SAN FRANCISCO─Senate Bill 50, one of California’s closely-watched housing bills authored to address an estimated 3.5 million housing shortage, failed to pass in the California Senate for the third year in a row.

The bill would have enabled the construction of apartment complexes near train stations, along bus-lines, and in neighborhoods with heavy job-density—a flashback of how California cities were built before down-zowning in the middle of the 20th-century. An amendment added to the bill in 2019 would allow for fourplexes in most single-family neighborhoods.

The bill died in its first committee hearing in 2018 following concerns from low-income communities over whether the increased housing would fuel gentrification.

Senator Bob Hertzberg of Van Nuys opposed SB50 on the grounds that it would be wrong to place blame on city officials and single-family homeowners for the crisis. Opponents argue that the proposal is a far-reaching departure from the current status-quo which grants cities and counties ultimate control.

The bill failed to pass on Wednesday, January 29 by three votes. The Senate voted to give it “reconsideration,” on Thursday, January 30 when it failed by an 18-15 count.

Governor Gavin Newsom told reporters, “We’re going to get something big done this calendar year, this legislative session…We are going to continue to work aggressively to address production in this state.”