On May 23, the Affordable Housing and High Road Jobs Act (AB 2011) passed the Assembly and will advance to the State Senate for a vote in June. Passing by 48-9, AB 2011 would allow affordable and mixed-income housing construction in areas originally zoned for commercial use. 

Unveiled in April by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, AB 2011 also stipulates that developers of these multi-family homes adhere to responsible wage and training standards for laborers. Some of those requirements include that every project must provide prevailing wages and that health benefits be offered on projects that consist of 50 or more units. 

“Today’s vote brings us one step closer to streamlining production of a huge amount of much-needed affordable housing, and in turn creating tens of thousands of well-paying, high road construction jobs in every community,” Wicks said in a statement

Despite the desperate need for more affordable housing in California, many are still against the bill because of the power it takes away from local communities. The League of California Cities argues that "AB 2011 disregards state-mandated local planning efforts and would force cities to allow certain affordable housing and mixed-use housing developments in zones where office, retail, or parking are a principally permitted use, regardless of any inconsistency with a local government’s general plan, specific plan, zoning ordinance, or regulation."

There's no easy solution when it comes to California's lack of affordable housing, and it will be interesting to see how the debate around AB 2011 progresses in the weeks leading up to the State Senate vote. Want to learn more about what California is doing to help ease the state's housing crisis? Then check out our other blog about the Forgivable Equity Builder Loan program.

Posted by Ben Nicolas (Manager) on
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