The Peninsula took one giant step toward becoming a more economically inclusive place when the California Assembly passed Senate Bill 9 to legalize duplexes, breaking down one of the fundamental pillars of exclusionary zoning.
The practice of only allowing the most expensive home type — detached single-unit dwellings — on most residential land has set a de facto income requirement in many Peninsula communities. A recent report from the California Association of Realtors concluded that it takes a household income of $390,400 per year to qualify to purchase a median-priced home in San Mateo County. When the county’s median household income is just $123,000, that means that the vast majority of households here are unable to afford a detached single-unit home at today’s prices. By expanding the types of homes that can be built in any given neighborhood, SB 9 enables more types of families to live here.
That’s a huge win for equity, and it’s no wonder that support for the bill is broad and deep on the Peninsula. It was endorsed by the Democratic Party in both San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and counts MidPen Housing and The League of Women Voters of California among its many supporters.
Thank you to our state legislators, Kevin Mullin, Marc Berman and Josh Becker, for voting in support of ending exclusionary zoning in your initial votes for SB 9! And I encourage Sen. Becker to reiterate his support for equity when the bill comes up for concurrence.