The Housing Action Coalition (HAC), though our 501(c)(3) education and 501(c)(4) advocacy arms, advocates for building more housing at all levels of affordability to help solve the Bay Area and California’s housing shortage, displacement, and affordability crises.
The magnitude of our housing shortage is nothing short of staggering. California has a statewide shortage of more than 3.5 million new homes. The City of San Francisco should have been building 5,000 new homes every year for the past 20 years, and needs to be building just as many for the next 20 years. And the majority of California cities have failed to meet their yearly home-building goals.
Against the backdrop of these local, regional, and statewide housing challenges, HAC has focused our efforts on:
- Advocating for building new homes that are well-designed, well-located, and as environmentally sustainable as possible.
- Improving the housing development process to incentivize building more affordable housing.
- Supporting vital public transportation and infrastructure improvements in conjunction with new housing.
- Minimizing unnecessary costs and burdensome delays in the home building process.
- Engaging our members, partners, and pro-housing elected officials to take part in HAC’s pro-housing advocacy and education initiatives.
- Equipping state and local lawmakers, media, and the general public with accurate, real-time information about the Bay Area’s housing crisis and pro-housing solutions.
To that end, HAC’s proposed 2021 policy agenda is as follows:
- Statewide Pro-Production Legislation: Incorporating lessons learned from previous years, HAC will work with our advocacy partners and legislative allies to pass meaningful statewide housing production legislation. While such 2020 efforts were not successful, a number of pro-production bills have been introduced in 2021 and HAC is also likely to sponsor multiple pieces of legislation for the first time in our history.
- Zoning Reform: Following in the footsteps of Sacramento, a number of Bay Area cities have introduced zoning reform efforts to end exclusionary zoning and allow for more housing and more subsidized affordable housing. Specifically, we’ll be supporting zoning reform efforts in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Jose. HAC will also call on cities across California to follow suit and end exclusionary zoning.
- Project Advocacy: HAC will continue our robust project-by-project advocacy with expanded petition and letter writing campaign tools that also help HAC’s activate neighbors to support specific housing projects in their communities.
- Entry Level Homeownership Opportunities: HAC will work with partners, specifically Habitat for Humanity, to expand opportunities for people seeking below-market-rate homes. We believe owning one’s home is one of the best ways to create housing security and more California cities should bolster their efforts to expand homeownership opportunities for everyone.
- Housing Element: Cities across the state are required to complete Housing Elements, essentially plans for cities to accommodate their population growth with an increase in housing production. To the extent possible, HAC will continue to participate in conversations and support efforts for cities to rezone for more housing.
- Prop 13: On the heels of Proposition 15’s defeat in 2020, HAC will continue to explore ways to create financial incentives for cities to build more housing.
- CEQA: CEQA, the California Environmental Quality Act, is frequently misused to obstruct new housing. HAC will continue to work with partners in the home building, labor, and advocacy communities to find ways to update and refine the law while actually creating meaningful environmental protections.
HAC works throughout the legislative and calendar year at the forefront of the pro-housing movement and we’ll continue to update or amend these policy goals as the year progresses.