California State Governor announced a bill that would provide support for more affordable housing on Thursday with the help of other state leaders in downtown San Jose, which aims to boost job opportunities and the state’s economic recovery.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo introduced Newsom and Senate President Pro Tem Toni G. Atkins, who authored Senate Bill 7. The legislation changes area zoning that allows for more dense housing and speeds up the environmental review process.
“This bill is a path and investment in the state of California. This bill is about our comeback. We were ready to sign this about 20 minutes after I got it, but it didn’t feel right to bury it on a Friday. We need to celebrate this bill,” Newsom said.
Authorities held the signing event at the site of Google’s planned Downtown West development found near Diridon Station in downtown San Jose. The new bill includes more than 4,000 homes across the region, where about a quarter of which will be rent-restricted or affordable units.
Officials plan to begin construction of the project as early as 2023 and expected the completion to be done in about 10 years. However, many critics have expressed their dissatisfaction with the proposal, arguing it would only force middle-class families away from neighborhoods.
“We have a project today that will confront our affordable housing crisis with the production of more than 4,000 high-density homes, at least 25% of which will be rent-restricted and affordable,” said Liccardo, NBC Bay Area reported.
California needs more than 3.5 million housing units for residents of all income levels over the next four years, data showed. Former San Jose city councilman, State Assemblyman Ash Kalra, and former Santa Clara County supervisor, Sen. Dave Cortese, also expressed their support of the legislation during the signing event.