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Housing-strapped California debates density near job hubs

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A controversial proposal to increase housing near transportation and job hubs faces a key test as California lawmakers search for solutions to the state’s housing affordability crisis.

Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener’s bill is up for a public hearing Wednesday. It’s one of a handful of housing bills before lawmakers this year attempting to slow rising rents, spur more building and ensure low-income people aren’t displaced. California has 3.5 million fewer homes than it needs and prices are increasingly becoming out of reach.

Lawmakers from both parties, developers and tenants are calling for change but there’s little agreement on strategy.

Wiener’s bill would require communities to allow denser building near transportation and job hubs. Many local governments oppose the bill and some activists say it doesn’t do enough to ensure affordability.

Kathleen Ronayne, The Associated Press