LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles City Council on Aug. 18 passed resolutions in opposition of two California Senate bills that were introduced to help the state’s housing crisis but that critics say will worsen it.
The resolutions, which were introduced by Councilman Paul Koretz, opposed Senate Bill 9 (SB 9) and Senate Bill 10 (SB 10).
SB 9, introduced by Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and Sen Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, would allow lots that are zoned for single-family housing to have up to four units, with opponents saying the measure would also allow for two additional accessory dwelling units, or “granny flats.”
Senate Bill 10, introduced by Wiener, to allow approval of multi-family buildings with up to 10 market-rate units, along with potentially four “granny flats,” on lots that are zoned for single-family homes only.
“SB 9 and 10 are the third annual attempt by San Francisco Sen. Scott Weiner to destroy local control over multi-family and single-family zoning in the state of California. This council has unanimously voted to oppose essentially the same bills twice before and we should do it again,” Koretz said.
Councilman Mike Bonin, who voted in support of the resolutions, said that while he sees the shortcomings of single-family zoning, he looked to which groups oppose and support the bills.
“I look at who’s behind (the bills) and who’s opposed to them and when I see the affordable housing organizations here in Los Angeles saying this doesn’t do it for us, that concerns me,” Bonin said.
Housing Is A Human Right, which is a division of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, came out in opposition to the bills and conducted a statewide poll that found 63 percent of Californians oppose SB9 and 67 percent oppose SB 10.
“There is no requirement for affordable housing or homeless housing, and given that we have 161,000 people who are homeless in the state of California, over 60,000 in the county and over 40,000 in the city, it is absolutely unconscionable to have a housing production bill that would not provide for our homeless community or for people who desperately need affordable housing,” Susie Shannon, policy director for Housing Is A Human Right, said in a call to the City Council meeting on Aug. 18.
Assata Umoja of the Hyde Park Organizational Partnership for Empowerment called into the meeting to oppose the Senate bills for potentially worsening the homelessness crisis.
“Neither of these bills promotes any type of equity nor community stability and will only increase homelessness,” she said.
Councilman Gil Cedillo voted against both resolutions, saying the Senate bills included opportunities for the city to address concerns.
“We must now act and act affirmatively and build our toolbox so that we can take the actions necessary to build housing,” Cedillo said.
Councilwoman Nithya Raman voted against the resolution that opposed Senate Bill 10.
“If we’re going to tell Sacramento to stay out of our way when it comes to housing policies, then we, in Los Angeles, have to be willing to do the work ourselves and all of the data that we have right now points to the fact that we haven’t been doing it,” Raman said.
She noted that the Los Angeles Department of City Planning told council members Aug. 17 that 71 percent of the residentially zoned land in Los Angeles is for single-family homes only, and any new multi-family construction has to be limited to 29 percent of the city.