California Governor Gavin Newsom, center, and supporters celebrate the passage of a new bill to address homelessness. Photo submitted

Newsom, Jones, bipartisan group of legislators announce new laws aimed at helping tackle housing and homelessness issues

California Governor Gavin Newsom, Senator Brian W. Jones and several other legislators held a bill signing ceremony in San Francisco this morning to announce enactment of several housing and homelessness-related measures.

The two major bills signed into law were Senate Bill 6, the “Middle Class Housing Act of 2022,” authored by Senator Anna Caballero, and Assembly Bill 2011, the “Affordable Housing and High Road Jobs Act of 2022,” authored by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks. Both bills help streamline the approval process for housing developments planned in “mixed-use” areas that already include retail, office or parking facilities.

Jones was instrumental in helping secure bipartisan support for both bills among his colleagues in the Senate and Assembly.

SB 6 is supported by numerous groups including AARP and the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce while AB 2011 is sponsored by the California Conference of Carpenters and the California Housing Consortium.

“As a civilized society and the 5th largest economy in the world, California has a responsibility and duty to help ensure that Californians have access to affordable housing.” Jones said. “Every Californian should be able to attain a home they can afford. SB 6 and AB 2011 will help cut some of the ‘red tape’ that currently strangles good housing proposals to death. The bipartisanship, and teamwork from both developers and labor, demonstrated here today shows the urgency and commitment necessary to tackle the housing crisis and build more housing, faster. Developers, labor, and the state working together, this is how your legislature is supposed to work. Now let’s build some homes!”

Earlier in the day, Jones’s Senate Bill 1421, which will add a person with a developmental disability who has experienced homelessness to the California Interagency Council on Homelessness advisory committee, was also signed into law by the governor. The mission of CAL ICH is to develop policies and identify resources, benefits, and services to prevent and work toward ending homelessness in California.

“Homelessness has hit California hard and is particularly tough on our most vulnerable community members,” continued Jones. “Under SB 1421, the person appointed to fill this new seat on the advisory committee will help bring an added and valuable perspective to the table as the Council works on innovative and thoughtful solutions to tackle homelessness.”