The Oct. 22 Journal had “Report: County’s affordable housing falling short” on page 1 and Jon Mays’ column “Housing hopes and fears.” Mays’ column gave a nice view of the two most vocal groups in the housing debate. But it misses an important point that some of us are concerned about and is the topic of the page 1 article.

I think many of us agree on the “What” — we need a larger stock of affordable housing; where we disagree is the “How” — what is the best way to address this need? “San Mateo County produced nearly 11 times as many jobs as it did housing units in recent years.”

We cannot build our way out of the housing situation without two significant changes: 1). If we want to fix the jobs-to-housing imbalance then we should only be building housing or converting offices into housing, and 2). We need stronger policies to ensure that a higher percentage are “affordable.” Without both of these together we will continue to have cynics like myself who believe that those making policy are being disingenuous. They can’t force Senate bills 9 and 10 on us with the argument that we need more affordable housing without ensuring that we are actually providing affordable housing and reducing the jobs imbalance. Bad policy and flawed execution will only exacerbate this problem.

D M Goldstein

Foster City

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(2) comments


The problem with providing more affordable housing in the Bay Area is the ever rising cost of land. The best way to solve this is to build high speed mass transit to outlying ares were housing is 70% less costly.

Terence Y

DM - bad policy, in the form of the increased fees and building mandates is exacerbating the problem of “affordable” housing. Let’s not forget the constant drumbeat to increase minimum wages, accelerating raw materials costs, and inflation - more costs to be passed on to the homeowner. Due to added costs, more “affordable housing” will never be forthcoming. So let’s do something about reducing costs.

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