Public Comment

Press Release: Housing and Community Groups Protest Governor Brown’s So-Called Build-By-Right “Housing Plan”

Friday August 05, 2016 - 01:40:00 PM

Coalition Holds Day of Action Against Giveaway to Developers

On August 5th in San Francisco and Los Angeles, members of Californians for Affordable Housing (CAH), held a “day of action” against the proposal. CAH is a network of over 60 community and housing organizations across California who oppose Governor Brown’s “build-by-right” proposal to expedite housing development approvals. The groups expressed outrage over the Governor’s giveaway to developers at the expense of local review and oversight, in exchange for dismal affordability requirements.

The network opposes the housing plan because it will enable developers to obtain approvals of mostly market rate and luxury housing projects “by-right” without public input or environmental review. The groups are denouncing the Governor’s so-called “affordable housing” proposal, saying that it will in fact undermine existing affordable housing programs, strip away citizen input, and hand over precious available land to market rate and luxury housing developers, accelerating the displacement of lower income people and people of color from the urban core.  


In Los Angeles, dozens of CAH members took over the lobby of the California Association of Realtors, calling on CEO Joel Singer to have the trade group remove its support for the bill. Individual tenants and LA residents shared stories of gentrification and displacement, and expressed their concerns about the proposed plan. 

After the protest the LA group went to the offices of Senator Pro-Tem Kevin De León to urge him to “hold the line” and not let this ill-conceived proposal move forward. In both locations, event leaders resolved to escalate activity in state legislative districts across the state, calling on legislative representatives to stand with local communities and not profit-driven developers. 

Jovon Clayton, ACCE member, single mom and South LA resident:  

“I’m fighting the Governor’s housing plan because we can’t afford to let these developers build whatever they want. Working class people like me are barely able to rub two nickels together because the cost of housing is too high. We need more affordable housing, not more developments that are 95% unaffordable for working families.” 

Fanny Ortiz, member of East LA Community Corporation: 

“If the Governor’s ‘by-right’ plan passes, I won’t have the right to voice my opinion about luxury development in my neighborhood. As an active community member, I see the need for community to be involved in planning and land use decisions. The need for affordable housing is so high – I applied and had to wait over two years to get a call back.” 

In San Francisco, community members rallied in front of the luxury Millennium Tower at 301 Mission Street, a symbol of what happens when greedy developers have their way. A recent report in the SF Chronicle revealed that this tower of multi-million dollar condos built just 8 years ago is sinking into the ground, potentially leaving taxpayers on the hook to stop it from being sucked into the Bay mud. The group then paid a visit to Salesforce, calling on the CEO to withdraw his support from the “by-right” proposal.  


Aimee Inglis, Acting Director of Tenants Together 


“This plan has the potential to undermine rent control protections by expediting demolition of existing housing without public input. With 5 California cities going the ballot this November to establish rent control protections, we won’t stand by and let Governor Brown undo our work.” 


Theresa Imperial of the Bill Sorro Housing Program of the Veteran’s Equity Center in San Francisco’s South of Market 


“Communities across the Bay Area use the public input and public hearing process to make housing developments respond to community needs. We make sure below market rate units are provided on site, that developers pay prevailing wages to workers, and that developments are held accountable to the California Environmental Quality Act.” 


Tony Robles from Senior and Disability Action 


“Shoddy construction and escalating prices are the result when developers get to build whatever they want without community oversight and input. We are here today because we expect to see more terrible projects that don’t reflect our communities needs if Gov. Brown has his way. We need to come together to push back against his developer give-away so we can hold developers accountable to the needs of our communities 


Californians for Affordable Housing is a statewide network of more than 60 organizations with members and roots in racially and economically diverse urban areas across California who reject Governor Jerry Brown’s streamlined affordable housing proposal. 


FOLLOW: You can follow the conversation online at #ByRight4Whom on Twitter @opposebyright and follow us on Facebook at The list of organizations in the coalition, Californians for Affordable Housing can be found at: