Senate Republican Leader Bates Says Democrats' Housing Package Will Make Affordable Housing More Expensive

Friday, September 15, 2017

Senate Republican Leader Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) issued the following statement after the Senate passed a package of housing bills that would increase costs and make it more difficult for California residents to pursue their dream of becoming a homeowner.

According to the California Association of Realtors, the share of California home buyers who could afford the state’s median priced home remained at just 31 percent in the last quarter of 2016.

“The unfortunate irony of this bill package is that it will make housing even more unaffordable for Californians with low to moderate incomes. The package doesn’t address the existing regulatory framework that adds significant costs to new housing construction. For example, SB 35 would add $84,000 to the cost of a 2,600 square foot home by requiring prevailing wages.

“The package represents a false promise to many Californians, while the long-term effect is that it will increase the cost of housing,” said Senate Republican Leader Bates.

Today, the following Senate bills were passed:

  • SB 2 (link is external) (Atkins) would assess a $75-$225 tax on many real estate transactions.
  • SB 3 (link is external) (Beall) would put on the November 2018 ballot a $4 billion bond for affordable housing. Unfortunately, borrowing adds to the wall of debt that this state faces and ultimately will cost taxpayers $8 billion. 
  • SB 35 (link is external) (Wiener) would hurt local control, fail to streamline or reform burdensome mandates, and add a mandate to pay prevailing wages (union-level wages and benefits). 
  • SB 166 (link is external) (Skinner) would require local governments to make available — and potentially rezone — additional sites if they want to approve projects at a lower density than specified in their housing element. This requirement may have the unintended effect of hindering new growth.
  • SB 167 (link is external) (Skinner) would place local governments in an untenable position in contentious court cases regarding affordable housing projects which would result in significant numbers of new lawsuits and would not result in production of significant numbers of new housing units.