header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
72°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
March 5
1864 - L.A. Star newspaper report: County supervisors have accepted Beale's Cut as complete [story]
Beale's Cut


| Wednesday, Jan 8, 2020
California State Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, speaks to reporters after a press conference in Oakland on Tuesday. | CNS Photo / Nicholas Iovino.

 

OAKLAND – Looking to revive twice-failed legislation to address California’s urgent housing crisis, a Democratic state senator introduced changes to a controversial housing bill Tuesday that he and supporters hope will finally get it past the finish line this year.

Speaking on the steps of Oakland City Hall, Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, unveiled amendments to his proposed Senate Bill 50, which would override local zoning rules to encourage construction of four-to-five-story apartment buildings near public transit stations.

“We have a multimillion home shortage in the state of California,” Wiener said. “We need more housing of every variety and Senate Bill 50 will help us do that.”

Despite strong support in some circles, prior iterations of SB 50 failed in 2018 and 2019. The housing bill faced fierce opposition from several cities and organizations such as the League of Cities, which opposes forfeiting local control over housing-development decisions to the state.

The revised legislation attempts to address that issue by giving cities two years to create their own alternate plans for meeting the goals of SB 50.

“We’re giving cities more flexibility to adopt plans that work for them locally,” Wiener said.

Under the amended bill, cities can stray from specific SB 50 requirements as long as they comply with three principles. The local plans must permit as much new housing as the SB 50 would zone for, not increase miles traveled by vehicles, and not violate fair housing principles, such as concentrating new housing disproportionately in low-income communities.

The legislation would allow cities to build taller in one area but shorter in another, or denser in one area but less dense elsewhere, as long as they comply with those three principles. It also lets cities add their own provisions to housing plans, such as ensuring that existing residents have priority access to affordable housing. State agencies would have to certify each city plan’s compliance with the law.

“We’ve heard loud and clear that cities want the flexibility to implement this kind of legislation in a way that works best for them,” Wiener said in a statement following his announcement Tuesday.

The senator also touted new endorsements for his revised housing bill, including from Culver City Mayor Meghan Sahli-Wells, Carson Mayor Albert Robles and Pacoima Beautiful, a San Fernando Valley-based environmental justice group.

Not everyone is on board with the revised housing bill, however. Protesters surrounded Wiener’s press conference in Oakland on Tuesday, shouting, “Affordable housing now” and “Hey hey, ho ho, luxury housing has got to go.”

The protesters argued that Wiener and other state and local leaders must dedicate more resources to build affordable housing, rather than market-rate and luxury housing.

Members of the group Moms4Housing, which currently occupies a vacant West Oakland home owned by a Southern California real estate company, demanded Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who supports SB 50, stop green-lighting luxury housing while the city faces an unprecedented homeless crisis.

Speaking after the press conference, Moms4Housing member Misty Cross, an African-American mother of three, said it’s no coincidence that certain ethnic groups are hit hardest by the affordable housing crisis.

“It’s all by design,” she said.

Cross is one of several mothers waiting on an Alameda County judge’s ruling on whether her group will be evicted from a home at 2928 Magnolia Street in West Oakland, which the mothers have occupied since Nov. 18.

Carroll Fife, director of the Oakland/San Francisco Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, blasted the rapid construction of luxury and market-rate housing in Oakland as the city’s homeless population grew 47% from 2017 to 2019.

“You’re not building housing for people who make less than $40 an hour,” Fife said.

Despite that criticism, Oakland’s mayor touted the city’s work in tackling the housing crisis while speaking in support of SB 50 at Wiener’s press conference Tuesday.

“Oakland has set an example of how parts of SB 50 do work,” Schaaf said. “In the last few years, we’ve built seven times more housing. We’ve seen skyrocketing rents stabilized. We’ve seen dramatic reductions in evictions, but we’ve seen homelessness grow.”

Schaaf said cities like Oakland cannot combat the state’s pressing housing crisis alone. California has 3.5 million fewer homes than it needs to house people, according to an October 2016 report by the McKinsey Global Institute.

“This is a big systemic problem that requires bold, statewide action,” she said.

Another bill pending in the California Assembly would create a “right to housing” for every child and family in the state. Assembly Bill 22, authored by Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, D-Los Angeles, would provide assistance to those facing eviction, including payment of rent and utilities, legal representation and connection to services to help prevent children and families from becoming homeless.

Both bills must pass the Senate or Assembly by Jan. 31 in order to advance.

