Housing Listening Sessions

Source: https://ihsvoice.com/2021/01/20/californias-housing-crisis-poor-planning-and-prop-13-to-blame-for-widening-housing-disparities/

In an effort to address California’s tremendous housing crisis and the effects of historic low housing production and continuing high housing demand, California's state legislative response in the last several years has been the passage of numerous bills increasing opportunities for ADUs as well as SB 35, SB 330, AB 2162, SB8, SB9, SB10, and ADUs, among many others. The bills are elegantly summarized in a community accessible infographic illustration by Alfred Twu. 

These legislative packages have required that local agencies alter traditional discretionary project review processes, single family zoning, environmental review, potentially decreasing development fees, and other land use requirements. While these bills represent a path towards addressing supply and fast-tracking housing projects (especially those with affordable components), they do not sufficiently address concerns about housing affordability and security, gentrification and displacement, and equitable community benefits. In addition, the impacts of entrenched bureaucratic/political perspectives, and market speculation, continue to challenge affordable housing development.

California’s planners are at the center of ensuring that implementation of these bills delivers real results, even in the face of local political opposition to process changes dictated by the state-level mandates. This is an opportune and challenging time for planners in California to help rethink local government systems and processes in light of the tremendous affordable housing needs of the state.

The purpose of this series of listening sessions is to learn the hopes and concerns from planners throughout the State of California, as we embark on the implementation of these bills. Some questions we want to discuss together include:

As a planner, how do you feel about the fact that the state is in a housing crisis? As leaders in land use what can APA California do to support you in addressing this crisis?

  1. How has the new state housing legislation affected your workplace and the agencies we staff?
  2. What are the opportunities and the challenges that you face in your professional work when you are trying to address housing and equity issues?
  3. How do we as planners ensure this legislation prevents displacement to the extent possible and is implemented in a way that directly advances APA’s goals of affordability and equity, while improving infrastructure and sustainability?  
  4. How can the profession learn and respond in a way that highlights our relevance and ability to problem-solve local, regional, and statewide land use and housing issues? 

The California Planning Roundtable is co-creating this effort with APA California and each of our local sections to collect, synthesize, and distribute the comments received during the listening sessions to broadly identify the opportunities and challenges of the last several years’ housing and land use bills implementation. The Roundtable will then work with California Chapter leadership moving forward to look at ways to use the information in both the legislative and implementation contexts.