11. SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES

How California lawmakers greenlit ‘any flavor of affordable housing you could possibly want’

How California lawmakers greenlit ‘any flavor of affordable housing you could possibly want’
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

How California lawmakers green lit affordable housing  CalMatters

How California lawmakers greenlit ‘any flavor of affordable housing you could possibly want’

Article Rewrite

In summary

In summary

A patchwork of bills are giving housing developers and local governments more options to reduce red tape for housing projects.

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The Sustainable Development Goals and Affordable Housing in California

California is on the verge of implementing measures to facilitate the construction of affordable housing projects across the state. This achievement is not the result of a single bill, but rather a combination of existing and former legislation that covers a wide range of affordable housing options. Linda Mandolini, president of Eden Housing, a nonprofit organization focused on affordable housing development, states that these laws “basically cover any flavor of affordable housing you could possibly want to build.”

Challenges Faced by Affordable Housing Projects

Affordable housing projects, like all housing developments, encounter various challenges that contribute to the already high cost of affordable housing in California. These challenges include lawsuits filed under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), lengthy public hearings, and opposition from local governments.

Legislation to Reduce Red Tape

Several bills and laws have been introduced to streamline the approval process for affordable housing projects. Assembly Bill 1449, authored by Democratic Assemblymembers David Alvarez and Buffy Wicks, aims to exempt certain affordable apartment developments from CEQA review. The bill requires projects to be located in dense urban areas, allocate each unit to individuals earning less than 80% of the area median income, and adhere to stricter labor standards. If signed into law, this bill would provide a significant boost to affordable housing construction in California.

Impact on the Environment and Local Communities

While these measures aim to expedite the approval of affordable housing projects, they also raise concerns among environmental justice organizations, labor unions, and opponents of new development. CEQA is seen as a crucial tool for assessing the environmental impact of proposed developments and allowing communities to voice their concerns. However, supporters argue that the need for more housing production outweighs these concerns.

A Patchwork of Carve-Outs

Assembly Bill 1449 is not the only legislative effort to facilitate affordable housing construction. Other bills authored by Senator Scott Wiener and Senator Dave Cortese focus on automatically approving apartment buildings in housing-strapped areas and exempting funding decisions for affordable housing projects from environmental challenges. These bills, along with others aimed at reducing environmental lawsuits, represent a notable political shift in how environmental review laws are perceived.

The Grand Bargain Continued

Many of these bills build upon a law passed last year that streamlined affordable housing construction along commercial corridors. This law struck a compromise between developers and labor unions, requiring developers to meet stricter labor standards in exchange for exemptions from environmental challenges. This compromise has served as a template for subsequent legislation aimed at streamlining affordable housing construction.

Trade-Offs and Future Outlook

While these measures have the potential to accelerate affordable housing construction, critics argue that they come with trade-offs. Higher labor costs may result in higher rents for non-subsidized residents, limiting the impact on low-income individuals. However, affordable housing developers view these trade-offs as necessary to overcome the existing barriers to housing production.

The fate of these bills now rests with Governor Gavin Newsom, who has until October 14 to sign or veto them. With the Newsom administration’s push for increased housing production and the need for affordable housing in California, supporters are optimistic about their chances of becoming law.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators Analysis

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

  • SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 13: Climate Action

The article discusses affordable housing projects in California and the challenges they face, including environmental regulations and opposition from local governments. These issues are connected to SDG 11, which aims to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. The article also mentions the need for stricter labor standards in affordable housing projects, which relates to SDG 8 on decent work and economic growth. Additionally, the article touches on the environmental impact of housing projects and the need to address pollution, aligning with SDG 13 on climate action.

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

  • Target 11.1: By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe, and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums.
  • Target 8.3: Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation.
  • Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning.

The article highlights the efforts to streamline affordable housing construction and reduce red tape, which aligns with Target 11.1 of providing access to safe and affordable housing. The focus on labor standards in housing projects relates to Target 8.3 of promoting decent job creation. The mention of environmental regulations and the need to address pollution connects to Target 13.2 of integrating climate change measures into policies and planning.

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

Yes, the following indicators can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets:

  • Number of affordable housing units constructed
  • Reduction in the time and cost required for housing project approvals
  • Percentage of housing projects complying with stricter labor standards
  • Integration of climate change considerations in housing project planning and design
  • Reduction in environmental challenges and lawsuits faced by housing projects

The article discusses the impact of legislation on affordable housing construction and the potential exemption of projects from environmental review. These indicators can be used to measure progress towards the targets by tracking the number of housing units constructed, the efficiency of project approvals, the adherence to labor standards, the integration of climate change measures, and the reduction in environmental challenges faced by housing projects.

Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities Target 11.1: By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe, and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums. – Number of affordable housing units constructed
– Reduction in the time and cost required for housing project approvals
– Percentage of housing projects complying with stricter labor standards
– Integration of climate change considerations in housing project planning and design
– Reduction in environmental challenges and lawsuits faced by housing projects
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth Target 8.3: Promote development-oriented policies that support productive activities, decent job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation. – Percentage of housing projects complying with stricter labor standards
SDG 13: Climate Action Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning. – Integration of climate change considerations in housing project planning and design

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: calmatters.org

 

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