The Assembly’s Housing and Community Development Committee is once again being chaired by a Bay Area Democrat.

On Jan. 3, 2022, Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, took the helm of the committee, which continues to rise in political significance as the Legislature tackles housing-affordability issues, the ongoing housing shortage and the homelessness crisis.

Wicks replaces former Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, who left the post in November to take over as San Francisco’s city attorney. During his time chairing the committee, Chiu authored California’s statewide rent cap legislation and the COVID-19 eviction moratorium.

Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks

Since joining the Assembly in 2019, Wicks has introduced several bills that aimed at creating an online rental registry, with each failing amid opposition from the California Apartment Association. In 2020, CAA also stopped a bill by Wicks that would have allowed tenants to pay their security deposit over six months.

Wicks, however, has also authored CAA-supported legislation that won Gov. Newsom’s signature, including bills to encourage the production of housing for middle-income earners and boost production of apartments in single-family home neighborhoods.

In a press release, Wicks expressed enthusiasm about her appointment.

“We have a great deal of work to do to find solutions for one of our state’s most intractable crises, and the growing challenges of housing affordability, our homelessness epidemic, renter protections, and pathways to home ownership,” she said. “Finding solutions to these problems has been my top priority during my time in office, and I am thrilled for the opportunity to continue this leadership as the next Chair of the Committee on Housing and Community Development.”

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, who appointed Wicks this past Tuesday, said the following of the legislator:

“Asm. Wicks’ policy experiences, at many levels, inside and outside of government have been invaluable on the Housing Committee under its previous chair,” said Rendon, D-Lakewood. “She has the know-how to keep this committee working at the forefront of housing policy. We must keep California focused on this issue and she can do it.”