Commentary: Call It NIMBYISM or Something Else, but Rising Housing Costs Are Taking a Toll on Our Communities

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

This spring, when Davis residents were surveyed about community satisfaction, about 31 percent of respondents found housing affordability to be the top concern.  But while that was far and away the top, in a way that figure understates just how deep the concern is—with 77 percent of public expressing dissatisfaction with the affordability of housing, with a total of a net negative 54.

Davis residents are not alone in this concern.  A new poll by the Bay Area News Group and Joint Venture Silicon Valley found even worse, about 92 percent of respondents think cost of housing is a very serious problem, and only two percent of those polled think it’s not too serious a problem at all.

A Mercury News article found, “Nearly three-quarters of respondents said quality of life in the Bay Area has worsened during the last five years. Their biggest worries were the cost of housing, the cost of living, homelessness and drought.”

But while nearly everyone agrees that the housing costs are a serious problem in the Bay Area, the Mercury News noted “there’s potent resistance to the notion that the region could — or should — try to build its way out of a deepening crisis.”

The survey finds that “a solid one-third of the region’s residents oppose building significant quantities of new homes.” Furthermore, “Opposition grows when the conversation turns to the kinds of construction advocates say are most desperately needed: Affordable housing, housing for homeless people, high-density housing around transit.”

Adding fuel to the fire, “One of the clearest indicators in the poll that someone is likely to oppose new housing? They already own a home.”

Even more, “How to make that opposition even stronger? Tell them the housing will be nearby.”

The article notes, “With the Bay Area at a critical juncture in planning for future growth, this entrenched opposition – dubbed ‘Not In My Backyard’ or NIMBY sentiment by its critics – helps drive local and state policies that alternately seek to cater to the resistance or break its influence.”

“The folks who have the most political power, who are the loudest, are oftentimes your affluent homeowners,” said David Garcia, policy director for UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation. “And so it creates challenges for lawmakers who would like to pursue pro-housing policies, but have to answer to this very loud slice of their constituency.”

It was interesting in a recent Davis City Council forum, when the moderator asked a question about NIMBYs and an audience member shouted that NIMBY was a pejorative.  That prompted an audience question as to whether NIMBY is a pejorative.

Bapu Vaitla responded, “Some questions illuminate and some questions obscure for me.”

He said, “It’s a term that hurts people—so stop using it.  Sure.”

But then he said, “What’s more important is that the phenomenon persists.  We exclude people from our community.  That’s the truth.”

He said, “That’s the reality…  We have to take a hard look in the mirror and say that’s what’s happening. And then what are the ideas that we’re going to have to reverse that exclusionary stance that we have to include people.”

We got so defensive about a label, that people stopped talking about the underlying problem—the barriers to housing.

The Valley poll bears this out.  “The poll found that older, White and affluent residents were less likely to support homebuilding than younger residents, people of color and lower-income earners, all groups that bear the brunt of high housing costs,” Mercury News reporting noting that the largest gap was between renters and homeowners.

For those who were renters, about 66 percent favored building significant quantities of new housing.  Only 21 percent of renters opposed it.  However, for those who own their own homes, it’s split with 42 percent favoring significant new housing versus 39 percent opposing it.

“It’s a profound irony,” said Russell Hancock, president of Joint Venture, a public-private partnership focused on civic issues. “I have mine, but I don’t want you to have yours. That’s really what it says.”

The Mercury News reported, “For decades, homeowners have been at the forefront of housing resistance, pressuring big cities and suburban counties alike to block or delay new projects, and pushing rules that discourage dense development and increase building costs.

“Experts agree that’s one of the main reasons the Bay Area has some of the most expensive home prices in the country – with the median cost of a single-family house reaching $1.1 million in August – and why nearly a quarter of the region’s renters spend over 50% of their income on housing costs.”

Clearly we should spend less time arguing whether the term NIMBY itself is offensive and more time over ways to alleviate the housing shortage and slow rising home prices that are pricing the middle class and families out of our communities.

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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22 Comments

  1. Ron Glick

    Nimby isn’t a good term for Davis. “Nope” or “Nothing On Periphery Ever” would be a better descriptive term here. A term reflective of the position of every current candidate for City Council. The author of this article would be a leading member.

    1. David Greenwald

      The clearest expression is opposition to a housing project on periphery which then forces the housing to another location like Woodland, where in both cases it requires the paving over farmland.

