Housing Advocacy Paying Off

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There was encouraging news on the housing front this week as several projects the Bay Area Council was supporting won approval. It may not end a crisis that has been building for decades but it offered a glimmer of hope that all the hard work of advocating for more housing may be paying off. The most significant win came in Cupertino where the city council approved a project by Bay Area Council member Sand Hill Property Co. that will transform an almost 60-acre former shopping mall into 3,000 units of housing along with office and retail space and six acres of parks. In the East Bay, the Concord Planning Commission gave the green light to a 228-unit project located next to the Concord BART station, just the kind of transit-oriented development that the Council has made a top priority of expanding. Council Senior Vice President Matt Regan attended hearings for both projects and gave testimony in support.

Also this week, BART approved moving forward on negotiations to build 519 units of housing near its Lake Merritt station. And, in Foster City, the city council on Monday approved a 92-unit housing project that will reserve 22 units for teachers, first responders and other critical service workers. Just up the road in Daly City, the city council recently approved construction of 179 new apartment units at the Westlake Shopping Center and the same developer behind that project is eyeing more than 300 new units at the Fremont Hub. A Los Angeles Times story this week reported that increasing supply in the region is starting to put downward pressure on rents. The fight continues. To engage in the Council’s housing policy and advocacy, please contact Senior Vice President Matt Regan.

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