Gavin Newsom’s housing policies


Gabriel Mendez

Construction near building 4 on Skyline College campus in San Bruno, CA.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new housing policies are just what California needs.

Ever since I can remember, residents of the  Bay Area have raised one major complaint: Housing prices are too high. Truthfully who can blame them. For a while now affordable housing has been considered a rarity, and the way things are going, it might become a myth, which is why Gov. Newsom’s new policy is good news for everyone.

For those unaware, here are the basics. According to PBS NewsHour, two policies have been passed. The fist being SB-6 Local Planning: Housing: Commercial Zones. The second is  AB-2011 Affordable Housing and High Road Jobs Act of 2022.

SB-6 will allow housing to be built in commercial areas without the local government’s approval, under the condition that a certain percentage is affordable. While AB-2011 will allow certain commercial areas to have market-rate housing built. These actions will greatly increase the amount and speed of housing development

This is great news for California residents, who across the state have been subject to ridiculous spikes in rent and housing costs. This is something to be celebrated. We as students of San Mateo County community colleges need affordable housing, especially for young undergraduates. This is a fact. 

Some might argue against this, claiming that the commercial zoning is important. These areas are for businesses. It is improper for the state government to dust aside the opinions of local governments to do this.

To that we question: how are shopping malls and stores going to help the over 160,000 homeless people the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reports live in California. That is the largest homeless population of any state in the union. Strip malls, restaurants, office complexes, and expensive boutiques will not help them. Housing on the other hand will. 

SB-6, as stated earlier, even encourages the building of affordable housing. This makes it that at least a certain number of these buildings will be available to those in need, not just the wealthy. 

PBS NewsHour reports that according to state officials, California needs to do more than double its current housing construction rate by consistently producing  310,000 houses a year for eight years. It appears the experts agree, we need more housing. 

For years, the Bay Area, along with most of California has wanted more housing at an affordable rate. With the recent  policies Gov. Newsom has signed into law, maybe there’s finally  some hope for California residents.