California has long led the world in innovation, from Silicon Valley to Hollywood. For the last decade, it has also conducted a series of grand, and largely successful, policy experiments ranging from regulating greenhouse gas emissions to providing sanctuary for undocumented immigrants.


SB 50 is the fruit of nearly a year and a half of negotiations around Senator Scott Wiener’s legislative proposal to upzone, or increase allowable density, near transit. Responding to critiques of the first iteration of this legislative proposal, SB 827 (which we also examined in a policy brief), SB 50 makes several modifications. Changes between SB 827 and SB 50 include:

While Silicon Valley often makes headlines for innovative technology and disruptive ideas, local families are experiencing a very different kind of disruption: displacement from their homes. Santa Clara County, home to the immense wealth of Silicon Valley and California’s third largest city San Jose, is no exception to the problems of housing insecurity facing the greater Bay Area.

Proposition 10 has Bay Area voters buzzing. With nearly half of Bay Area renters spending 30% or more of their income on rent, and with the rent burden falling even more heavily on low-income communities and communities of color, it should be no surprise that advocates in the region want to see rents reigned in. saw impressive progress for facilitating housing production in the state.

What can we do in 2018 to protect tenants and ensure equitable development today?


The Bay Area is still reeling from the devastation of the recent fires in Napa and Sonoma counties, which tragically took the lives of 43 people and forced over 100,000 to evacuate their homes. The loss of homes will have profound consequences for individuals and families in these counties, as well as ripple effects for displacement in the greater Bay Area

When we talk about addressing the housing shortage and stemming the tide of displacement, preservation strategies have sometimes been absent, as conversations on affordable housing often default to construction of new units. However, preservation of existing affordable housing, both subsidized and naturally-occurring, is an essential piece of the puzzle.