Housing discrepancy, coupled with an environmental push set in place a decade ago to reduce car-based greenhouse gas emissions, propelled a housing and public transportation bill. Senator Scott Weiner, along with Senator Nancy Skinner and Assembly Member Phil Ting, created Senate Bill 827 (“Bill”). The Bill proposes building denser housing near public transportation, thereby allowing more people to live close to their jobs. The Bill was introduced in January 2018 and sparked feverous debate over California housing. It was amended two times—once in March 2018 and once in April 2018. Two weeks after its April amendment, in a lively senate hearing, the Bill was struck down. It is currently set for reconsideration on April 25, 2018. While the Bill died in its first hearing, and may die again during reconsideration, it has already succeeded in generating discussion and putting forth serious proposals for how to solve the housing crisis.
This paper will explore how the Bill used existing transit to dictate development requirements and what provisions of the Bill protect low-income people, specifically Ellis Act evictions, inclusionary housing requirements and relocation costs. This paper will also suggest what a more successful bill could look like, focusing on a larger percentage of a developer’s bonus going to the public, a larger apportionment of low-income and multi-family homes, and making better use of suburban transit parking lots.
Birdee, Maneesha, "More Housing Near Public Transit: Relocating the Bay Area’s Poor" (2018). Poverty Law Conference & Symposium. 10.