The governor of California is moving toward a new policy on affordable housing that, if okayed by the state legislature, could help allieviate the state's lack of affordable housing, but probably not without controversy. The San Francisco Business Times reports:
Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed sweeping statewide legislation that would allow new market-rate projects with on-site affordable housing to be approved "as of right," in potentially California's most significant housing policy change in years.
The proposal has big ramifications for the Bay Area, where many cities and well-organized residents' groups have long fought residential development.
The trailing legislation to the state's 2016-2017 budget would require state assembly and senate approval. Under the proposal, new projects with 20 percent affordable housing for tenants making no more than 80 percent of the area median income or projects with 10 percent affordable housing near transit would be exempt from most local reviews.
That would be a sharp break from the current policy of most Bay Area cities, including San Francisco, where each new housing project is subject to discretionary review and usually takes years for approval.