Newsom signs Berkeley’s Skinner housing density bill



California Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday signed Senator Nancy Skinner’s SB 290, which will update the state’s density bonus law to support more affordable housing, especially for low-income students. The governor signed SB 290 as part of a package of 27 housing bills he approved at an event in Oakland.

“These new housing laws open the door to thousands of additional housing units at all levels of affordability and include measures to help hold local governments accountable. Together, plus the unprecedented $ 24 billion that the governor and the legislature have put into the housing budget, shows that California is the national leader in the effort to build homes for all, â€said Skinner, D- Berkeley. “And my bill, SB 290, gives real estate developers more incentives to build affordable housing for low-income students, many of whom are now homeless or living in their cars.”

SB 290 builds on a 2018 Act from Skinner, SB 1227. This legislation expanded California’s Density Bonus Act, which allows real estate developers to build larger projects if they include affordable units, to include housing for students. Specifically, SB 1227 requires cities and counties to grant a density bonus to housing projects when at least 20% of total units are reserved for low-income students. However, even with SB 1227, the California Density Bonus Law remains underutilized. According to UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation, less than half of California’s cities and counties have had a development project that used a density bonus, and most jurisdictions have only had one or two projects.

SB 290 will expand the use of the Density Bonus Act to create more affordable housing by providing additional incentives to developers who build affordable units for low-income students. It also streamlines the local approval process for density bonus housing projects and includes incentives for developers to build more housing for sale for moderate-income Californians. Skinner represents District 9 of the California Senate, which includes Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond and Alameda, and is chair of the Senate Budget and Tax Review Committee and vice chair of the Legislative Women’s Caucus.

– Senator Skinner’s office


Valley Bible Church to Celebrate 50 Years of First Service

Valley Bible Church will celebrate its golden anniversary at 10 a.m. on Sunday. On October 3, 1971, Phillip Howard, who was not yet a doctor or titled a “pastor” and with a knot in his stomach but unbridled trust in God, held the Valley Bible Church’s first service at the Holy Ghost Hall in Pinole. Since that first service, Valley – as it is more familiarly known – moved from Pinole to Rodeo before, in 1989, finally establishing a permanent location in Hercules.

The “Three Crosses Church” at the intersection of Interstate 80 and Highway 4, has since become a community fixture with its seasonal events such as Volleyball Madness, Bungee Soccer, Candy Kingdom and Christmas in Hercules . The church also hosts numerous American Red Cross blood drives, provides food baskets for Thanksgiving, and was a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination site earlier this year. Mayor Chris Kelley and the Town of Hercules issued a special proclamation on Tuesday in recognition of Valley’s 50 years of service to Hercules and surrounding communities.

– Biblical Church of the Valley


NAACP Chapter Sponsors Free COVID-19 Shooting Clinic

The El Cerrito NAACP is sponsoring a free COVID-19 vaccination clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on October 9 at St. Peter’s Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, 5324 Cypress Ave. in El Cerrito. Flu shots will be available and refreshments will be served.

– El Cerrito NAACP

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