California State Senator Bill Dodd, D-Yolo, on Tuesday announced legislation that will help create affordable housing in California by identifying surplus properties in the state that could be used for development, advancing Governor Gavin Newsom’s past initiatives to address the state’s housing crisis. .
“The rapid creation of affordable housing is vital for Californians who are experiencing increased homelessness and instability due to extreme prices,” Dodd stressed. “To accelerate the construction of these much-needed units, we must continue to prioritize the use of excess state land. My bill will ensure that we continue to identify available properties and that these projects proceed in the most economical and efficient manner possible. »
According to a California Housing Partnership report, 1.4 million low-income California households lacked access to affordable housing in 2021.
A press release from the senator noted that despite California’s need for affordable housing, “the state has been missing 100,000 units each year from its affordable housing goals for many years.”
“The state’s need for affordable housing significantly exceeds its supply, negatively affecting Californians.”
The statement went on to note that the bill — Senate Bill 561 — would expedite the development of Newsom’s 2019 executive order that first called for the use of surplus state land for housing. affordable.
“At its command, the Department of General Services reviewed 44,000 state properties and found 92 suitable for affordable housing,” the statement said. However, as of March this year, only 19 of the properties have been put forward by the department for development.
Dodd’s bill would codify the governor’s order while requiring transparency and reporting on the long-term lease of surplus land to the legislature and incorporating recommendations from the state auditor’s report to facilitate the identification of additional state surplus properties and the ultimate creation of more affordable housing.