Re-purposing commercial and industrial properties into residential developments is an idea that should have been fast-tracked years ago. Bills were signed by the governor yesterday, and they make it look like thousands of new homes will be built shortly.
But there is more to it, of course, since politicians and lobbyists are involved. They want unions to build them, and/or they want some or all of the homes to be for low-income housing.
From this article – an excerpt:
For years, California state lawmakers have tried to reconcile warring views on what labor standards should be required of developers who’d be allowed to build housing more easily and quickly to combat the housing crisis.
Most recently that debate has splintered organized labor over two bills that both unlock commercial real estate for residential use. The Senate’s bill has the backing of the powerful state Building and Construction Trades Council, while the Assembly’s bill counts on support from affordable housing developers and the state’s Conference of Carpenters. The Legislature’s progress on housing for this session was framed as recently as last week as a battle between these two forces over the bill in the Assembly.
But following weeks of tense negotiations between the two unions over the labor provisions in the Assembly’s bill, the labor groups failed to hammer out a compromise.
So instead of choosing sides, leadership in the state Assembly and Senate simply gave their seal of approval to both bills. They opted to give developers two choices if they want to build housing where strip malls once were: Comply with stricter affordability standards or stricter labor standards.
Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins, a San Diego Democrat, called the two-bill package “a monumental legislative agreement, and one of the most significant efforts to streamline and amplify housing production in decades.”
If passed, both bills would apply to overlapping sites — and leave the choice of which policy to use in the developer’s hands.
Full article here: