Issue Housing


Posted 2 years ago

I am eager to explore all manner of approach to confront our challenge of housing. This is an issue we face constantly, being an outgrowth of local & regional zoning and regulations while having water on three sides. We spend decades promoting "affordable" housing, yet our problem doesn't seem to change. I have lived in my current home for over a dozen years, still waiting for a year when my rent does not go up. And it is this campaign driving home how alone I now am, as all from my core circle of friends have long since moved away, priced out of the City. Barely hanging on, my days in San Francisco are clearly numbered. Yet throughout, City Hall has celebrated great achievements on "affordable" housing. It seems pretty clear to me this whole debate is one for City Hall, some grateful winners perhaps, but otherwise having little impact on those like me and all those friends long gone. Places as far apart in every way as the State of Utah and the City of Stockholm have committed to the radical act of building public housing — and building a lot of it. Trying, seemingly in vain, to regulate the market and pressure developers hasn't stanched our bleeding. I like to think we too can follow the lead of Utah and Stockholm, firstly as case study for our public employees, and if successful, then for the rest. Furthermore, we can look toward establishing a sensible vacancy tax, or work to ensure "affordable" definitions include wage earners. I cannot say there is any merit here, but I hope to talk with experts and explore this or any other approach in earnest. We must commit ourselves to trying something different, for it is clear current efforts are grossly inadequate.

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