Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a pair of bills Wednesday that are intended to spur housing development on plots of land that are zoned for commercial and office buildings and parking lots.
State legislators and construction union officials gathered for the signing of Assembly Bill 2011 and Senate Bill 6, which both encourage and incentivize building housing in commercial areas and ensure that the workers building new housing will be paid sufficient wages.
The two bills, according to SB 6 author Sen. Anna Caballero, and AB 2011 author Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, could support the construction of more than 2 million new housing units across the state while reducing urban sprawl and vacant storefronts and office buildings.
“We have an abundance of retail space, we have an abundance of office parks that are no longer being utilized and we have a real deficit of housing,” Wicks said. “Let’s use that land for what it should be for: homes so people have housing security.”
Newsom signed an additional 36 housing-related bills after the signing ceremony and argued that state officials have in the past deferred efforts to expand the availability of affordable housing and housing more broadly.
State officials dedicated some $3.3 billion in the budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year to spur the construction of affordable housing developments.