(KRON) — One California state senator is pushing a new effort to make it easier to put housing units onto empty lots.
“It’s heartbreaking that California has the highest rates of homelessness in the country,” said State Senator Josh Becker, (D) San Mateo.
Becker, who represents portions of San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, has introduced SB-634. If signed into law, the bill would make it easier for temporary housing units to be placed on empty parcels of land, both public and private.
“This bill provides an opportunity for them to get a good night’s sleep with dignity and safety indoors while permanent housing is being built and they get jobs and get back on their feet,” said Becker.
San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan supports the bill and said the city needs thousands of units and every parcel of available land they can find.
“The only way we are going to get there is broadening our sights beyond publicly owned land and also getting our private landowners in the mix,” said Mahan. “We should make it easier and incentivize our private landowners to get into the fight to end homelessness in our city and our state.”
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SB-634 is co-sponsored by the Bay Area Council and the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association.
The bill is currently making its way through the legislatures. It is unclear if Governor Newsom will eventually sign the bill into law, but the governor has made confronting homelessness a key goal of his administration.