      1. Ron Oertel

        I guess that’s my “cue”?  🙂

        Have you been listening to the news?  Housing costs are going DOWN, not UP.  Plug in any address, anywhere into Zillow’s website and you’ll see.  Or, search “housing crash”, or “housing downturn” in a search engine, and see how many articles there are.

        In regard to places like Woodland, they will build regardless of what Davis does (up to, and beyond a housing crash).  Though there is an urban limit line (which requires voter approval to change), agricultural mitigations, and at least “lip service” by local politicians in regard to preserving agricultural land.  (All of those things would likely be “unthinkable”, years ago.  So although slower to catch on in some places, there may still be hope.)

        But perhaps the biggest factor is that Woodland’s housing costs are, and always will be lower than Davis’ housing costs. And as housing has gotten more expensive in general (for a variety of reasons), the result is that families in particular will seek locations where they get more “bang for their buck”.

        But while nearly everyone agrees that the housing costs are a serious problem in the Bay Area, the Mercury News noted “there’s potent resistance to the notion that the region could — or should — try to build its way out of a deepening crisis.”

        I’m not surprised that there’s “potent resistance” to that idea.

        Seems that further exploration is needed to define the concern regarding high housing costs.  In other words, are folks concerned about rising rent?  (There are efforts to expand rent control to more cities – which overrides the statewide rent control that was recently established.)  Also, do they support primarily Affordable (subsidized) housing?

        I sometimes wonder if the folks responding to these surveys are the ones who have a “cause”.  Again, there’s lots of people who don’t respond to surveys at all.

        Truth be told, I flat-out don’t believe that most people are that concerned about high housing costs, unless they (themselves) view their own costs as prohibitive.  It could be that such responses are a form of “virtue signaling”.

        There’s also folks who are (finally) making the connection between rising housing costs and pursuit of economic development (e.g., Silicon Valley).  Cities have been especially “greedy” regarding this pursuit, without considering the consequences.

        In any case, the population has been DROPPING across the state, especially in places like San Francisco.

        But I have a more basic question for you (or anyone else who wants to respond).  Is it reasonable to allow the market to determine supply-and-demand?  In other words, as prices rise, people do seek out alternatives.  (That’s one reason that so many Davisites and Sacramentans came from somewhere else that’s more expensive – they were priced out.)

        What, exactly is “wrong” with that?

        You can only really control what goes on in your own “backyard”.  And even then, there’s plenty of people who will fight you.  Ultimately, preservation efforts have to arise from within a given population – it can’t be forced upon it from elsewhere.  (See “Woodland”, for example.  Though this isn’t even the worst offender in the region.)

        Places that experience large population booms often develop resistance to further growth and development.  (More so, if they’re “nicer” places, in one way or another – e.g., geography, weather, etc.).  Why not accept and allow that process, which is exactly what will occur under supply-and-demand theory?

        In fact, the migration out of places like San Francisco is an example of exactly that.  Turns out that some folks don’t like overpaying to live in a crowded area, with no parking, lots of traffic, and a shortage of “original” catalytic converters.

        I’d highly recommend “Rebels with a Cause”, on PBS (regarding the successful effort to preserve large areas in Marin).  You can find it online.  Near the end of the program, a question is asked regarding high housing prices in Marin – juxtaposed to land preservation efforts.

        The “answer” (from one of those responsible for the preservation) was “yes” – it was worth it.  (As I recall, that response was from a former supervisor had to “buck” his own extended family who owned ranchland in the Western part of Marin, who otherwise would have been able to “cash in”.)

        But there’s also farmers/ranchers who have come to support it.

        It was pointed out that land preservation efforts ultimately benefit everyone.  (Probably more so in Marin, since much of that land is now open the public as well.)

        If you don’t find this story inspiring, you’re probably a “lost cause” regarding understanding the value of preserving land:

        https://www.pbs.org/video/rebels-with-a-cause-g718xi/

        By the way, Marin just preserved some more land via agricultural easement.  This is a highly effective tool to ensure that farmland/ranchland remains that way.  And yes, this benefits future generations, as well.  (Actually, more so them – than anyone else.)

        https://www.marinij.com/2022/07/13/marin-allots-1-8m-for-farm-easement-near-tomales/
        ;

        1. Bill Marshall

          There is a difference between “having a cue”, and “having a clue”… something about getting the “l” out…

          There is an axiom, well regarded in the financial community, that is part of most “disclosures”…

          Past performance (particularly recent performance) is no guarantee of future results.

