More Housing, Fewer Prisons: California Outlines Game Plan

Hanging over the heads of California’s newly sworn-in state lawmakers — and likely to be top of mind when they return to Sacramento — are the state’s intertwined housing and homelessness crises.

That was made clear last week, when Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco introduced for the third time a bill to make it easier for religious organizations and nonprofit colleges to build 100% affordable housing on their property.

The proposal — part of the YIGBY, or Yes In God’s Back Yard, movement — would allow those groups to bypass local zoning laws and California’s landmark environmental review process, both of which can delay projects for years and tack on millions of dollars in additional costs.

Wiener said in a statement: “California has a deep housing shortage, and we need every available tool to create the housing we so desperately need.”

About 40,000 acres of land currently used for religious purposes — an area roughly the size of the city of Stockton — could be unlocked, though numerous barriers to development would remain, according to a 2020 analysis from UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation.

A previous version of Wiener’s bill fizzled out during the last legislative session, as did a similar proposal in 2020 amid opposition from the state’s powerful union of construction workers, which argued it didn’t contain enough job protections and quickly raised similar concerns about the new bill.

But, after a major breakthrough earlier this year, when lawmakers and unions reached a deal on two housing bills with different labor standards, Wiener is optimistic about his proposal advancing this time around.

As policymakers consider seemingly every avenue to create more housing — some California lawmakers are pushing to turn empty state office buildings into homes, while the San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday advanced a plan to fast-track housing development on gas stations and parking lots — concerns are mounting that California’s rapidly cooling housing market and economic headwinds could hinder development.

Still, there’s no time like the present to build. That was a key takeaway of a report from California YIMBY, or Yes In My Back Yard, that outlines a roadmap to ending homelessness. It suggests that California — which has a growing unhoused population — might do well to follow in the footsteps of Houston, which cut homelessness in half from 2011 to 2020.

One big reason for Houston’s success, Ned Resnikoff, California YIMBY’s policy director, argued in The Nation: “While California cities have spent decades throwing up obstacles to housing construction, Houston has declined to even impose a citywide zoning code,” allowing it to build more homes faster and keep “prices lower than in much of California, even as the city’s population has grown significantly faster.”



  1. Just a Reminder for responsible CA residents:
    Your First Installment of Property Taxes is late if not paid by (or at least postmarked by)
    December 10th.
    You actually have until Monday due to the 10th falling on a Saturday,
    but the County and State do not let responsible citizens, residents and taxpayers off easy
    with lots of fees and penalties on top of the nationwide high tax rates.
    Also a Reminder for the 540-ES Estimated Taxes
    Pay your Jan 18, 2022 estimated tax payment by
    Dec 31, 2021
    to claim it as a deduction on your 2021 taxes. (if eligible).
    CA Estimated Taxes:
    1st installment – April 15, 2021 – 30%
    2nd installment – June 15, 2021 – 40%
    3rd installment – Sept 15, 2021 – 0%
    4th installment – Jan 18, 2022 – 30%
    Why does Tax & Spend, and then Tax some more CA even list a 3rd payment in September?

  2. Just an Observation,

    Another distraction, not even bothering to discuss the topic. This site is becoming nothing but a place for complaining, but no REAL solutions being offered to deal with the affordable housing problems?

    Especially since in 2016 we had 740,000 tech high income workers in the area, and today we have only 400,000, as loss of 45%. That dramatic and permanent change of workers means we have overbuilt luxury units.

    We need to change the entire housing profile to adjust to the new reality.

    Why is it that no one here can come up with any better answers?

  3. Just an Observation,

    So you all cannot discuss any better alternatives, and instead just complain about others trying to do something about it?

    JD my degrees are from the Lucas School of Business at San Jose State University, my CISSP is from the (ISC)²: The World’s Leading Cybersecurity Professional Organization.

    So please at least try to do something constructive.

    The state is NOT the problem with developers, they built the wrong kinds of housing and with 45% less preferred residents in the area, they are stuck with vacancies. And the higher Fed Rates are forcing many to possibly go out of business. The Fed is NOT the Government.

    The Federal Reserve System (also known as the Federal Reserve or simply the Fed) is the central banking system of the United States of America. It was created on December 23, 1913, with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, after a series of financial panics (particularly the panic of 1907) led to the desire for central control of the monetary system in order to alleviate financial crises. Over the years, events such as the Great Depression in the 1930s and the Great Recession during the 2000s have led to the expansion of the roles and responsibilities of the Federal Reserve System.

    The primary declared motivation for creating the Federal Reserve System was to address banking panics. Other purposes are stated in the Federal Reserve Act, such as “to furnish an elastic currency, to afford means of rediscounting commercial paper, to establish a more effective supervision of banking in the United States, and for other purposes”. Before the founding of the Federal Reserve System, the United States underwent several financial crises. A particularly severe crisis in 1907 led Congress to enact the Federal Reserve Act in 1913. Today the Federal Reserve System has responsibilities in addition to stabilizing the financial system.

