Press Statement: MEDA Applauds Defeat of Senate Bill 50

Press Statement: MEDA Applauds Defeat of Senate Bill 50

Christopher Gil
Associate Director of Marketing and Communications
Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
(415) 282-3334 ext. 152
cgil@medasf.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jan, 30, 2020

MEDA Applauds Defeat of Senate Bill 50
Bill threatens to accelerate displacement and gentrification is San Francisco’s Mission District

Sacramento, Calif.Today, the California Senate rejected Senate Bill 50 (Wiener) on reconsideration. The bill fell three votes short of passage, at 18 to 15. 

Since March 2019, the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) stood opposed to the bill unless it was amended to address several key flaws. Last week, MEDA also signed on to a joint letter opposing the bill unless amended: This letter was sent to the California Senate by 45 tenant, housing justice and advocacy organizations. 

MEDA Director of Policy & Advocacy Norma P. García said, “Despite its promises to create more housing for Californians at all income levels, SB 50 failed to deliver a housing solution for those who need it most.” Per the bill language, the vast majority of housing produced under SB 50 would have been market rate. For projects with one to 10 units, no affordable-housing units would have been required. For 11 to 20 units, SB 50 would have allowed developers to pay in-lieu fees rather than building a minimum number of affordable units. 

SB 50 failed to adequately capture value on all upzoned properties. In San Francisco, for example, there would be no benefits gained by the city’s residents in exchange for granting developers this windfall of increased property values due to SB 50 upzoning. 

SB 50 failed to accurately identify and map sensitive communities — those which could experience a negative impact from SB 50, such as low-income communities of color, and those where displacement and gentrification have been particularly acute. Underscoring some of the fatal flaws of this proposal was the fact that most of San Francisco’s Mission District, the neighborhood which MEDA has served for decades, was not considered a sensitive community under SB 50. 

Stated MEDA CEO Luis Granados, “As a 46-year-old community-based economic development nonprofit headquartered in San Francisco’s Mission District, we are acutely aware of the housing reality on the ground for the community we serve. Over 8,000 Latinos have been displaced from the Mission District in a span of 10 years — over 25% percent of that community —  which became the impetus for MEDA to become a community-serving affordable housing developer. We’re part of the solution, building to reverse displacement. As it stood, SB 50 threatened to undermine this important work in an irreversible way.” 

MEDA looks forward to participating in further discussions to advance housing justice locally, and in the State of California. We believe all policymaking should lead with equity, putting the interests of the most vulnerable first. Housing is no exception.

To learn more about MEDA’s position on SB 50, read this op ed co-authored by Norma P. García and collaborator Li Miao Lovett. 

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About Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)
Rooted in the Mission and focused on San Francisco, MEDA’s mission is to strengthen low- and moderate-income Latino families by promoting economic equity and social justice through asset building and community development.  
medasf.org.

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