Gov. Newsom signs affordable housing bill in Alameda Co.

ByLeslie Brinkley KGO logo
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Gov. Newsom signs affordable housing bill
Governor Gavin Newsom was in Alameda County to sign legislation to expand affordable housing and advance equitable housing policies.

ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- Governor Gavin Newsom took what he called a historic step toward creating more affordable housing in California with a stop in Oakland Tuesday near the Coliseum BART station.

The governor quipped "this ain't a bad legislative year in the state of California" as he held up 27 bills he signed.

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Flanked by state senators and state assemblymembers, Newsom signed bills that deal with housing affordability from helping students find housing to promoting the conversion of surplus land across the state into housing developments to further streamlining accessory dwelling units.

Why sign the bills in Oakland?

"Oakland California and the entire Bay Area are ground zero for both the problem and the solution. The problem is affordability and that starts with housing. The solutions are projects like this one," said Mayor Libby Schaaf.

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Coliseum Connections Apartments used modular housing to quickly construct half market-rate and half affordable units literally across the street from a BART station. Despite the pandemic, the quest for affordability is still top of mind.

The bundle of bills is designed to create 84,000 new units of housing.

"That would put us north of 24 billion to address the issue of housing and homelessness in the state of California. this is unprecedented in U.S. history," said Governor Newsom.

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When asked about the COVID eviction moratorium that expires in two days, the governor said he hoped more local jurisdictions would extend the deadline like Oakland and Alameda County have until their emergency declarations are lifted. He also talked of being vigilant in distributing funds to even those making more than 80% of median income.

By signing the bills Tuesday in Oakland, the governor said as we get the pandemic addressed that affordable housing is the most defining issue of our time.