The Bay Area Council Housing Committee on Wednesday (Aug. 8) convened a powerhouse group of elected, labor, government and industry leaders at our offices near the state capitol to explore ways for partnering to move the needle on housing affordability. The group included Senators Nancy Skinner and Scott Wiener, Assemblymember David Chiu, State Building and Construction Trades Council President Robbie Hunter, California Building Industry Association President and CEO Dan Dunmoyer, California Apartment Association Senior Vice President Debra Carlton, and League of California Cities Assistant Legislative Director Jason Rhine.

The meeting represented an important step in finding common ground among different interests on the reasons for the state’s historic housing crisis and possible solutions. There was much agreement about various ways to incentivize and encourage more housing and how to move forward. The discussion covered a range of topics, including rent control, NIMBYism, prevailing wage, redevelopment and the megaregion. Leaders also focused on what the business community can do to support housing, sticks and carrots to incentivize housing production, and creative solutions to increase density in existing neighborhoods.

The urgency of the housing crisis was highlighted in a survey released by the California Association of Realtors’ (CAR) that found housing affordability in the Bay Area is the worst in 10 years. Only 18 percent of Bay Area households are able to purchase a median-priced, single-family home, according to the CAR survey, down from 23 percent last quarter. When broken down by county, the qualifying income for housing affordability in San Francisco and San Mateo spike to $344,440 and $349,740 respectively, lowering the affordability index to 14 percent in those counties. Read more on the findings in CAR’s press release>>

The Housing Committee will meet next on October 3 to identify legislation and policies to pursue in 2019. To engage in the Council’s housing policy work, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.