June 10, 2021 / SB 9 is designated by Livable California as one of the 7 Bad Bills of 2021. Here’s what it does:

SB 9’s authors call it a duplex bill that allows split lots in single-family areas. Only after intense pressure from critics including Livable California did the authors concede that the bill puts 4 units, not a duplex, where one home stands today. But in fact, that is also spin. SB 9 allows 6 units, not 4, where one home stands today.

After an op-ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune questioned the lack of transparency surrounding SB 9, bill author Toni Atkins wrote a Sacramento Bee op-ed saying SB 9 would give “homeowners the opportunity to reimagine their property.”

We have spoken to hundreds of homeowners from South L.A. to Silicon Valley in recent months. We find that only developers, and the wealthy, can finance multiple homes in their yards. We believe SB 9 is the beginning of the end of homeownership in California, as investors, pension funds and rental giants jump into bidding wars against families. Housing prices will not drop due to density, as upzoned Vancouver, Seattle and Toronto have all discovered.

Call and meet with your Assembly member NOW and urge them to kill this bill:

  • Under SB 9, single-family homes can be transformed into 6-unit density, no hearings allowed.
  • Vulnerable Black and Latino homeowner areas are unprotected.
  • No units of affordable housing required, a disgrace.
  • No yard is required, with narrow setbacks from neighbors set at just 4 feet.
  • No garages are required, just one parking “space” per unit.
  • Developers are free to destroy all trees on lots, even within heat-island areas.
  • Six-unit projects are allowed on single-family lots in fire hazard severity zones.
  • All of this “by right” — meaning with no public hearings.

SB 9 is a destabilizing attack on 7 million California single-family households, white, Black, Latino and Asian. It’s NOT an “equity” bill. It’s a bulldozer bill.

Here’s a good summary of SB 9 if you’d like to use it:

SB 9 (Let’s End Homeownership, by Toni Atkins and Scott Wiener) This divisive bill, which died in 2020 as SB 1120, crushes single-family zoning in California, a threat to 7 million homeowners and 21 million residents in those homes. Wiener has called yards and single-family homes “immoral.” SB 9 is not a “duplex” bill, even though all California newspapers reported this incorrect spin throughout 2020. Instead, SB 9 allows 4 market-rate homes where 1 now stands, and 6 units when developers and investors use a “two-step” that the authors continue to deny. SB 9 is a senseless gamble against 21M people living in homes they own.