— By Nicholas Iovino, Courthouse News Service

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Friday, Mar 5, 2021
LASD Investigators Seek Help Locating Missing Person Last Seen In Canyon Country
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Missing Persons Unit investigators are asking for the public’s help locating Missing Person Debbie Phipps.
Friday, Mar 5, 2021
Garcia Sponsors Bill to Defund CA’s High-Speed Rail Project
Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, has sponsored a new bill that would prohibit the use of federal funds to pay for California’s high-speed rail project, a section of which could run along Highway 14 in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday, Mar 5, 2021
City Council to Reconvene Over Solar Panel Litigation
Santa Clarita City Council members are set to discuss in a closed session Tuesday their ongoing legal battle with property owner Canyon View Limited over the 2.5 acres of solar panels on a Canyon Country hillside.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Missing Persons Unit investigators are asking for the public’s help locating Missing Person Debbie Phipps.
LASD Investigators Seek Help Locating Missing Person Last Seen In Canyon Country
Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, has sponsored a new bill that would prohibit the use of federal funds to pay for California’s high-speed rail project, a section of which could run along Highway 14 in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Garcia Sponsors Bill to Defund CA’s High-Speed Rail Project
Santa Clarita City Council members are set to discuss in a closed session Tuesday their ongoing legal battle with property owner Canyon View Limited over the 2.5 acres of solar panels on a Canyon Country hillside.
City Council to Reconvene Over Solar Panel Litigation
1864 - L.A. Star newspaper report: County supervisors have accepted Beale's Cut as complete [story]
Beale's Cut
College of the Canyons proudly welcomes composer/lyricist, conductor, pianist and music producer Georgia Stitt to the School of Visual & Performing Arts’ Virtual Industry Insight Series on Wednesday, March 10.
Broadway Maestra Georgia Stitt to Speak at COC’s Virtual Insight Series
Valencia-based Lundgren Management was honored to be selected by the El Camino Community College District as one of three firms providing on-going construction management services for the next five years.
Valencia-Based Lundgren Management Inks 5-Year Deal with El Camino Community College District
It’s not how far you go…it’s what happens along the way! The Incredible Chase, the city of Santa Clarita’s socially distanced take on the hit CBS show “The Amazing Race,” is a brand-new competition taking place in May 2021.
City Looking for Teams to Compete in ‘The Incredible Chase’
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday 119 new deaths and 2,253 new cases of COVID-19, with 26,327 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday COVID-19 Roundup: SCV Cases Total 26,327; Public Health Advises Against Non-Essential Travel
For a three-day period starting Tuesday, the William S. Hart Union High School District football players took their first COVID-19 tests as part of the requirements for them to begin full-contact play.
Hart District Football Players Begin COVID-19 Testing, Full-Contact Play
Ken Farley, W. M. Keck Foundation professor of Geochemistry, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences and the project scientist for the Mars 2020 mission, continues the 2020–2021 Watson Lecture season with a talk about, “Perseverance on Mars," Wednesday, March 10, at 5:00 p.m., via Zoom.
Project Scientist for Mars Perseverance Continues Caltech’s Lecture Series
Los Angeles County Library is partnering with Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) to bring virtual arts programs to our communities, featuring LACMA teaching artists and staff.
L.A. County Library, LACMA Partner to Offer Virtual Arts Programs
Santa Clarita LLC, which owns the undeveloped 900-plus-acre Whittaker-Bermite site, recently filed for voluntary bankruptcy, and is working to sell it to a global industrial real estate company for possible commercial and residential development, officials said Wednesday.
Whittaker-Bermite Owner Files Bankruptcy, Selling Land
William S. Hart Union High School District governing board members Wednesday discussed a potential March 29 start date for junior high and high school in-person instruction, provided the number of L.A. County COVID-19 cases continues to decline.
Hart District Mulls Over Possible March 29 Return
The Santa Clarita Valley is now home to a new branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, following a recent vote from the association’s board of directors.
NAACP Branch Coming to Santa Clarita Valley
Because of the recent rainfall, Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, is cautioning residents that bacteria, chemicals, debris, trash, and other public health hazards from city streets and mountain areas are likely to contaminate ocean waters at and around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers after a rainfall.
Water Advisory Issued for Los Angeles County Beaches
This week, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced the kickoff for the “California Digital Divide Innovation Challenge,” a global competition that will award up to $1 million to the boldest, most revolutionary proposals to eliminate the digital divide and expand high-speed internet access to all Californians.
State Schools Chief Kicks Off ‘California Digital Divide Innovation Challenge’
1940 - NYC premiere of "The Marines Fly High" starring Lucille Ball, filmed in Placerita Canyon [story] Marines Fly High
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Wednesday confirmed 116 new deaths and 1,759 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported its 144th fatality since the pandemic began.
Wednesday COVID-19 Roundup: 144th Death at Henry Mayo; Decline in L.A. County Cases, Hospitalizations
Rancho Camulos National Historic Landmark officials will host a virtual presentation commemorating the March 12, 1928, St. Francis Dam Disaster via Zoom on Friday, March 12, starting at 4 p.m.
March 12: St. Francis Dam Disaster Commemoration Event, Free on Zoom
California State University, Northridge is launching an interdisciplinary master’s degree in sustainability, set to begin fall 2022.
CSUN to Offer an Interdisciplinary Master’s Degree in Sustainability
Princess Cruises is extending the pause of its United Kingdom-based cruise vacations, sailing roundtrip from Southampton, through September 25, 2021, on Sky Princess, Regal Princess, and Island Princess.
Princess Cruises Extends Pause of Southampton Sailings Through Sept. 25
After a relatively dry February in California, water supply managers grow increasingly anxious as each dry, sunny day plunges the state deeper into drought.
Dry February Exacerbates Drought in California
The Biden-Harris Administration has approved California’s request to use Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California) funding to pay for voluntary COVID-19 testing for low-income students covered by the program, further supporting schools in underserved communities to reopen for in-person instruction.
Feds OK Medi-Cal to Fund COVID-19 Testing for Low-Income Students
Santa Clarita planning commissioners Tuesday sent the Sand Canyon resort proposal back to the drawing board amid continued concerns, focusing largely on emergency evacuations.
Sand Canyon Resort Sent Back to Drawing Board Amid Various Concerns
%d bloggers like this: