SACRAMENTO– Assemblyman James Gallagher’s (R-Yuba City) legislation to expedite housing production in jurisdictions affected by the Camp Fire has received broad local support ahead of its hearing in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee on Monday.
Assembly Bill 430 will help alleviate the housing crisis, which has been exacerbated in Butte County and surrounding areas in the aftermath of the Camp Fire, by streamlining the environmental review process for housing projects. Specifically, the bill allows certain housing projects in the cities of Chico, Biggs, Gridley, Oroville, and Orland to utilize an expedited ministerial review process at the local level.
Biggs, Gridley, Oroville, and Orland have all registered their support for AB 430. Chico will be considering the bill at tonight’s city council meeting, and the bill has already received an outpouring of support from the Chico community, including from fire victims, community members, Enloe Medical Center, the Downtown Chico Business Association, the Chico Chamber of Commerce, and the Chico Builders Association, among others.
“I am glad these communities want to help be part of the solution to alleviate our severe housing shortage in the aftermath of the Camp Fire – and I continue to be willing to work anyone that wants to engage in productive discussions regarding this very serious issue,” said Assemblyman Gallagher.
The Camp Fire displaced over 50,000 people and the surrounding areas do not have sufficient capacity to absorb this population. Butte County’s housing affordability fell steeply after the fire and many people are still in temporary housing or living with friends and family. Others were forced to move far away from their jobs to more affordable areas. New and affordable housing near job-centers is critical for displaced individuals.