing and Community Development department evaluates cities and counties to determine whether they are behind on their state-mandated housing targets. Other cities and counties will be subject to evaluations at four-year intervals, but San Francisco will be evaluated annually. Recent Chronicle reporting has shown that the city is way behind on its state-mandated goals.

Wiener took aim at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in justifying his decision to target his city for more scrutiny.

“San Francisco has a debilitating housing shortage, which is driving the middle class out of our city and fueling homelessness. Yet, San Francisco continues to act without sufficient urgency in tackling this crisis,” he wrote in a statement to the Chronicle. “The Board of Supervisors continues to kill new housing, whether Stevenson Street or other zoning-compliant projects.”

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