Fixing CA’s housing crisis: Will changing zoning laws help?

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An aerial view shows homes in Rowland Heights, California. Photo by Shutterstock.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two major pieces of housing legislation on Friday. Senate Bill 9 would allow as many as four units on a piece of land where only one single-family home is currently allowed.

“Every single one of us on this floor has said at some point: We have to build more housing. No one thinks we don’t have to build, right?” State Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) said during floor debate last month. “Right now in two-thirds of California, multi-family housing, ‘missing middle’ housing, is illegal. Let’s legalize housing in California.”

Another bill Newsom signed, Senate Bill 10, would allow as many as 10 units on a lot if it’s near public transit.

“This is not exactly the silver bullet answer to California’s housing crisis,” says CalMatters housing reporter Manuela Tobías. “But it does get development a little higher to reach those goals.”

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