          Applies to housing costs/values, inflation, ‘markets’, etc, etc, etc…

          Good axiom… an intelligent person would look @ 10-20-50 year trends… “day-traders”, those who go by the hourly, daily, monthly, single year trends, are at best silly, and more likely fools…

          Those who look long-term tend to be wise…

      2. Keith Y Echols

        Yes but it’s Woodland’s farmland and not Davis’ farmland.  Think globally.  Act locally.

        I think “My Back Yard” probably doesn’t extend beyond city limits for most people.

        1. Bill Marshall

          Then, there are the BANANA’s… build absolutely nothing any near anyone.

          There are also the “I’ve got mine, screw anyone else, if I lose any of mine”.

          There are those who figure “I didn’t get everything I was entitled to, so the heck with anyone else, who aspire to and get what they need”.

          There are those who figure, “I worked for what I have, am cool with that, and hope that, and will support others, to experience the same”.

          There are those who figure “I’ve been ‘entitled’, feel guilty about it, and want others to support the ‘less entitled’… resolves my guilt, and others ‘solve’ it for me”.

          There are those who have a “mix” of those ‘figurings’.

          Just depends on “figures”, and motivations…

        2. Keith Y Echols

          Bill,

          See my comment about useless self righteousness and oh those big bad NIMBYs.  They’re oh so bad!  I mean it makes people feel better about themselves to feel so righteous.  But it’s ultimately pointless at producing solutions.

  2. Keith Y Echols

    This article annoys me.  To be clear, I’m all for a well thought out plan for communities to provide necessary affordable housing.  What I’m against is this simplistic notion that NIMBYism is bad and must be overcome.  No.  It’s rational human nature.  The more you try to create policies and attitudes against it, the more inefficient and likely failed the outcome will be.

    1.  NIMBY people oppose new housing for a variety of reasons.  The reasons don’t matter the end result is that they oppose new housing.  Suck it up and except the descriptive term.  The overly sensitive types need to stop whining about it.

    2.

    But then he said, “What’s more important is that the phenomenon persists.  We exclude people from our community.  That’s the truth.”

    This is absolutely moronic.  As long as real estate is a private asset, people will be excluded from communities.  That’s the capitalistic society we’ve built.  There seems to be some bizarre notion that people can just live where ever the hell they want to.  If that’s the case then I want Hawaii to have housing affordable and available for me while I take a surf class there and sell puka shell necklaces on the beach.

    3.  There is no attempt to understand NIMBYs.  There is just the notion that they are wrong and need to be overcome.  Here’s the thing that housing advocates fail to understand.  NEW HOUSING IS VERY OFTEN A COST TO THE EXISTING COMMUNITY.  It’s a civic financial burden, it often adds traffic, reduces available parking, makes things more crowded and takes away open space.  Is it any wonder why NIMBYism exists?  But no…just accept new housing shoved down our throats because it’s the righteous thing to do (crusading righteousness and personal cultural guilt is often the driving force behind the well intentioned progressive agenda).

    So what’s the answer?  PLAN FOR NEW COMMUNITIES.  Create new water districts, sewer treatment plants…etc.   Then require all new commercial construction to have nearby and integrated affordable residential units in the plan.  This can happen (but much less likely) inside cities, on the periphery of cities or in new communities (or expanding unincorporated communities).   By forcing affordable residential construction to be planned to go with all new commercial construction; it will require existing cities to consider if they really want to accept growing and not pass off the residential burden to some one/where else.

    Cities, school districts, counties and the state and feds need to become actively involved in creating subsidized public housing again.  Why the city isn’t a residential landlord is beyond me.  They could offer workforce housing options to their employees.  The same for school districts and offering workforce housing options to teachers.

    1. David Greenwald

      ” NEW HOUSING IS VERY OFTEN A COST TO THE EXISTING COMMUNITY. It’s a civic financial burden, it often adds traffic, reduces available parking, makes things more crowded and takes away open space. ”

      But I think the same can be said for not having sufficient housing. It creates scarcity which drives up the cost of living – not just for housing. It adds traffic as people are forced to commute and more often than not drive into town. That also reduces available parking, makes things more crowded and transfers open space and loss of open space to other places.

      Part of the problem is that we lack good measures – people can see the costs of adding a housing development, they often don’t see the costs of not doing so.

      1. Ron Oertel

        t adds traffic as people are forced to commute and more often than not drive into town.

        Not if you don’t keep trying to add developments such as DISC.

