The L.A. Tenants Union and Housing Is A Human Right confronted California State Senator Scott Wiener recently, denouncing his dangerous, pro-gentrification bill, SB 827. With little to no input from housing justice and community groups, in January, Wiener introduced the legislation, which is being called the #StatewideDisplacementAct. If passed, it will wreak havoc in lower- and middle-income neighborhoods across California.
Wiener, who’s received major campaign cash from real estate interests, is a new state senator who represents San Francisco and other Bay Area municipalities. He doesn’t support the statewide, grassroots movement to fully repeal the anti-rent control law known as Costa-Hawkins, and he rarely addresses major housing justice issues such as gentrification and strengthening tenants’ protections. Wiener, though, is now pushing SB 827 — a gift to wealthy developers.
The bill would override local zoning rules that protect residents, by removing density limits and parking requirements, and mandate that buildings be allowed to be a minimum of 45 to 85 feet (depending on street width) for housing developments built on land within a half mile of a transit stop with a line that arrives at least every 15 minutes during rush hour. The statewide legislation would effect most land in every major urban city, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland. It will have a devastating impact on low- and middle-income neighborhoods and communities of color.
Wiener conveniently ignores the fact that developers in California and across the nation build mostly high-end housing, according to a 2016 report by Zillow. SB 827 would unleash a luxury-housing frenzy that will make billions for developers, but will force countless lower- and middle-income Californians out of their longtime neighborhoods. The bill also doesn’t directly address the state’s affordable-housing and homeless emergencies.
But housing justice and tenants’ rights groups are rising up and fighting back, protecting Californians from Wiener’s destructive bill and his Big Real Estate patrons.
Wiener recently attended a UCLA planning and land-use conference in Downtown Los Angeles at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. The L.A. Tenants Union and Housing Is A Human Right were there to confront him, making it clear that SB 827 must be stopped. Watch the video of the protest.
Publicly, Wiener downplays the sizable opposition to his bill, saying it’s a vocal minority. That’s clearly not true.
The Alliance for Community Transit – Los Angeles (ACT-LA), a coalition of 37 affordable housing, tenants rights and transit equity groups, sent a letter to Wiener, opposing SB 827.
ACT-LA stated: “If SB 827 passes, we stand to lose out on tens of thousands of affordable homes near transit and we are putting families who depend on rent stabilization at greater risk of displacement at a time of severe housing and homelessness crises.”
The coalition added: “The path to racial and economic justice through city planning starts with listening to the most impacted communities and learning from their experience as they’ve struggled against waves of disinvestment and displacement.”
The opposition is diverse — and only growing.
Want to be heard on this issue? Contact California State Senator Scott Wiener and tell him you oppose SB 827.