    But since the bubble is bursting it has nothing to do with the Central Bank, it was another bubble that was created by the housing industry’s attempts to manipulate the market via “supply side” economics, But DEMAND controls supply sales more than supply, and DEMAND is crashing.

  4. Steven,

    A number of us make suggestions for improvements, or better alternatives to things, when we see fit. If you don’t see fit to see them, or do not always read strongly enough to see these instances, do not engage in the frequent kind of complaining you do, while complaining about how everyone else complains.

    There also are many things rightly to complain about, given the worsening of the dominant leftist politics and their effects of policy (legit and not) in the state’s governments and other entitles, as well as other wrongful behavior and blunders by those running things, including locally in the South Bay.

    The multi-unit housing craze or obsession (while neglecting employment), and related density quest (for many, driven by urbanist fantasy), with related pathological elements like avoidance of parking, is trashing the state for the benefit of developers, who contribute to willing politicians like Wiener, who prattles activist lunacy of various kinds, and the stupid activists are exploited in that regard as Useful Idiots, such as for “popular” [sic] support.

    Down goes the state, the bad people and ideas driving out the good.

  5. Just an Observation,

    You emphasize the part “A number of us make suggestions for improvements, or better alternatives to things, when we see fit” Remember there is the general rule “LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY” when it comes to effective leadership or problem solving.

    The fact that this forum is used to rant like Donald Trumps media platform indicates that you cannot have a constructive discussion.


  6. Steven Goldstein (AKA JAFO)

    1. I see that you are still denigrating people who don’t use their real name, and yet, you do not use your real name any longer. Why? A bit of hypocrisy on your part?
    2. Here is a positive suggestion: We don’t need fewer prisons, we need more in-patient mental hospital beds. We need to commit people who are clearly unable or unwilling to care for themselves or who are a danger to others. The homeless consist of mostly addicts, and mentally ill people. And, a fair share of just plain ordinary malcontents.

    If we cleanup the drug addicts, drunks, mentally ill and criminals, we would have a manageable number of economic homeless.

    It is a cruel society that allows its mentally ill and substance addicted homeless to die in the streets from overdoses, violence, and exposure. It is a suicidal society that allows its addicts, miscreants, anti-socials, and criminals to run amok in its cities. It would appear that Progressive (and their useful idiots who babble on about things they nothing about) continue to choose both paths.

  7. Just an Observation,

    Answer 2 sounds right, BUT that means all those people that intentionally decided to not follow Covid guidelines qualified as “dangers to self and others” and thus need to be committed to hospitals too. Look at the damage they caused, 1Million dead and 10 Million disabled, and an economy in shatters.

    What is your solution for Cleaning up? What is yous specifica approach? Saying Clean Up only means isolating them so the rest of the people can’t see them. A concentration camp, right?

    Yes it is a creel society, because most safety nets are underfunded by extreme conservatives. Without the funding that was promised by so much so called compassionate conservatives. For example Section 8 housing was promised funding for building affordable homes by the Reagan Admin., but that was cut. Funding for mental health treatment was also cut by the so called compassionate conservatives. They cut funding so that inpatient facilities were closed. Medical research funds are cut, remember AIDS, again by the Reagan Admin. The reality is that BOTH the conservatives and the so called liberals fail to do the job.

    Because they both are not going to work together on anything, thus it is a total failure.

    You still haven’t provided an actual solution, just bits and pieces regarding the total problem. WHERE IS THE GOOD TOTAL PACKAGE?

  8. Just another weirdo ‘Wiener’ from Failing Frisco – housing exists for those that want to work for it, with education, trade skills and the proper ‘sweat’ equity. Just take some personal responsibility and live where you can afford to live according to the lifestyle you desire.
    Will CA taxpayers also be on the hook to provide “housing” for all the maybe ‘middle-school’ level educated undocumented aliens seeking sanctuary in California?
    California with very little means testing, liberal handouts and lax laws, is a major draw for homeless, drug inclined and of course undocumented aliens that illegally reside in the country.
    More Sanctuary ‘Karma’ may be on the way for Californians.
    (Dec 14, 2022) Gov “Newsom says California about to ‘break’ amid flood of illegal migrants when Title 42 expires”
    “DEM Gov. Gavin Newsom of California warned Monday that President Biden’s plan to reverse former President Donald Trump’s border policies could “break” his state.
    The Biden administration is planning to lift the Trump-era Title 42 policy, which allows police and border officers to expedite the expulsion of illegal immigrants.
    Newsom, speaking to ABC News on Monday, said,
    “The fact is, what we’ve got right now is Not Working and is about to break in a post-42 world
    unless we take some responsibility and ownership.”
    Newsom claimed the U.S. government is sending “more and more” migrants to California because the state is “taking care of folks.”
    “We’re already at capacity at nine of our sites,” Newsom continued.
    “We can’t continue to fund all of these sites because of the budgetary pressures now being placed on this state and the offsetting issues that I have to address.…
    The reality is, unless we’re doing what we’re doing, people will end up on the streets.”
    About 22% of California’s nearly 11 million (so-called) immigrants are in the United States illegally,
    according to the Public Policy Institute of California. “

  9. Just an Observation,

    CA Patriot cherry picks facts regarding the Public Policy Institute ( , the real picture is:

    California has more immigrants than any other state.

