What is SB1 and why do we need it?
SB1 (Steinberg) proposes to create a more equitable, sustainable California. SB1 emphasizes development around transit, has job and housing protections for the low-income residents, without raising taxes or diverting money from schools or firefighter services. The bill (read the full text here) proposes the creation of Sustainable Communities Investment Authorities (SCIAs) throughout the state to generate more revenue for equitable development and affordable housing while jumpstarting our economy.
We must put Californians back to work after a devastating recession that halted job creation and economic development. There are also complex state environmental mandates requiring the reduction of heavy pollution and congestion faced in our communities. Local cities need reliable funding to build more environmentally and economically sustainable communities through thoughtful planning, job creation, and economic and housing development. Our diverse coalition of labor, environmental, and housing groups urges Governor Brown to sign SB1 by September 2013 so that we can have more sustainable communities, good jobs, and affordable housing.
The Future of California’s Environment
Suburban, urban, and rural communities will all stand to benefit by the revitalizations of their main street corridors, smarter planning, and increased housing and jobs located near transit or with more walkable and bikeable streets. SB1 will help incentivize development near transit stops. Development trends throughout the state are already moving toward a more walkable, dense housing stock. SB1 is a new and innovative tool that will allow our local communities to make real SB375 smart planning goals and reduce the impacts of climate change.
The Future of California’s Economy
By creating a responsible and consistent flow of financing, economic development should rebound much more quickly than during the recession. With more construction of needed retail, housing, and other projects in our communities comes more jobs. SB1 would require that the SCIAs create individual “Jobs Plans” to address how to help the most disadvantaged in our communities have access to high quality, union construction and permanent jobs resulting from its subsequent developments. This also includes accountability measures to ensure that job and wage requirements spelled out by the authority are being met. Ensuring good jobs is an integral part of a greener L.A.; well paid workers who can thrive in their communities and reinvest back into the local economy is a win-win.
The Future of California’s Housing
SB1 is cutting edge in its vision for sustainable communities with good jobs AND affordable housing funding and protections for all. California’s direction towards environmentally thoughtful developments will be equitably designed with housing opportunities for even our poorest residents. Local authorities will need to make sure that new development does not displace existing communities or result in a loss of housing. The other important protection is that there is now stable financing available for affordable housing developers to move stalled projects forward by requiring that at least 25% of funding be set aside for such projects.
SB1 is the new and improved version of SB 1156 (Steinberg), a bill in the 2012 Legislative Session that was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown.