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New California law aims to create more middle-income housing

AB 1287 was signed by Gov. Newsom on Oct. 11
Posted at 8:39 AM, Oct 20, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Sometimes finding a place to live in San Diego is tough. Just ask Sylvia Herrera.

“I’ve tried to look out for moving and places for myself around here. But, it’s just, I don’t know, it doesn’t seem feasible at this moment. At least not with the way the salary and the jobs that are here compared to the pricing for housing,” Herrera said.

But it may no longer be a pipe dream finding that housing — specifically middle-income housing.

“So this is really for working families, working professionals who really are not finding place to live because it’s too expensive and they can’t afford it or they don’t qualify for low-income programs,” said District 80 Assemblymember David Alvarez.

Alvarez said his bill, AB 1287 which was recently signed by Gov. Newsom, will allow developers to build more units on a project as long as the units include housing for middle income families in addition to low-income families.

Here’s how Alvarez said it would work if you have a piece of land where you plan on building a project with 100 units:

“If you agree low-income housing and 15 of those units are low income. Then you can build 50 more units on that site. So, it goes from 100-unit site to 150 units on that particular site. Our bill adds to that. If you build those low-income units and you also agree to build 15 percent, so another 15 units that are for middle-income families and keep it that way for 55 years, you can get an additional 50 units.”

Alvarez said this law is critical to focus on middle-income families so they can rent in San Diego and hopefully buy here, too.

“This is just the beginning of a lot of other important changes that we need to make in California to really focus on making housing for the middle class,” Alvarez said.

Herrera said she hopeful this new law can help her and others stay in San Diego.

“I don’t know of my friends, at least born and raised here, have moved out on their own. They’re still living with family due to the pricing and all of that stuff,” Herrera said.

This new law is going into effect at the beginning of 2024.