Job Killer Update: Bill Eroding Housing Affordability Stopped

A California Chamber of Commerce-opposed job killer that would have eroded housing affordability is likely dead for the year following the recent legislative deadline for policy committees to meet and send bills to the next stage of the process.

SB 1318 (Wolk; D-Davis) inappropriately leveraged necessary affordable housing in order to solve infrastructure issues with the consequence that the housing won’t be built by imposing requirements on water or wastewater districts to serve certain communities first.

The bill prohibited the expansion of water or wastewater service to new development until all disadvantaged communities in and around the existing providers had been served.

California needs to build 250,000 new housing units a year just to keep up with growth. The housing market was slow to recover from the economic downturn of the early 2000’s, putting the state even further behind in meeting its housing needs. SB 1318 would have exacerbated the problem by putting up more roadblocks to building new homes and commercial centers.

CalChamber tagged SB 1318 as a job killer because prohibiting local governments from allowing any new development until all near or adjacent existing communities are served with water and wastewater systems imposes a de facto building moratorium.

Meanwhile, the lack of housing has pushed the price of homeownership through the roof, as well as putting tremendous pressure on the rental market. The high cost of housing threatens jobs because employers don’t have affordable housing for their employees in certain communities. Further, this bill would have stifled the development of new employment centers that could provide many more jobs.

The problem of existing communities without adequate water or wastewater systems certainly needs to be addressed. However, the remedy should not be at the expense of new homes and jobs, CalChamber wrote in its opposition letter.

For more information on the remaining 2016 job killers, visit

Staff Contact: Valerie Nera

Valerie Nera
Valerie Nera specializes in advocacy on agriculture, water, resources, crime, and banking and finance issues for the CalChamber. She joined the CalChamber staff in 1978 as a legislative assistant on agricultural issues. She also has lobbied air, environmental and privacy issues for the CalChamber. She earned a B.A. with honors from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from the McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific. See full bio.