        A two-fer, as it were.  (More commuting, AND more “housing shortage”.)

        This is the exact same model which lead to rising housing costs in the Bay Area.  Which is now being mitigated to some degree via telecommuting.

        Again, let the businesses AND corresponding demand for housing leave for areas which still (at this point) welcome it.

        They’ll eventually change their views regarding that, as well – depending upon how much sprawl they view as “desirable”. Or, they run out of water as a result of that sprawl and climate change. Or, perhaps massive floods/hurricanes.

        All environmental problems are unsolvable, until/unless society comes to terms with this.

      2. Keith Y Echols

        But I think the same can be said for not having sufficient housing. It creates scarcity which drives up the cost of living.  

        Driving up the cost of housing isn’t a problem for those with houses.  Just people that want houses in a community.  I really don’t care about the cost of housing.  I specifically differentiate affordable and market rate housing.  The cost of market rate housing is a component to the local economy.  When it becomes too high to service the local economy, more homes need to be built or the local economy falls and market rate housing prices restabilize.

        It adds traffic as people are forced to commute and more often than not drive into town.

        Yes, not driving into town reduces traffic.  It adds traffic for people driving to town for jobs.  But those people don’t stay, they drive back to wherever they live (because they can’t get housing locally) and don’t clog up city streets.  If they lived here they’d clog up city streets.

        Part of the problem is that we lack good measures – people can see the costs of adding a housing development, they often don’t see the costs of not doing so.

        I would consider myself very well versed on the subject.  The invisible costs are the long term consequences to local economies (can local housing support local industry).  But even that’s questionable.  The city of Vernon in Southern CA had a population around 60 that pushed all commercial development; so basically everyone commuted there for work.  The 60 residents reaped all of the benefits.  That is until the state intervened for corruption and their policies of pushing their housing needs on surrounding communities.  The point is that there’s no real damage to pushing off housing on to other communities.  That’s pretty much what most cities do to varying degrees.  I use the city of Vernon as an extreme example and even with the corruption charges, I think their extreme example makes my point about pushing off housing burdens onto other communities.  If you want to fix the system, fix that part of the imbalance in state/local policy.  

        1. David Greenwald

          “Driving up the cost of housing isn’t a problem for those with houses. ”

          I don’t agree. First of all, it constrains who can live in the community. Second, it tends to drive up the overall cost of living.

          “When it becomes too high to service the local economy, more homes need to be built or the local economy falls and market rate housing prices restabilize.”

          but part of what is missing here is a discussion of what happens to the people who then have to travel here – that’s not costless. Not for the environment. Not for traffic. Not for parking. Those are all costs of not having suffiicent housing.

        2. Ron Oertel

          They’re not driving to Davis.

          Davis has approximately double the amount of outward-bound commuters, compared to inward bound commuters.

          Now, if you want to say they’re driving to UCD, that may be true.  They’d also be doing so from peripheral developments.  (This was discussed yesterday, in-depth.)

          But if you really want to ensure that new residents to the area who commute to UCD don’t live in surrounding communities, you’d have to ensure that prices are the same.  And, they’re not.

          Maybe you can ask the developers in Woodland to raise their prices.

        3. Keith Y Echols

          I don’t agree. First of all, it constrains who can live in the community. Second, it tends to drive up the overall cost of living.

          Of course it constrains who can live in a community.  Again, that’s the system we live in.  REAL ESTATE IS A PRIVATE ASSET (please note in my earlier comment some of my solutions address this to a degree).  Therefore people buy and sell it for profit.  That means people live where they can afford to live.  So yes, some people can’t live where they want to live…..otherwise, I’d be surfing and selling puka shells in Hawaii and expecting a place to live there; or maybe I’d still be living in San Francisco.  It drives up the cost of living for those that don’t have homes.  For those that have homes, it’s not so much of a problem.

          but part of what is missing here is a discussion of what happens to the people who then have to travel here – that’s not costless. Not for the environment. Not for traffic. Not for parking. Those are all costs of not having suffiicent housing.

          What’s the alternative?  That they live here and clog up the streets, take up parking…etc…while at work and not at work?  Oh yeah, by living here they also use costly city services.  They use/crowd city facilities and parks.  Your idea that people commuting here to work makes traffic worse than if they lived makes zero sense.  I mean unless you that if they lived in town they’d use star trek transporters to get to work.

          My bottom line is: stop creating policies and attitudes that work against people’s self interests (in this case NIMBYs).  Change those policies and and create programs that line up people’s self interests with the greater needs in the community.

