CA politicians want to build denser housing. LA politicians say it won’t fix the affordability crisis

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The California State Assembly approved two housing measures last week that would allow increased density in areas zoned for single-family homes.

Senate Bill 9, known as the duplex measure, would allow two-unit buildings on lots that have been reserved exclusively for single-family homes. Senate Bill 10 would allow cities and counties to approve multi-family buildings (up to 10 units) on single-family lots.

“We’re not proposing to put high rises in the middle of single-family home neighborhoods. This is about duplexes. It’s about putting a two-unit building, that’s subject to local height limits, in neighborhoods, and it blends in,” says State Senator Scott Wiener, who represents the 11th District (San Francisco) and co-authored the bills.

But many local politicians oppose the bills, saying density won’t address affordability issues.

“I don’t see the dramatic need for more luxury housing to be built, and that is all these bills have tried to do, with the claim that they will trickle down and reduce values,” says LA City Councilman Paul Koretz, who represents the Fifth District (West LA and Encino). “In actuality, new construction tends to increase the values around it. So we expect it to provide no affordable housing, no workforce housing, not to solve any of the real problems we have in the city with over 40,000 homeless people. So there are actually no positives to it.”