A Comprehensive Examination of the Bay Area Housing Crisis

The Google Bus protests got the media’s attention, and the Ellis Act has politicians' attention, but the Bay Area’s current tech-housing-gentrification crisis is a big, complicated mess.

“If you’re wondering why people are protesting you, how we got to this housing crisis, why rent control exists or why tech is even shifting to San Francisco in the first place, this is meant to provide some common points of understanding," writes Kim-Mai Cutler before launching into one of the most expansive and incisive pieces of online journalism in recent months (years? decades?).

The really, really long (don’t say we didn’t warn you) article includes 21 subheadings that frankly address components of the crisis, like rent control, supply and demand, and the “Twitter tax break.” Two particularly helpful subheadings provide distillations of all the current measures proposed by the city government (subhead 15) and the tech industry (subhead 16) to ameliorate the crisis.

But, writes Cutler, “none of this — the increased eviction protections, the push to stall the shuttle program under CEQA, Ellis Act reform – amounts to massive, systems-level change. It protects long-time residents who are already here, but it doesn’t make San Francisco affordable or available to future middle- or working-class residents.”

Meanwhile, tech companies are finding other places to do business, or, as Cutler puts it, “[the] high cost of living in the Bay Area is the rest of the world’s gain.”

The article concludes by delivering some tough talk to tech workers, homeowners in the city and on the peninsula, and activists. It’s all highly recommended reading. 

Full Story: How Burrowing Owls Lead To Vomiting Anarchists (Or SF’s Housing Crisis Explained)

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
$23.00
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95