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Housing and Homelessness

Gov. Newsom Signs New Housing Bills Expanding Zoning Density

A construction worker builds a new home.
SB 9 and SB 10 will expand the capabilities to build multi-family apartments and duplexes across the state.
(Kevork Djansezian
/
Getty Images)
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Following the defeat of the recall effort against him, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a pair of controversial housing bills.

SB 9 and SB 10 were written with the intent of addressing California's affordable housing crisis.

Among other things, they allow property owners to build duplexes on single family lots, and divide parcels into as many as four units. SB 10, specifically, paves the way for more small apartment complexes to be built in neighborhoods zoned for single-family homes, with access to public transportation.

But as KQED's Marisa Lagos explains, opponents of those bills are already gearing up for a fight.

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"We're already hearing that there might be legal and potentially ballot challenges to this, that there might be some ballot measures in 2022, kind of seeking to push back on these. Which are, I think, an incremental step towards more housing, but certainly not going to solve the housing crisis overnight," said Lagos.

Critics argue that most new construction allowed under these bills wouldn't necessarily be affordable housing — though proponents say that even building more market-rate housing could, potentially, bring down prices.

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