The Silicon Valley Association of Realtors joined thousands of realtors in Sacramento May 1 for the California Association of Realtors’ annual Legislative Day.
This year’s theme, “Homeownership Matters,” was evident in the speeches of realtors and politicians, and in discussions realtors had with legislators.
At a morning briefing, Gov. Gavin Newsom called the housing situation a “crisis moment,” noting that the state is experiencing a crisis of confidence and a crisis of affordability. California is ranked 49 out of 50 states in housing units per capita and, according to Newsom, has only itself to blame.
“We created this because we chose to delay building,” he said.
Newsom has expressed his commitment to addressing the housing problem. Rather than building 100,000 housing units on an annual basis, he wants to build 300,000 to 400,000 units.
SILVAR members also met with State Sens. Jim Beall and Jerry Hill, and Assemblymen Marc Berman and Evan Low, all proponents of increasing the housing supply. Both Berman and Hill, who represent Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View, thanked realtors for their support and advocacy. Berman offered praise, stating they form a powerful contingent advocating for housing.
Berman has introduced Assembly Bill 302, which would require colleges to identify safe parking lots and facilities for homeless students to use overnight. He said the state has approximately 400,000 homeless students, an estimated 700 per community college. He acknowledged that the bill is a “Band-Aid” to the housing crisis, but “for now, it is a realistic Band-Aid while we figure out how to create and make sure there’s a roof for everyone.”
Beall discussed the bills he has currently in committee, including Senate Bill 5, which would make financing available for construction of affordable housing. He said SB 5 would be a major housing finance bill in the State Senate, which would finance actual housing projects.
Low told realtors he has received sharp, mean-spirited backlash from those who oppose his pro-housing stance, some even demanding his recall, but he is not wavering.