Action Item: Senate Bill 35

Senate Bill 35 is one of a package of several bills meant to mitigate the astronomical housing prices in California, aka “solve the housing crisis.”  The bill passed the California Senate in June, and was ordered to the Assembly.  Debate, scheduled for Friday, September 1, was postponed until after the Labor Day weekend.

For highlights of SB 35, please see Affordable Housing Streamlined Approval Process:  Who Should be in Charge? by clicking“Articles” in the menu above.

To reiterate the reason stated in our previous article why SB 35 should be opposed, this bill further moves the function of housing construction from incentives to mandates.  Decisions once the purview of your neighborhood leaders and city councils will be relegated to formula – x units per y locations.   

The bill is touted as supported by city mayors, which is true of mayors of big cities like Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose.  However, among the bill’s opponents is the League of California Cities, counting in its membership elected officials of many smaller jurisdictions.  Also in opposition to SB 35 are community organizations that would prefer to negotiate with builders on a one-to-one for what is best for the community.  

We recommend you listen to the short segment on SB 35 on AirTalk.  You will notice that guest Peter Cohen, Co-Director of San Francisco Council of Community Housing Organizations, responds to questions from the interviewer clearly and directly; while Fred Sutton, director of Government Affairs of Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles, seems to repeat the mantra cities must meet the housing goals mandated by SB 35 –  control is “How you meet your housing goals not whether you meet your housing goals.” The NCC does not in any way endorse either speaker or association, but recommends listening for a good summary of the issues involved.


Also recommended is Senator Scott Wiener’s own presentation on SB 35, where you will hear where the mantra came from.

Events become iconic unpredictably.  SB 35 has earned such nomenclature as representing a significant shift from market realities defined by cities and counties to those defined by state legislators. 

We hope we have shown you the detrimental effects of SB 35.  If you agree with our view, please call or email your California Assembly Member and suggest a NO vote.