Weighing the Pros and Cons of Gavin Newsom’s New Duplex and Lot-Split Legislation


To most Americans, owning a home is an integral part of the dream. There’s nothing like opening the door to a place in your name—besides the pride of ownership, you can also enjoy home value appreciation, potential property tax deductions, and mortgage interest deductions.

However, given the current state of California’s housing market, it seems that purchasing a house is becoming more of an impossibility by the day. Low-income families, in particular, are among the most affected by the housing crisis, making it challenging to attain affordable homeownership.

In an effort to create inexpensive housing for Californians, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 9, effectively abolishing single-family home zoning. The state’s housing production could grow through increased home developments, rent and home prices may be lowered, and high-opportunity neighborhoods could open up.

Will SB 9 Be the Game-Changer?

Unfortunately, California remains among the most challenging places in America to build, resulting in a housing shortage. Senate Bill 9 will undoubtedly impact the Californian housing market, but it’s not the cure to overcoming all housing challenges in the state. 

Senate Bill 9 certainly can benefit countless Californians! However, it’s important to note that it’s not perfect—it has pros and cons that may affect you for the better or worse.

The Pros of Senate Bill 9

A Step in the Right Direction

The passage of SB 9 brings the country one step closer to breaking down the apartment bans segregating American cities. Besides California, some smaller jurisdictions such as Oregon, Minneapolis, and Charlotte have also taken the same steps.

However revolutionary as overhauling single-family may seem, the bill can’t significantly increase density. Legalizing duplexes only makes it easier to build small apartment buildings.

More Opportunities to Earn

If you own a single-family home, you can earn more by turning your property into a duplex or quadplex! As long as you follow the regulations, you may have a stable source of income while helping others attain affordable housing.

The Cons of Senate Bill 9

The Bill Isn’t Relevant to the Entire State

Senate Bill 9 may sound good on paper, but signing it won’t guarantee an instant housing abundance or cause the destruction of suburbs. The bill is only relevant to 1 in 20 single-family home parcels in California, as reported by the Terner Center for Housing Innovation.

Given the combination of loopholes in the law, protections for existing renters, and exemptions for historical districts, not every single-family homeowner can turn their properties and duplexes.

Californian Houses Are Expensive

Perhaps the biggest challenge in densifying most parcels is the cost of owning a property in California. When you calculate the costs of buying a single-family home and hiring a construction company to transform the property, the possible revenues aren’t high enough to make the investment worthwhile.


Senate Bill 9 will undoubtedly put California in the right direction! By encouraging home developments, more Americans may reside in the state without carrying a heavy financial burden. However, although Senate Bill 9 was signed to help Californians attain affordable homeownership, you must carefully learn about its pros and cons to ensure that you’ll earn instead of losing money!

Are you thinking of converting your home into a duplex or quadplex? Then, leave the job to one of the best construction companies in Berkeley, GC Builders, Inc! Our business will offer you the best possible amount that will be feasible to redevelop the property or land to a current market rate. Get in touch with us today!

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