press release

Assemblymember David Alvarez Introduces Legislation to Tackle Housing Affordability & Create Opportunities for Middle Class Families

February 24, 2023

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Contact: Jack Gallagher

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Assemblymember David Alvarez Introduces Legislation to Tackle Housing Affordability & Create Opportunities for Middle Class Families

(Sacramento, CA) –Assemblymember David Alvarez (D-San Diego) introduced legislation to create a new program in California that would allow for the building of more units for middle-income earners in their projects. Specifically this legislation would incentivize builders to create housing by expanding the density bonus law.

“I am pleased to introduce AB 1287, the Middle Income Density Bonus law, which creates a new incentive for the construction of housing for middle income families,” said Assemblymember Alvarez. “While we must continue to support more affordable housing for low income families, we must also work on housing for the middle class. This bill is modeled after the success of the existing density-bonus incentives for low-income housing. However, a holistic approach to the housing crisis requires we also tackle housing unaffordability for middle-income earners, which AB 1287 does.”

The density bonus law has been successful in creating new housing across our state. The vast majority of the housing being developed under the program, is for low to very-low income earners, because it requires deed-restrictions on the fewest number of units. AB 1287 creates a new incentive that can only be used when a project maximizes the production of Very-Low, Low, or Moderate Income units, as allowed by current Density Bonus Law.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, 47 percent of Californians cite housing costs as a significant financial strain on themselves and their families. Meanwhile, one in three say they are seriously considering leaving the state because of housing costs.

"The Middle Income Homes Bonus will create a win-win for building both affordable homes and homes for middle income families,” said Colin Parent, Executive Director Circulate San Diego.

"For many decades, residential zoning in California has mostly been limited to single-family homes in the suburbs and high-rise apartment’s downtown - the most expensive housing types. Facilitating missing-middle building types for households with a broad range of incomes is key to producing greater housing supply and affordability without public subsidies. AB 1287 will create incentives for market-rate developers to develop this type of housing that uses a less expensive construction type; as was once done in this state and must be done again,” said Michael Lane, State Policy Director SPUR.

“California acute housing shortage underscores the need to look to examples like in San Diego, of local governments innovating and doubling down on proven tools like density bonus to build the housing we so badly need.  The Bay Area Council was proud to support 2020's AB 2345 (Gonzalez) which has proven impactful in San Diego and statewide when it comes to getting housing done and we are proud to take part in this effort to expand on that work," said Louis Mirante, VP of Public Policy, Housing Bay Area Council.

AB 1287 is supported by Circulate San Diego, SPUR, and the Bay Area Council.


The 80th Assembly District includes the communities of Barrio Logan, Logan Heights, Sherman Heights, Lincoln Acres, Bonita, Otay Mesa and San Ysidro, along with the cities of Chula Vista, National City and Imperial Beach.

David Alvarez with District 80 residents


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