Support Senate Bill 4 for Affordable Housing to Be Built by Faith-based Institutions!

— by Alice Clark, First Church Affordable Housing Committee

This bill has been referred to the Assembly committees on Housing and Natural Resources. Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) will be heard in the Assembly Housing committee on Wed., June 28, 2023 at 9:30 am.

SB 4 streamlines the building process for faith-based institutions and non-profit colleges that want to build affordable projects for low-income families by allowing them to build multifamily housing, regardless of local zoning restrictions. This legislation would make building affordable housing easier, faster, and less expensive for faith-based institutions and nonprofit colleges in a broad range of communities across California.

The red tape and obstacles in the way make development financially infeasible and discourage institutions from moving forward with projects that would benefit their low-income and unhoused neighbors. SB 4 will streamline the building process and offer tools for neighborhood leaders to build safe, stable, affordable homes for local residents and families. This bill will allow places of worship to build 100% affordable housing projects in the midst of the state’s housing and homelessness crises. The tragedies we see on the street every day call for urgent and bold action, and this bill will help us move forward.

Here are some instructions for advocacy so you can call or send a message to members of the housing committee. The first four members are co-authors of the bill. The remaining four have not yet expressed support. The messages suggested reflect these differences!

Members who have co-authored the bill:

Buffy Wicks (Chair) Dem – Assembly District (AD) 14 (916) 319-2014

Christopher M. Ward Dem – AD 78 (916) 319-2078

Jesse Gabriel Dem – AD 46 (916) 319-2046

Sharon Quirk-Silva Dem – AD 67 (916) 319-2067

Message: “Hi, this is [name and/or organization] and I am calling in support of Senate Bill 4. We greatly appreciate the Assembly member co-authoring SB 4 and thank them for allowing religious institutions to serve our communities with affordable housing!

Other members not yet committed:

Ash Kalra Dem – AD 25 (916) 319-2025 City of San Jose

Wendy Carrillo Dem – AD 52 (916) 319-2052

LA County – Glendale, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Echo Park, Montecito Heights

Kate A. Sanchez Rep – AD 71(916) 319-2071

Cities of Mission Viejo, Murrieta, Temecula, Wildomar

Joe Patterson (Vice Chair) Rep – AD 05 (916) 319-2005

Cities of Roseville, Auburn, Placerville, Rocklin

Message: “Hi, this is [name and/or organization] and I am calling in support of Senate Bill 4. SB 4 would allow churches and religious institutions to build 100% affordable housing on underutilized property they own. This would open up thousands of acres for affordable housing and allow religious institutions to serve our most vulnerable residents. The bill is supported by a coalition of over 300 faith, labor, housing, and equity groups. We urge the Assembly member to vote yes when it comes up for a vote in the Housing committee. Thank you!”