Updated April 7, 2021

Incredibly, state senators Scott Wiener and Toni Atkins are going to make ANOTHER push for massive market-rate density forced upon thousands of single-family streets statewide.

The bill is SB 9, Son of SB 1120.

How do we get this pair to understand that California needs one thing in the housing arena: Affordable housing for working-class, poor, and those of very modest means.

We get it, Wiener has more than $1 million in his pocket from corporations and developers who want to invest in luxury rental homes.

We get it, Atkins is married to a developer.

But their mantra, that the legislature must take drastic action to build vast new amounts of market-rate housing?

It’s no more true than the need for the California State Legislature to take drastic action to shift our car market to BMWs and Mercedes Benz.

Wiener and Atkins are wrong.

These folks have wasted four years pushing for market-rate density even as the market-rate housing market produced its growing glut of vacancies. Years wasted on drastic market-rate housing experiments SB 827, SB 50, SB 50 II and SB 1120.

Here’s a handy list for Wiener and Atkins to keep in their pockets. Maybe it will change their minds:

  1. California’s population growth is slow and leveling. San Francisco’s and Los Angeles’ growth was near a standstill LONG BEFORE COVID-19.
  2. Every major city in California has enough zoning on the books to approve several million unneeded market-rate apartment units RIGHT NOW.
  3. Los Angeles alone is zoned for more than 5M residents, yet has only 4M residents. Plus, under Density Bonus law, L.A. can grow to 7M. Without a SINGLE radical zone change from Wiener-Atkins. When will L..A. grow to 5 million? Not in our lifetimes, according to US Census data.

Why did Wiener and Atkins create a fiasco in Sacramento in August of 2020, that led to the much-deserved death of the awful SB 1120?

Why are Wiener-Atkins bent on upending single-family zoning and home ownership, despite strong opposition from communities that would face obliteration such as Black and thriving South Los Angeles as well as far-flung interior towns such as Murrieta?

The answer is that there’s just too much developer money pouring in to legislators in Sacramento.

That money has distorted the housing debate beyond recognition.

Let’s all work to create a rational debate about low-income housing needed RIGHT NOW.