Gov. Newsom signs bills to turn unused retail areas into housing


Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed two bills his administration says will boost housing and create thousands of jobs in California. The governor signed AB 2011 and SB 6, which together will allow for more affordable housing to be built in underused commercial areas typically reserved for retail, office and parking. The bills would create thousands of good-paying jobs and ramp up housing near public transit areas, Newsom’s office said. Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) was the author of one of the bills. “It is not ok that we have one of the lowest home ownership rates in the country,” she said. “This is a moment on a journey to reconcile the original sin, the original sin of the state of California on the issue of housing and affordability,” the governor said Wednesday. Newsom signed the legislation at an unused funeral home that is expected to be the future site of an affordable housing community in San Francisco. Newsom also announced $1 billion in funding for what his office considers 30 shovel-ready projects through a state program called the California Housing Accelerator. The projects are expected to create 2,755 new homes. The bills are part of a housing package of more than 40 other housing-related proposals the governor has approved. Newsom, who is up for reelection this November, made a campaign promise when he first ran for governor in 2018 to develop 3.5 million new homes by 2025. His administration has issued enough permits for about 120,000 since he took office. Supply chain issues stemming from the pandemic plus local, legal and other challenges have made the goal out of reach for state leaders. Although he made the specific pitch in a 2017 post on Medium, Newsom Wednesday said the 2025 goal wasn’t a promise, but a goal needed to address the state’s housing crisis. “I said it was a stretch goal, and I made the point at the time that in the process of trying to achieve it, it will allow us to see what’s possible,” Newsom said. The governor noted in the first six months of this year, the state has issued 71,236 permits for new housing, the most since 2006. He said his administration has set a target to build 2.5 million homes by 2030.

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed two bills his administration says will boost housing and create thousands of jobs in California.

The governor signed AB 2011 and SB 6, which together will allow for more affordable housing to be built in underused commercial areas typically reserved for retail, office and parking. The bills would create thousands of good-paying jobs and ramp up housing near public transit areas, Newsom’s office said.

Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) was the author of one of the bills. “It is not ok that we have one of the lowest home ownership rates in the country,” she said.

“This is a moment on a journey to reconcile the original sin, the original sin of the state of California on the issue of housing and affordability,” the governor said Wednesday.

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Newsom signed the legislation at an unused funeral home that is expected to be the future site of an affordable housing community in San Francisco.

Newsom also announced $1 billion in funding for what his office considers 30 shovel-ready projects through a state program called the California Housing Accelerator. The projects are expected to create 2,755 new homes.

The bills are part of a housing package of more than 40 other housing-related proposals the governor has approved.

Newsom, who is up for reelection this November, made a campaign promise when he first ran for governor in 2018 to develop 3.5 million new homes by 2025. His administration has issued enough permits for about 120,000 since he took office.

Supply chain issues stemming from the pandemic plus local, legal and other challenges have made the goal out of reach for state leaders.

Although he made the specific pitch in a 2017 post on Medium, Newsom Wednesday said the 2025 goal wasn’t a promise, but a goal needed to address the state’s housing crisis.

“I said it was a stretch goal, and I made the point at the time that in the process of trying to achieve it, it will allow us to see what’s possible,” Newsom said.

The governor noted in the first six months of this year, the state has issued 71,236 permits for new housing, the most since 2006.

He said his administration has set a target to build 2.5 million homes by 2030.

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