San Francisco Chronicle: California lawmakers must attack housing crisis

San Francisco Chronicle: California lawmakers must attack housing crisis
July 14, 2017 Peter

The fire that destroyed a 196-unit apartment building nearing completion in Oakland this month. Photo: Jonathan Goody, Special To The ChronicleCalifornia’s housing emergency can be measured in many ways — its 78,000 unsheltered homeless, nearly half the nation’s total; the 180,000 additional units a year the state needs but has no apparent prospect of producing; the tensions over urban gentrification that some are blaming for a spate of East Bay apartment building arsons. But perhaps the most remarkable sign of the crisis is that the Legislature is at long last on the brink of doing something about it. State Sen. Scott Wiener’s bill to rein in some of the worst antibuilding excesses of the state’s cities and towns survived its latest committee vote in the Assembly last week. Scores more housing-related measures are in the works, but Senate Bill 35 is the most relevant — and controversial — because it goes after the stubborn roots of the state’s daunting dwelling shortage.

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