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What if the housing crisis is caused by too much growth?

November 29, 2017

By Tim Redmond : 48hills – excerpt

Supes hearing shows that affordable housing numbers are cooked, the crisis isn’t getting better — and part of the problem is too many tech offices

The Board of Supes Land Use Committee heard the latest on the housing crisis today, in the form of data showing how far out of whack the balance between market-rate and affordable housing is. And in the process, we learned a few things – and heard Sup. Sandra Lee Fewer make one of the most important comments I’ve heard out of City Hall in a while…

Fewer dared to challenge the official planning orthodoxy of decades, and ask: Is it possible that we grew and are growing too fast?

But first, the numbers.

The Planning Department presented a series of slides (you can get more details here) showing that over the past decade, about 21 percent of the new housing that’s been built is affordable. That’s about what we are going to see going forward, the department said…

What if we really looked at the demand for housing as much as we look at the supply of housing? What if we said: The Twitter Tax Break, the ongoing approval of office buildings, the conversion of industrial space to tech offices … what if that was all a mistake? What if we need to slow down the job growth, since much of it doesn’t, and never did, benefit existing unemployed San Franciscans?

The question, of course, was never answered. The ’s Office and the Planning Department define growth as the city’s top economic development goal…(more)

Thanks to the Supervisors for digging into the details on the housing crisis and exposing the truth. If the Mayor’s number one goal is growth, that is pretty broad, not well defined statement. What does he define as growth? Growth of what? He may have had a mandate to create jobs when he was first appointed, but that issue is not the problem we are grappling with today. The number one problem San Francisco is grappling with today is gentrification accompanied by massive inflation.

Watch the November 27, 2017 Land Use and Transportation Committee hearing here.




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