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Housing SB423 and SB4 California Senate

By David J. Thompson

Passage of SB 423 will make “Builders Remedy” permanent for cities not having an approved housing element. Bill neglects building housing for very low income households.

Two bills relating to housing and requirements affordable housing have been sent to the Senate Floor. Because Davis has not had its housing element approved by the State of California, our city is now open to “Builders Remedy”. SB 423 makes permanent that any housing can be built as long as it has 20% of the units for low income households. Under SB 423 most city oversight is removed.

My critique of these two bills (SB423 and SB4 Weiner) is that they do nothing (as far as I can tell) to provide housing for the most in need group of very low income households (VLI) in our city. They do however; push for units for low income households (LI) and that might be as much as the housing advocates could lobby for in these two bills.

If these low income units are the only ones built then a city will continue to not meet its VLI targets. Does that mean therefore most housing elements will be found out of compliance? And therefore, the builders remedy will be the only law of the land? I have a call into the Senate to pose this question. (This paragraph added today)

SB 423 (Builders Remedy applied to cities that do not have an approved housing element) only requires that 20% of the housing that is actually built is at 80% and below.

SB4 (Faith based Land) only requires that all units must be at 80% or below.

The Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) set by our region for Davis are,


So while those bills help us set land aside within the city towards 350 units of low income housing they do nothing to help us plan for 580 units of very low income housing.

Keep in mind that the RHNA numbers are the units that a city can show could be built.

The RHNA numbers are very misunderstood; they do not actually require that any units be built.

I welcome correction of any factual errors in this article.


Ron O

Good questions, Dave. Especially the part about cities being essentially "permanently" out of compliance.

I see that Rob Bonta is considering running for governor. As such, I would think that he might have to scale-back his war against California's cities, at some point.

Of course, it hasn't hurt Newsom so far - but it's mostly been all talk and no action anyway.

Alan C. Miller

But it gives Greenwald a permanent demon - evil selfish city dwellers.

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