BREAKING: SB 4 & SB 423 Become Law

Inner City Law Center Celebrates Passage of Affordable Housing Bills SB 4 and SB 423

Los Angeles, CA (October 12th, 2023) – Yesterday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed two massively impactful affordable housing bills into law—Senate Bill 4 and Senate Bill 423. Both bills were authored by Sen. Scott Wiener and seek to address the affordable housing crisis in California. Inner City Law Center is proud to be at the forefront of the coalitions supporting these bills and on the front lines of shaping housing policy.

“This is a big victory for us; the creation of more affordable housing is the most important puzzle piece to solving homelessness in California,” said Inner City Law Center CEO Adam Murray. “That’s why Inner City Law Center has been such a strong supporter of SB 4 and SB 423.”

SB 4—also known as the Yes in God’s Back Yard bill—gives nonprofit colleges and churches, mosques and other faith institutions the right to build affordable housing on their land. Many faith and charitable institutions have excess land that could accommodate affordable housing but have been held back by the current zoning laws in their cities. SB 4 removes these barriers and streamlines the process so these institutions can begin providing some of the affordable housing California so desperately needs.

“SB 4 will open up 170,000 acres of land for affordable housing. It’s a game changer,” tweeted Senator Wiener.

Meanwhile, SB 423 extends SB 35, a soon-to-expire bill introduced by Sen. Wiener in 2017 to streamline multifamily housing production in cities and counties that are failing to build their fair share of state-mandated housing. A recent UC Berkley study found that between 2018 and 2021, SB 35 led to the creation of 156 new housing projects in California, adding a total of 18,215 new housing units to communities across the state. SB 423 adds new labor standards, strengthens environmental protections and essentially removes the expiration date on the existing law.

“The bill is a fast-track to creating much-needed affordable housing in California,” said Inner City Law Center’s Director of Public Policy Mahdi Manji. “Affordable housing is the key to ending homelessness. If we are going to solve our state’s homelessness crisis, we must continue to advocate for strong affordable housing policies.”


About Inner City Law Center

Inner City Law Center is a nonprofit, poverty-law firm headquartered in skid row, working to end the homelessness crisis by providing free legal services to the most vulnerable residents of Los Angeles.

Inner City Law Center’s staff of more than 130 (including 65 lawyers), together with hundreds of volunteers, fight for people facing eviction, struggling with landlord harassment, fighting to secure their veteran or disability benefits, or standing up to slum housing conditions.

Contact: Jacqueline Burbank
Communications Manager
P: (323) 208-1505