Each year EBHO’s Regional Policy Committee, staff, and board members review state legislation and determine which bills are best suited to further our mission to protect, preserve, and create affordable homes for low-income people in the East Bay. Below are the bills determined by our team as high-priority to endorse and advocate for them to pass.
Should residents of historically white, high-income communities get to vote whether or not low-income people have housing they can afford in those towns? Absolutely not. (SCA 1) In fact, should those high-income communities near jobs and transit do their part to build enough housing that low- and moderate income people can afford in the space that’s allotted for housing development? Yes. (AB1279) Will our communities be stronger if a simple majority is able to approve housing funding? Yes. (ACA 1) Should we get to vote loudly and proudly that HOUSING IS A HUMAN RIGHT and our statewide priorities should reflect that? YES!(ACA 10)
Below are the bills determined by our team as high-priority. We hope you join us in contacting your state representatives, writing a letter to the editor, and sharing information with your community about using our power to impact legislators and create affordable homes for all people in the East Bay and the state of California.
AB 1279 (Bloom): Housing Development in High-Opportunity Areas
AB 1279 would promote the development of new apartments and affordable housing in areas of the state with more access to jobs, transit, and services—areas that have historically resisted racial and economic integration. It would also prevent displacement of low-income tenants by steering new growth away from areas experiencing gentrification and discouraging demolition of renter-occupied housing. This would strike an appropriate balance, fostering growth in areas where development leads to equity and opportunity, rather than inequity and displacement.
AB 3300 (Santiago): California Access to Housing and Services Act
AB 3300 would allocate up to $2 billion on an annual basis to fund housing-first solutions to homelessness such as rental assistance, hotel/motel conversion, and building homes that are affordable to the lowest-income households. It would place an emphasis on evidence-based strategies. Therefore, a portion of the money would be dedicated to serving the people most exposed to the harms of long-term homelessness, including elders, people with mental health conditions, and people with experiences of both homelessness and incarceration.
SB 1079 (Skinner): Community Control of Distressed Properties
The COVID-19 recession is on track to cause the largest increase in distressed properties since the 2008-09 foreclosure crisis, which led to the widespread transfer of community wealth and affordable homes to corporate investors. SB 1079 would help to prevent history from repeating itself and, instead, promote more community control of housing. It would 1) limit the bulk sale of foreclosed homes to wealthy investors at auction; 2) increase fines for investors who sit on vacant homes; and 3) create a first right of purchase to keep our state’s precious housing stock in the hands of owner-occupants and non-profit organizations.
ACA 1 (Aguiar-Curry): Voter Approval for Affordable Housing Bonds
California’s Prop 13 made it so that two thirds of voters need to approve every time that a local government seeks to raise money for affordable housing and essential infrastructure through a bond measure. This is yet another barrier to building the affordable housing that our cities and regions desperately need. ACA 1 would put a measure on the state ballot to reduce this hurdle from 67 to 55 percent, making it easier for our state to get back on track.
ACA 10 (Bonta): Constitutional Right to Housing
ACA 10 would put a measure on the state ballot to create a constitutional right to housing for all residents of California. If passed by the voters, this measure would require state and local governments to 1) respect the right of unsheltered people to create their own shelters in the absence of affordable and accessible housing; 2) protect the ability of housed people to remain housed; and 3) fulfill this mission by taking progressive actions to make this right a reality for all residents.
SCA 1 (Allen): Permitting Public and Affordable Housing
In 1950, voters amended the California Constitution to prevent the construction of any new government-backed affordable housing without a local referendum. Since then, Article 34 of the Constitution has contributed to our state’s lack of affordable housing and legacies of racial segregation and inequality. SCA 1 would repeal Article 34, allowing us to address the twin harms of exclusionary development and racial injustice.
To see a full list of legislation that EBHO has taken a position on, click here.