‘Yes in God’s Back Yard’ bill allows churches, synagogues and mosques to build housing


Churches, mosques and synagogues in California will be able to build social housing on land they own without environmental or other local planning reviews starting in 2024, thanks to the “Yes In God’s Back Yard” bill signed last week by Governor Gavin Newsom.

Non-profit colleges are included in the bill, formally called SB 4. It says they can start building in 2024. Religious institutions have faced hurdles converting their surplus land into housing because it is not zoned for residential use.

“California desperately needs to ramp up housing production, and the Governor’s actions today help put us on a path to achieve that goal,” said Senator Scott Wiener. “The era of saying no to housing is coming to an end.

“We’ve been planting seeds for years to get California to a brighter housing future, and today we’re continuing strongly down that path.”

Newsom signed 56 bills into law that incentivize and reduce barriers to housing and support development of more affordable homes. Legislation will streamline housing developments, allows institutions like colleges and religious organizations to use portions of their property to build housing, and continues a state statute used to hold local communities accountable for their fair share of housing.

“It’s simple math – California needs to build more housing and ensure the housing we have is affordable,” Newsom said. “In partnership with the Legislature, we have advanced billions of dollars to that end.

“These 56 bills build on that work, supporting tenants and ensuring cities are held accountable to plan for and permit their fair share of housing.”

For details of the bills, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.


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