        4. Ron Oertel

          My bottom line is: stop creating policies and attitudes that work against people’s self interests (in this case NIMBYs).

           
          I actually think this is sound “advice”, and applies to more than just housing. In fact, I don’t think you can effectively “guilt” people into decisions which negatively impact them on a personal level.

          For example, affirmative action – which has a disproportionate, negative impact on Asians in particular. 

          Try telling someone who didn’t get into their preferred university (or get a desired job) that the reason is because they have the wrong skin color, or that “their” skin color already has “privilege”.

          Maybe that explanation “works” for some people, but not most when the (blank) hits the fan on a personal level.

        5. Richard_McCann

          Keith E

          Two responses:

          You make a valid point about the self interests of homeowners but your example of Vernon (that I’ve been familiar with for 3 decades) illustrates the larger issue that society as a whole must assert its interests to have well situated housing that is affordable for its workforce with reasonable commute distances. (Ron O, much of that “out of town” commuting is across Russell to UCD, which you would know if didn’t live in Woodland.) The fact is that much of the existing housing isn’t paying its costs because of the huge discounts in property taxes through Prop 13. I know that the tax on my in-laws house in LA would be 10 times higher without that limit. The issue is that the state is not appropriately sharing property tax revenues with local government. That’s an easy problem to fix in the Legislature with a replacement of redevelopment agencies. And when the state plops an institution that hugely benefits a community as shown by the large economic differentials with similarly situated neighboring communities, then the state has the right to dictate housing to a certain extent to meet the needs of that institution. If someone doesn’t like the obligations that come with living in a town with UCD, then they can move. UCD was here first.

          The second is that much of the NIMBY motive is to maintain segregation. That hostility is well known and documented. That also must be overcome for the greater good of society. The alternative is fracturing of our nation.

          To the moderator: I don’t see where this discussion thread is veering from the subject matter of the article. It appears to be quite on target throughout.

        6. Ron Oertel

          Ron O, much of that “out of town” commuting is across Russell to UCD, which you would know if didn’t live in Woodland.)

          What makes you assume I didn’t live in Davis for years?  What makes you assume that I don’t have a connection (or more than one type of connection) to Davis?

          Is this about me, or just your usual noise?

          Much of the outbound “commuting traffic” from Davis is to Sacramento.  Including a commuter bus line. I am more familiar with the eastern half of town, then the western half. (The west side, where you live – strikes me as the “wealthier” side. As does the north side.)

          This would also be a primary destination for any new residents moving into the three peripheral proposals on the east side of town, if they’re approved.

          The second is that much of the NIMBY motive is to maintain segregation. That hostility is well known and documented. That also must be overcome for the greater good of society. The alternative is fracturing of our nation.

          How about if you explain how the “Davis buyer’s program” at Bretton Woods fits into that concern.

          The YIMBY movement is largely “white” and supported by business interests.  The result is gentrification.  (Try reading something other than the Vanguard, sometime.  48 Hills is a good alternative.)

          I do have an “honest” question (not necessarily for Richard):  We do know that UCD has grown over the years, and has probably increased their staff as a result.  How much of that growth has already been accommodated by Spring Lake, for example?  And/or will be, by West Village (on campus)?

          And, how much more staff/faculty growth is expected to occur? And will much of that also be accommodated by the new developments in Woodland? Including the 1,600 housing units planned at the technology park which “moved” from Davis?

          One reason I ask is because The Cannery was supposedly/partially justified by this type of “need” emanating from UCD.  Is it, in fact – housing a lot of the new faculty and staff as well?

          Again, the only thing I ever see from the YIMBY/Vanguard crowd are totally unsupported claims regarding “need”, “affordability”, etc. It’s also devoid of any reference or meaning at all. And the reason for that is because it’s largely a fake claim in the first place. (Much like the governor’s claims regarding housing when he ran for office – for which he subsequently reduced his claims by approximately “half” – with no explanation.)

          Could it be that the same underlying interests which always support these candidates are really what’s driving these claims?

        7. Keith Y Echols

          Richard,

          I used the extreme example of Vernon to illustrate a point about passing off residential responsibilities while maintaining the benefits of commercial development.  Or in other words making people commute to your city to work.  Gain the tax benefits of their work then let them go home and have some other community bear the burden of those worker’s residential services needs.  My whole point is that there needs to be a fix in the system that disincentivizes communities for passing off their residential responsibilities.

