Polling on SB9, SB10 Poses Problem for Newsom | Financial Buzz

Polling on SB9, SB10 Poses Problem for Newsom

Polling commissioned by Housing Is A Human Right (HHR), the housing advocacy division of AHF, on two real estate development bills now making their way through the California Legislature, suggests Governor Newsom facing strong voter headwinds should he support of sign either bill. The poll found that a plurality of 46% surveyed would view Governor Gavin Newsom—who faces a recall election September 14th—less favorably if he supported or signed either bill. Both bills also face overwhelming voter sentiment against them.

The two bills, California Senate Bill 9 and California Senate Bill 10, are ostensibly intended to ease the state’s housing crisis but in fact are extremely harmful. Many housing justice advocates, city governments and homeowners’ associations oppose both pieces of legislation, noting that the bills don’t provide affordable housing and homeless housing requirements, will fuel gentrification, and will take away the ability of communities of color and working-class residents to build wealth through homeownership. Instead, it is yet another multi-billion-dollar giveaway to deep-pocketed real estate interests.

Both bills start with strong voter opposition. 63% oppose SB 9 (48% strongly) and 67% oppose SB 10 (51% strongly). Opposition increases to 71% for SB 9 and 75% for SB 10 after messages and endorsers were shared with voters being polled.

“The California electorate is overwhelmingly opposed to SB 9 and SB 10. Governor Newsom should consider that, with 46% of those polled stating they would look unfavorably on the Governor if he supports either bill. This presents a rare opportunity for the Governor to support communities of color and affordable housing by opposing both bills,” stated Susie Shannon, Policy Director for Housing Is A Human Right.

Polling and the Two Bills:

In the poll, voters were shown the following descriptions of each bill:

  • SB 9, would allow up to 4 units and a total of 8 market-rate units to be built on lots that are currently zoned for single family housing only, with no limit on the number of parcels used for this purpose in any neighborhood.
  • SB 10, would allow local governments to approve multi-family buildings, up to 10 market-rate units, on lots that are currently zoned for single family housing only, with no limit on the number of parcels used for this purpose in any neighborhood, and allow local governments to override voter-approved initiatives on rezoning.

Polling on SB 9 and 10 was conducted July 27-29, 2021 through the well-respected pollster, David Binder Research (with a 600 count sample size, online from voter files, recruited by email and text), and reveal some interesting numbers that may not bode well for public—or legislative—support for either bill.

Key SB 9 and SB 10 Poll Highlights:

  • Two in three polled say allowing the removal of single-family homes, and allowing local government to bypass the review process, makes them more likely to oppose. Half object to the lack of affordable housing requirements, and a plurality of 40% object to the lack of homeless housing requirements.
  • Among endorsers, support from the CA Apartment Owner’s Association gets the most reaction, with 54% saying this makes them more likely to oppose.
  • Pluralities of 46% say they would view Governor Newsom less favorably if he supported these bills.

California’s Legislature has until August 31st to advance and pass either or both bills. The recall election targeting Governor Newsom is set for September 14th, which could make for a high pressure two-weeks for him should the Legislature pass either piece of legislation.

To view the poll and full results, click here.


Ged Kenslea, Senior Director, Communications for AHF, +1.323.791.5526 cell ged.kenslea@ahf.org


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