In brief: Berkeley’s Skinner addresses housing shortage with two bills

March 17, 2021

State Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, has announced two pieces of legislation designed to help California address its housing shortage and spur the creation of more housing units, particularly for low-income and unsheltered Californians.

The first bill, Senate Bill 8, is a follow-up to Skinner’s groundbreaking legislation, SB 330, also known as the Housing Crisis Act of 2019, which went into effect in January 2020 and jump-started housing production in California, even during the COVID-induced economic downturn. SB 330 is scheduled to expire in 2025, though, so SB 8 would extend SB 330’s provisions until 2030 and add clarifying language to ensure that the bill’s original intent of streamlining production of housing that meets local jurisdictions’ existing zoning and other rules is met.

The second bill in the housing production package is SB 290. It reforms California’s density bonus law to boost production of affordable housing units and housing for low-income college students. SB 290 is a continuation of Skinner’s SB 1085 from last year, which nearly won passage in the Legislature before time ran out on the last day of the 2020 session.


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