Rudy Espinoza Murray glosses over some concerns about Senate Bill 9 (“SB9: The bane of San Mateo County,” July 17-18).
An owner who changes a single-family lot by adding an ADU or converting to a duplex would then rent or sell that second unit. A wage of $15/hour is $2,400/month. Mr. Murray wants rent to be 25% of that, so $600. His assumptions about supply and demand are unrealistic; at current market rates, it is unlikely anybody would offer an ADU for $600. And if they decided to sell one half of a duplex, that’s probably worth more than $500,000 at the low end — that does not sound “affordable” to me.
As for “infill,” some cities want to address RNHA by rezoning open space for development. Foster City wants to convert the golf course to high-density housing. This runs contrary to Mr. Murray’s assertions about impact. And is any neighborhood “more desirable with duplexes in it?”
If the “jobs to housing imbalance” is the driving force, why are we still building office buildings? Many workers are choosing to telecommute, reducing the need for office space. Why not convert offices to apartments and condos? Instead of overcrowding already tight space, put existing buildings to better use.
Our real problem is a lack of affordable housing. Building more units does not address this. If we want affordable housing, then there must be policies in place to ensure that. “In lieu” payments or setting aside some units is not going to do this.
SB 9 makes developers richer while deteriorating the quality of life. It does nothing for affordable housing.
D M Goldstein