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California Bill Eases Regulations To Aid Affordable Housing

(AP) — California senators are backing a bill intended to encourage more property owners to build separate dwelling units as one answer to the state's affordable housing problem.

Democratic Sen. Bob Wieckowski of Fremont says his SB1069 will ease regulations and speed approvals of the units. The second units provide separate housing with kitchens and bathrooms by subdividing existing homes or adding detached living areas.

Supporters say California needs to become more creative if it is to ease the problem, particularly in areas where housing is so expensive as to be unaffordable for many working class individuals.

Opponents say the bill could add to traffic and parking congestion, changing the nature of neighborhoods with little community discretion.

Senators approved the bill on a 29-3 vote Monday, sending it to the Assembly.