A bill to aid in California’s affordable housing crisis has been introduced in the state Senate. Senate Bill 899 (SB899) allows affordable housing construction on land owned by churches, synagogues, mosques and other faith-based institutions. A key element of the bill allows for these institutions to bypass zoning restrictions, provided that developers agree to keep the housing affordable to low-income renters for at least 55 years and to low-income buyers for at least 45 years.

SB899 would permit churches to construct apartments and condominiums that are entirely affordable to low-income residents without having to ask officials to rezone their land for multifamily housing. California Sen. Scott Wiener introduced the legislation. The hope is that churches in need of cash flow can quickly allow their excess land to be developed without going through untimely and costly rezoning processes.

“Churches and other religious and charitable institutions often have land to spare, and they should be able to use that land to build affordable housing and thus further their mission,” said Wiener in a statement.

You can read the full story in the San Francisco Chronicle here: https://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/Bills-would-let-churches-build-affordable-housing-15109646.php