June 10, 2021 / SB 6 has been designated by Livable California as one of the 7 Bad Bills of 2021. Here’s what SB 6 does: 

SB 6 does not produce, or help finance, a single unit of affordable housing in California, thanks to the bill’s 10-unit loophole. It potentially allows developers to dismantle small business districts — to wedge in 10-unit market-rate housing projects.

The bill is an open invitation to luxury housing developers to push out small business owners. Thriving mom-and-pops who pay monthly rent could be severely impacted, a sector dominated by Black, Latino and Asian small business owners.

SB 6 was approved by the state Senate, and will be debated in Assembly committees in June/July. Call and meet with your Assembly member NOW to kill this bill because:

  • If a commercial building has been 50% vacant for 3 years, the remaining tenants can be pushed out to create market-rate housing. A final blow for robust small businesses who survived COVID-19.
  • Mom-and-pops who operate without leases and whose space is wanted by developers will face complex issues to survive. Think cleaners, cafes, hair salons, clothing stores, convenience stores.
  • SB 6 doesn’t require that any affordable units be built, as long as the proposed market-rate apartment project contains 10 units or fewer.
  • SB 6 throws out local parking standards, requiring NO parking for apartments within 1/2 mile of transit, and requiring minimal parking for apartments nowhere near transit.
  • This bill embraces the ill-advised “trickle-down” concept, which Bay Area state Sen. Scott Wiener has tried for 4 years to apply to thousands of communities statewide.

SB 6 is an invitation to airbnb developers, pension funds and rental giants to grow their lucrative real estate portfolios. We expect to see productive small businesses destroyed in sensitive areas of California including Crenshaw, Oxnard, San Bernardino, Compton, Inglewood, Fresno, Rialto and many others thanks to SB 6.

Small businesses are part of the neighborhood commercial ecosystem. This needlessly aggressive bill does not protect locally-owned businesses.

Livable California supports repurposing of idle commercial buildings as housing, but not this bill. We support SB 15 (Portantino) which requires a city process of rezoning businesses that have had at least an 80% vacancy for a year. Most important, SB 15 housing will be affordable, ranging from low-income units up to workforce housing set at 20% below market-rate prices.