From the Front Lines of the Nation’s Housing Battles

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One of the nation’s leading journalists on housing issues was welcomed by the Bay Area Council Housing Committee this week where he discussed the release of his much-heralded new book examining the nation’s housing crisis. New York Times reporter Conor Dougherty gave a fascinating overview of his book—Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America—which documents the birth and rise of the housing movement through the stories of various leaders pushing their plans to address the crisis. Dougherty said what impressed him most in researching and writing the book is how the crisis has stirred a younger generation to action. “It’s emblematic of how bad it is,” he said. “We have 25-year-olds showing up to planning meetings, something I never did when I was that age. This book is a celebration of those people.”

The Committee also got an update from Geeta Rao, Deputy Director of Enterprise Community Partners, on the Bay Area Housing Finance Authority (BAHFA), which was authorized last year through legislation the Council supported to raise funding for affordable housing. Negotiations are currently under way for placing a funding measure on the November ballot, possibly combined with a transportation funding measure the Council is helping develop to generate $100 billion over the next 40 years.

And Bay Area Council Senior Vice President Matt Regan briefed the committee on various state and regional housing policies, including updates to the Regional Housing Needs Allocation that are expected to reflect massive new housing requirements for Bay Area cities. A similar update in Southern California quadrupled that region’s housing goals.

The Council is grateful to outgoing Housing Committee Co-Chairs Lou Vasquez of Build and Carla Boragno of Genentech for their leadership over the past two years. We are excited to welcome new Co-Chairs Mary Murphy of Gibson Dunn and Dave Hopkins of Sares Regis. To engage in the Council’s housing policy work, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.

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