A new report estimates that 171,000 acres of land would be available for housing development if California approves SB 4, Affordable Housing on Faith and Higher Education Lands Act of 2023.
A new report [pdf] from the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley estimates the housing potential for land owned by faith-based institutions if the state of California were to approve Senate Bill 4, the “Affordable Housing on Faith and Higher Education Lands Act of 2023,” under consideration in the state legislature.
SB 4, authored by State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) would “provide a streamlined approval process and baseline development standards for affordable housing on properties owned by FBO and nonprofit colleges,” according to a description of the law provided in an article by David Garcia, Quinn Underriner, Muhammad Alameldin, and Issi Romem that shares insight into report.
As for the findings of the study, the authors explain: “In the paper, we find that these organizations own a significant amount of land that would be eligible for SB 4 incentives, and that could be used for affordable housing. Specifically, we identified over 171,000 potentially developable acres statewide owned by FBOs or nonprofit colleges, which is nearly five times the size of the city of Oakland.”
The report also provides recommendations for additional opportunities to encourage development on land owned by faith-based organizations.
The “Yes In God’s Backyard” movement has gained momentum in recent years with laws like SB 4 and efforts by churches to overcome local opposition to deliver affordable housing. Planetizen first shared news of California’s SB 4 in December 2022.
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