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‘Gimme Shelter’: California is on the verge of ending single-family home only zoning

A sign is posted in front of new homes for sale at Hamilton Cottages last September in Novato, Calif.
A sign is posted in front of new homes for sale at Hamilton Cottages last September in Novato, Calif.
(Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

California lawmakers gave final passage on Monday to a bill that would allow more homes in neighborhoods now zoned only for single-family homes.

This change to one of the bedrock zoning rules in the state was three years in the making and advanced after multiple high-profile failures in previous years.

Under Senate Bill 9 by Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), cities across California would have to allow duplexes, and in some cases four units, in most single-family home neighborhoods. The bill now awaits a signature from Gov. Gavin Newsom and would take effect next year.

On this episode of “Gimme Shelter: The California Housing Crisis Podcast,” we delve into the history of single-family home zoning and why supporters of allowing more development believe it will help relieve the state’s housing problems. Our guest is Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de León, who worries about the effects the bill might have on the low-income Latino neighborhoods he represents on the city’s eastside.

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Gimme Shelter,” a biweekly podcast that looks at why it’s so expensive to live in California and what the state can do about it, features Liam Dillon, who covers housing affordability issues for the Los Angeles Times, and Manuela Tobias, housing reporter for CalMatters.

You can subscribe to “Gimme Shelter” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Soundcloud and Google Podcasts.


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