Landmark Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk to Address the Bay Area Housing Crisis
AB 1487 Empowers the Bay Area to Address the Housing Crisis Through Regional Funding, Programs, Tools
The California State Legislature approved Assembly Bill 1487 (Chiu-San Francisco), which will allow the San Francisco Bay Area to come together and address the region’s housing challenges through new funding, programs, and tools. This bill will make the Bay Area one of only a handful of regions in the country with the ability to directly raise desperately needed funds to support the preservation and production of affordable housing as well as tenant protection programs. The bill passed both chambers with overwhelming support, passing the Senate in a 26-13 vote and the Assembly in a 41-24 vote. Governor Newsom now has until October 13 to sign the bill into law.
Assemblymember David Chiu authored and championed this historic bill in partnership with co-sponsors The Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH) and Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise), in collaboration with the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). It builds upon years of advocacy and research by affordable housing, equity, and environmental advocates, as well as a commitment from the business community. The Bay Area has a growing track record of public support for affordable housing, including numerous voter-approved city and county affordable housing revenue measures. Recent polling has also demonstrated overwhelming public support for a comprehensive regional housing strategy. The legislation represents the clear and critical next step to addressing the housing challenges facing the Bay Area.
In 2018, Enterprise authored the report, Elephant in the Region: Charting the Path for Bay Area Metro to Lead a Bold Regional Housing Agenda. The report identifies current gaps and challenges that jurisdictions face meeting the housing needs of their residents and calls for robust regional housing infrastructure to meet that need, including innovative funding and financing and technical assistance. This report inspired the regional approach put forth by AB 1487.
“This bill will empower the region to take bold steps to meet the needs of our Bay Area neighbors hit hardest by the housing crisis,” said Heather Hood, vice president and Northern California market leader at Enterprise. “It opens the door for resources and tools to preserve affordable housing, protect residents from displacement, and address the severe imbalance between jobs and housing across the Bay Area. Assemblymember Chiu’s leadership on this bill is a great service to our region, and we applaud the broad coalition that has worked to support this bill, including MTC and ABAG leadership, our co-sponsor NPH, and numerous other regional advocates.”
"Bay Area voters want bold solutions to our housing and homeless crisis and AB 1487 does just that. This bill recognizes that our housing problems don't stop and start at county borders and helps us make sure our strategy and solutions don't either,” said Amie Fishman, NPH Executive Director. "A regional ballot measure will scale our solutions and meet the housing needs of all our neighbors, no matter their race or income, and fight for the Bay Area that we love. We look forward to working with ABAG and MTC leadership to realize a vision for the Bay Area where we all have a safe, stable, affordable place to live."
The final step is for Governor Newsom to sign the bill. “This bill gives the Bay Area the ability to make meaningful change for those most impacted by the housing crisis through a regional, collaborative process,” said Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco). “It embodies the comprehensive approach to housing—production, preservation of affordable housing, and tenant protections—that is so desperately needed. It has been a pleasure to work closely with Bay Area leaders to develop solutions that meet the diverse needs of the region. I look forward to the Governor supporting this bill.”
We need your support to bring AB 1487 over the finish line! To show your support, please submit a letter to the Governor by Monday, September 23rd. Send an electronic copy to Justine Marcus at firstname.lastname@example.org who will deliver your organization’s letter to the Governor’s desk. You can also call the Governor’s office at 916-445-2841 to voice your support for AB 1487.
ABOUT AB 1487
AB 1487 lays the groundwork to meet the Bay Area’s housing challenges by granting the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) new authority and tools to raise funds subject to voter approval, deploy resources, and provide technical assistance to local jurisdictions.
ABAG and MTC endorsed AB 1487 following a robust engagement with both boards as well as an ad hoc committee focused specifically on this bill. ABAG voted 23-3 in support and MTC voted 13-3 in support. If the bill is signed by the Governor, ABAG and MTC will then have the opportunity to put forward a ballot measure to raise revenue across the region.