California lawmakers passed Senate Bill 423 on Monday, expanding a housing law that has led to thousands of new homes, despite initial opposition from labor unions and environmental groups. The bill extends a housing law set to expire in 2026 by a decade and will streamline the bureaucratic process for initiating multifamily projects in cities falling behind state-mandated housing goals.
“If you are looking for an opportunity to support housing in your community, I can assure you this is the most consequential vote you will have this year, period, full stop,” Oakland Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, chair of the Housing and Community Development Committee, said Thursday before a vote in her chamber. “This is the most important housing bill that we are going to put on the governor’s desk.”
It now awaits Governor Gavin Newsom's signature. The legislation faced opposition from labor unions concerned about worker protections and environmental groups worried about coastal and wildfire zones. Nonetheless, it passed with bipartisan support in the Assembly (52-8) and the Senate (27-7).
Another housing proposal, Senate Bill 4, allowing nonprofit colleges and faith organizations to build affordable housing on their properties, also passed in the Senate. Both bills aim to address California's housing crisis.
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