          Yes prop 13 makes things more expensive for people looking for homes.  But it also makes things less expensive for those with homes.  This is again a case of let’s take care of the existing community and not burden them with the needs of those that want to live here.  There’s no obligation to simply allow people to live where ever they want to live.  Again, as long as real estate is a private asset, it’s not the society we live in (see my ideas about public affordable housing).

          How many times are we going to go over this?  UCD AND THE CITY OF DAVIS CHOSE…I repeat…CHOSE TO BE SEPARATE ENTITIES/JURSIDICTIONS.  UCD wants to be able to govern itself.  The city governs itself.  Therefore UCD’s housing needs should be met by UCD and not be the burden their neighbor.  You keep trumpeting the benefits of UCD being next to the city of Davis (on a personal level I have a hard time seeing said benefits….yay!  bland Raising Cains!  another burrito or pizza place!  more 18-22 year old kids wandering around the streets and taking up parking spaces downtown!….unfortunately this place has more in common with Chico than Palo Alto)…but for the sake of argument I’ll grant you some of the “economic benefits” you claim for the city of Davis.  So you think there should be some unwritten deference and obligation to UCD (as they say…all verbal agreements are worth the paper they’re written on)?  Should the state set up an obligation map?  The city of Davis bares the heaviest burden but then Woodland and Winters bears 50% less of a burden?  West Sac bares only 10% of UCD’s burden?  What about the unincorporated area of Planefield?  It’s right next to UCD?  Should it also bare a similar heavy burden to support UCD (a billion dollar institution?).  How about the people that chose to live in a city THAT HAS NO OBLIGATION TO UCD, tell UCD to go f itself and take care of their own problems.  Now unwritten magical, mystical reasons aside, I would support a student quarter in the city that focuses and captures local student spending and provides student housing.  I would do that not out of some misplaced sense of obligation but out of good economics for the city (cause sooner or later, UCD will add more commercial to it’s West Village area to serve students and less students will be in Davis spending their money).

          I for the most part have little faith in the redevelopment agencies and the affordable housing industry.  I’d rather see direct action by local government agencies and institutions (like school districts) supported by the state to actually DIRECTLY build affordable and workforce housing.  I’d like to see all commercial development have a mandatory local integrated affordable residential component.

          You’re talking about the past…like 50-90 years ago.  The dreaded REDLINING.  No.  These days it’s about equal opportunity segregation.  The intent is not to separate people based on race.  It’s to separate people out by economics (again, real estate is a private asset).  It just works out that more people of color get separated out (and that should be addressed by increasing opportunities and buying power of people of color….and not byzantine land and housing policies).  The reality is whatever new homes that are built are still going to segregate people of color based on economics.  The fix for this problem is more affordable public housing options for everyone.  Let market rate housing stand on it’s own merit….meaning if it NIMBY’s deem that it’s a good thing then it gets built.  If not…then it doesn’t.

  3. Colin Walsh

    If you want to work to build consensus to find solutions on housing with a broad coalition of stakeholders, it is a good idea to work to find common ground first. It is a bad idea to use pejorative phrases and insults that create an adversarial situation.

    1. Keith Y Echols

      If you want to work to build consensus to find solutions on housing with a broad coalition of stakeholders, it is a good idea to work to find common ground first.

      Agreed.

      It is a bad idea to use pejorative phrases and insults that create an adversarial situation.

      Whatever happened to “sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me”?  Good god, has our society has become soft.  It’s like we have tip toe around landmines so we don’t offend someone.

  4. Ron Oertel

    Probably should note that rent control is coming to more California cities.  It would be interesting if one of the news organizations conducted a poll (limited to renters – especially lower-income renters) to see how they feel about that.

    Rent control is coming to more Bay Area cities. It could mark a turning point for the housing crisis
     
    With a narrow 3-2 vote, Antioch became the most recent California city to approve a 3% cap on many annual rent increases. It’s part of a wave of jurisdictions, along with Oakland, Richmond, Concord, Alameda County, Petaluma and several Southern California communities, that have recently passed or are debating rent stabilization laws and related tenant protection measures.

    From Contra Costa County to Orange County, rent stabilization and tenant protection measures are being approved in more suburban areas with less history of renter advocacy. Singh credits the shift to factors including the sprawl of urban affordability concerns, more door knocking by tenant organizers and the unique economic pressures posed by the pandemic.

    https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/california-rent-control-17476766.php

     

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