Can church parking lots provide a solution to California’s housing shortage? A pair of bills would make it easier to build affordable housing projects on property owned by religious institutions.

Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, introduced a measure Thursday to remove local zoning restrictions for residential development by churches, synagogues, mosques and other faith organizations, as well as nonprofit hospitals.

SB899 would permit them to build apartments and condominiums that are entirely affordable to low-income residents without having to ask officials to rezone their land for multifamily housing.

Projects in residential neighborhoods could be up to three stories tall and include as many as 40 units. In mixed-use and commercial areas, they could be five stories tall with 150 units. Developers would have to agree to keep the housing affordable to low-income renters for at least 55 years and to low-income buyers for at least 45 years.