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The YIMBYs Lost in California. But They're Just Getting Started.

The defeat of SB 827, California’s ambitious pro-housing bill, masks a wider trend: Similar initiatives are on the march nationwide.
New housing under construction in San Marcos, California.
New housing under construction in San Marcos, California. Mike Blake/Reuters

Last week, the most ambitious upzoning in American history died in committee. Designed to address California’s housing crisis, SB 827 would have permitted new four- and five-story multifamily housing within a half-mile of transit without having to undergo reviews, clearing away parking requirements and other local regulations used by homeowners to block new development.

But before its untimely death, the ambitious bill managed to garner a lot of media attention, and across the country, a number of campaigns are underway to facilitate new transit-oriented housing that should give advocates of the pro-development “Yes In My Backyard” movement hope. In California, SB 827 might have even provided valuable cover for a slate of other smaller housing reforms.