Senator Skinner Introduces SB 1227 to Boost Student Housing

March 21, 2018

Senator Skinner Introduces SB 1227 to Boost Student Housing

State Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) has introduced legislation aimed at increasing the production of needed housing for California’s college and university students. Skinner’s bill, SB 1227, would change state housing law to encourage the construction of student housing that includes affordable student units.

“With California having some of the most expensive college towns in the country, students are hard hit by housing costs,” said Senator Skinner. “Current law makes it harder to build housing exclusively for students and nearly impossible to include affordable units in that housing, my bill SB 1227 fixes that.” 

Under current state law, builders who opt to include affordable units in their residential projects are allowed to cover the costs for the addition of affordable units by increasing the total number of housing units in the project. Known as the state density bonus, this incentive allows housing developments to potentially include up to 35 percent more housing units. 

SB 1227 would open up California’s density bonus incentives to 100 percent student-serving housing projects. Under SB 1227, students would be able to submit financial aid documents in order to qualify for the affordable units. Since student housing is often rented by the room or even by the bed, the changes would also allow student-housing projects to apply the density bonus based on the number of bedrooms or beds instead of the number of housing units. 

“Housing costs should not be an obstacle to getting a college education,” said Senator Skinner. “SB 1227 helps level the playing field so that more student housing and more affordable student housing actually gets built.”

Senator Nancy Skinner (@NancySkinnerCA) represents the 9th Senate District. She serves as Chair of the Senate Public Safety Committee and the Budget Subcommittee on Corrections, Public Safety and the Judiciary.