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Bill Aiming To Increase California Housing Production Goes To Newsom's Desk

SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – A Bay Area lawmaker's bill aimed at increasing housing production amid the state's housing crisis cleared the legislature Friday and is headed to Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk.

Senate Bill 330 by State Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) is up for the governor's consideration after passing the State Senate in a 30-4 vote. Earlier this week, the Assembly approved SB330 on a 67-8 vote.

The bill aims to addresses a slowdown in homebuilding which is contributing to the state's ever escalating rents and high home prices. SB330 would bar housing-constricted urban areas from reducing the number of housing units allowed or enacting moratoriums on new housing construction through 2025.

Cities and communities would also be required to reduce the time it takes to process residential construction permits on projects that meet local zoning rules. Municipalities would also be prevented from raising fees or changing permit requirements once a builder submits the required information.

The measure would also limit the number of public hearings on projects that comply with local rules to five.

"Experts agree that California needs to build 3.5 million units in the next five years," Skinner said in a statement. "SB 330 is designed to help us achieve that goal."

Earlier this week, numbers from the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office show the state is far from reaching the goal of 3.5 million new homes by 2025, a goal that Newsom campaigned on. Only 61,200 residential building permits have been issued in California through July of this year, and officials said the state is on pace to permit less than 100,000 units in 2019.

"The recent slowdown in housing permits is the most severe since the Great Recession," the analyst's office said in a statement.

The legislature is considering other housing bills before adjourning next Friday, including a proposed measure that would cap rent increases, and a measure to create a Bay Area agency that would address the housing crisis at a regional level.

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