Funny how the whole supply/demand thing works when it comes to housing. A recent story in the Seattle Times by former Bay Area News Group reporter Mike Rosenberg found that rents in the northwest city are steadily dropping as a decade-long surge in new housing construction begins to sate demand—even as the region grows. It’s a message the Bay Area Council has been promoting for many years as we work to reduce the onerous fees, legal obstacles and local resistance that have stymied new housing and resulted in skyrocketing prices and rents. Seattle has one of the country’s highest rates of multi-family housing construction permit approvals in the country, a rate that this 25 percent higher than the Bay Area.
The Council this year is supporting legislation by state Sen. Scott Wiener (San Francisco) that would dramatically increase higher density housing near transit. We’ve been heavily engaged in the work of CASA, a regional coalition of business, housing, government, community and social equity groups that recently unveiled an ambitious and sweeping plan to produce more housing. And we’re continuing our aggressive push to remove barriers to building affordable accessory dwelling units (aka granny or in-law units). To engage in our housing policy work, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.