A historic turning point for California
1900 Fourth will be the first ever use of SB-35 to break the logjam for affordable housing.
After five years and millions of dollars spent on research, emotionally-charged gridlock, and CEQA delays, the 1900 Fourth project is now able to move forward thanks to SB-35. SB-35 requires approval of the project by the City of Berkeley by September 4, 2018. It’s time to finally build what Berkeley really needs... housing.
A housing crisis of historic proportions
The statewide perspective
Despite having some of the highest wages in the nation, California has the highest poverty rate due to the skyrocketing cost of living. There's a severe lack of affordable homes and apartments for middle-class families.
Nearly 100% of CA residents with Low Income or below cannot afford housing, with 3.5 million housing units needed by 2025 to close the housing gap.
meanwhile, in berkeley...
Berkeley workers, public employees, teachers, police, firemen and others are being priced out of their own community. One third of Berkeley renters are paying over 50% of their income for housing.
As of March 2018, Berkeley is significantly failing to meet RHNA goals for housing production. Since 2014, there have only been only 17 low income units permitted, which is less than 4% of the Low Income state housing requirement.
California's housing crisis — a legislative toolkit response
"California has a housing supply and affordability crisis of historic proportions...
...The consequences of failing to effectively and aggressively confront this crisis are hurting millions of Californians, robbing future generations of the chance to call California home, stifling economic opportunities for workers and businesses, worsening poverty and homelessness, and undermining the state’s environmental and climate objectives—
It is the policy of the state that this section should be interpreted and implemented in a manner to afford the fullest possible weight to the interest of, and the approval and provision of, housing.”
—CA GOVERNMENT CODE, SECTION 65589.5(a)(2)
An underutilized parking lot will help Berkeley reach its housing goals
As of march 2018, Berkeley has produced only 17 Low Income units since 2014, less than 4% of the low income state housing requirement.
Meanwhile, Berkeley workers, public employees, teachers and others are being priced out of their own community.
1900 Fourth is already zoned as a “development node” for multifamily housing and commercial use by the City, and is a major transit-accessible site. In addition, the parking lot is identified as a prime “Priority Development Area” per the Association of Bay Area Governments.
According to HUD
According to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Berkeley has achieved only 3.8% of the low income housing goal set out by RHNA.
The 1900 Fourth Street project alone fulfills 30% of this requirement and meets Berkeley's RHNA goal.
SB-35 and other legislation require approval of 1900 Fourth
SB-35 was enacted in 2017 in response to the negative impact of lack of housing production on the state’s economic vitality, environmental goals and social diversity. Under SB-35, Berkeley must follow a streamlined, ministerial approval process for qualified projects such as 1900 Fourth.
In addition to SB-35, other state law including the reformed Housing Accountability Act and Housing Element Law require approval of the 1900 Fourth project.
The following is a summary of major SB-35 requirements and compliance. (For a complete analysis of how 1900 Fourth conforms to all requirements under SB 35, see the project applicant statement submitted to the City of Berkeley on March 8, 2018.)
Since 1900 Fourth complies with all SB 35 requirements, the City of Berkeley is required to approve the project within 180 days.
Does Berkeley fails to meet housing production goals?...................................................1900 Fourth complies ✔
Does the project the project provide 50% housing affordable at 80% AMI?...................1900 Fourth complies ✔
Does the project provide skilled worker opportunities & prevailing wage for labor?.....1900 Fourth complies ✔
Does the project comply with all “objective planning standards”?...................................1900 Fourth complies ✔