LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Polling commissioned by Housing Is A Human Right (HHR), the housing advocacy division of AHF, on two real estate development bills now making their way through the California Legislature, suggests overwhelming voter sentiment against both bills. The poll also found that a plurality of 46% surveyed would view Governor Gavin Newsom—who faces a recall election September 14th—less favorably if he supported or signed either bill.
The two bills, California Senate Bill 9 and California Senate Bill 10, are ostensibly intended to ease the state’s housing crisis but in fact are extremely harmful. Many housing justice advocates, city governments and homeowners’ associations oppose both pieces of legislation, noting that the bills don't provide affordable housing and homeless housing requirements, will fuel gentrification, and will take away the ability of communities of color and working-class residents to build wealth through homeownership. Instead, it is yet another multi-billion-dollar giveaway to deep-pocketed real estate interests.
Polling and the Two Bills:
In the poll, voters were shown the following descriptions of each bill:
- SB 9, would allow up to 4 units and a total of 8 market-rate units to be built on lots that are currently zoned for single family housing only, with no limit on the number of parcels used for this purpose in any neighborhood.
- SB 10, would allow local governments to approve multi-family buildings, up to 10 market-rate units, on lots that are currently zoned for single family housing only, with no limit on the number of parcels used for this purpose in any neighborhood, and allow local governments to override voter-approved initiatives on rezoning.
Polling on SB 9 and 10 was conducted July 27-29, 2021 through the well-respected pollster, David Binder Research (with a 600 count sample size, online from voter files, recruited by email and text), and reveal some interesting numbers that may not bode well for public—or legislative—support for either bill.
Both bills start with strong opposition. 63% oppose SB 9 (48% strongly) and 67% oppose SB 10 (51% strongly). Opposition increases to 71% for SB 9 and 75% for SB 10 after messages and endorsers were shared with voters being polled.
Key SB 9 and SB 10 Poll Highlights:
- Two in three polled say allowing the removal of single-family homes, and allowing local government to bypass the review process, makes them more likely to oppose. Half object to the lack of affordable housing requirements, and a plurality of 40% object to the lack of homeless housing requirements.
- Large majorities expect negative effects for homeowners (70%) and neighborhoods (67%). Voters are more closely divided on effects on renters (35% positive, 27% negative, 25% equal mix) and housing affordability (28% positive, 39% negative, 23% equal mix), but on both of these, voters are more likely to say "very negative" than to say "very positive."
- Most opposition messages rate higher than supporter messages, with three of the five opposition messages convincing to a slight majority. The stronger arguments among all voters address homeownership, developers driving up costs, and lack of affordable housing.
- Among endorsers, support from the CA Apartment Owner's Association gets the most reaction, with 54% saying this makes them more likely to oppose.
- Pluralities of 46% say they would view the governor less favorably if he supported these bills.
“This poll is confirmation that voters are overwhelmingly opposed to Senate bill 9 and Senate bill 10, and the Governor and Sacramento legislators should take heed,” said Susie Shannon. Policy Director for Housing is a Human Right. “This is the third year in a row the legislature has proposed housing production bills with no requirement for affordable housing while more people become homeless and rent-burdened. Californians deserve real solutions to the affordable housing crisis, not legislation that allows corporate developers to amass huge profits building market-rate units only the affluent can afford, driving up the cost of housing in black and brown communities and fueling gentrification and displacement."
California’s Legislature has until August 31st to advance and pass either or both bills. The recall election targeting Governor Newsom is set for September 14th, which could make for a high pressure two-weeks for him should the Legislature pass either piece of legislation.
To view the poll and results, click here.