    California is home to almost 11 million immigrants—about a quarter of the foreign-born population nationwide. In 2019, the most current year of data, 27% of California’s population was foreign born, more than double the percentage in the rest of the country. Foreign-born residents represented at least one-third of the population in five California counties: Santa Clara (39%), San Mateo (35%), Los Angeles (34%), San Francisco (34%), and Alameda (33%). Half of California children have at least one immigrant parent.

    Most immigrants in California are documented residents.

    More than half (53%) of California’s immigrants are naturalized US citizens, and another 25% have some other legal status (including green cards and visas). According to the Center for Migration Studies, about 22% of immigrants in California are undocumented. From 2010 to 2019, the number of undocumented immigrants in the state DECLINED from 2.9 million to 2.3 million.

    After decades of rapid growth, the number of immigrants has leveled off.

    In the 1990s, California’s immigrant population grew by 2.4 million people, a 37% increase. But in the first decade of the 2000s, growth slowed to 15% (1.3 million), and in the past 10 years, the increase was only 6% (about 600,000). The decline in international immigration has contributed to the slowdown of California’s overall population growth.”

    He reported OLD and misleading statistics. The fact is that undocumented workers declined by more than 25%. Isn’t that an IMPROVEMENT? This has been his approach for years.

    I wish someone would moderate the content here. And what does immigration have to do with housing regarding the TOPIC of this story?

  10. Normally it is best to just ignore the narcissistic OCD postings by Steven, hovering on several local community news-sites to ‘reply’ with his self described “expert” opinion on every comment –
    usually more amusing than insightful.
    But Steven’s latest opinion is pretty rich, even for someone that regularly proves the idiom:
    “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool that to speak and remove all doubt”
    Jafo says: “I wish someone would moderate the content here.”
    That is rich coming from someone that a little over 6 months ago was regularly deleted by the moderator for multiple abusive behaviors:
    – Repetitive and long postings of useless information like wastewater readings.
    – Doxing persons not even involved in the comment section.
    – Posting his personal business conflicts that had no connection to the article at hand.
    – Bullying the moderator by re-posting his deleted comments and claiming to archive them on his ‘google drive’.
    Turns out the moderator had to take the extreme step and delete every comment on the SJI website that the persona “Steven Goldstein” ever posted over the past several years – and you know that was a lot of commenting and “freed -up” space in the archives.
    The funny thing is a similar thing occurred on the ‘Mountain View Voice’ (Jafo’s local news site) when posters complained of repetitive and off-topic posting by his ‘Steven Goldstein’ persona, the moderator had to delete comments or “moderate” Steven.
    But even with a new “Jafo” persona the same behavior exists, on this months article regarding “Homelessness” over 50% of the 36 posts are by “Jafo”, some of them almost the exact same post repeated ad nauseam.
    Maybe it is good that Steven has an outlet to display his “expertise”, it probably is healthy for him in some way, even if lacking in self-awareness when commenting.

  11. Just an Observation,

    Here we go again, instead of discussing the topic CA Patriot attempts to just stir up a mob to attack those that prove his inaccuracy or demonstrate his dishonesty. Stick to the subject.

    Nothing but a continuing MAGA rant and not a constructive conversation.

  12. Did I mention amusing? a mob attack?
    Sounds more like what you were hoping for when you doxxed your landlord posting
    his name and address along with your ridiculous complaints.
    If you cannot comprehend a concept, are ignorant of the facts or
    are going to attack commenters,
    then do not be surprised when your hypocrisy is put on full display.
    Remember – Self-Awareness,
    think before you post or send that email Mr IT & HR “expert”.
    (at least think a little longer than 30 minutes – did I mention hovering?)

  13. Just an Observation,

    Again, CA Patriot is trying to change the subject. Stop trying to just stir up anger and resentment towards anyone that you want to target. You have done so with more posters than just me. Time for you to return to discussing the topic. This is clearly not what the story is about.

    What solutions to housing do you have CA Patriot? If you don’t have a better solution, then why are you complaining? This is getting very humorous. All we get is complaints from posters, with nothing constructive to contribute.

  14. Weiner is a gift to CA legislature from residents of thriving city of San Francisco…. We should all live like that.

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