The Change We Want.
The Supervisor We Need.
The lack of affordable housing is one of the great failures of local government. Home prices are sky-high, and consequently so are rents. Places to live are scarce. Multiple families are forced to live in single-family homes. People who lose their jobs are unable to pay for housing and end up on a friend's couch or homeless. This isn't a new development. This has been going on for decades and the crisis is getting worse. It is time to change direction and come up with real solutions.
For decades the county and cities have used inclusionary housing policies where 80% of the homes are built at market value and 20% are set aside as affordable housing at a lower cost and financial loss to the builder. Different projects and different government entities use different percentages but the end result is always the same. These inclusionary housing policies have failed to provide enough affordable housing and spiraled the cost of housing ever higher. A sustainable affordable housing policy is not possible if builders lose money building affordable homes.
The current inclusionary housing policies force builders to build larger market-rate homes. Since the county requires all the homes in an inclusionary housing project to look the same externally, all the homes become increasingly larger, even those set aside as affordable. Since the 1970s, the average American home has increased by 1000 square feet. Reducing the size of homes is the most manageable step that we can take for building more affordable homes. We need policies that encourage the building of smaller dwellings, whether as stand-alone units, duplexes or fourplexes. Affordable housing must work for renters, the most vulnerable residents in changing economic times. The target populations must be young adults, new families, workers and seniors.