report: building market rate housing benefits lower-income households

Even more evidence surfaced this week that solving the Bay Area’s housing shortage and reducing its impact on lower-income households can be accomplished by…yes, building more market-rate housing. An eye-opening report by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office confirms what the Bay Area Council has been advocating for years. According to the report, “considerable evidence suggests that construction of market–rate housing reduces housing costs for low–income households and, consequently, helps to mitigate displacement in many cases.”

The study also examines the major limitations of government housing assistance programs in increasing affordability, and concludes that expanding such programs would have little practical effect. The report follows another report by the LAO last year that found California’s nation-leading poverty rate is largely the result of a historic housing shortage. That same report cited the California Environmental Quality Act and NIMBY opposition as major factors in stunting housing production. Read the LAO report on affordable housing>>

See a short explanatory video of the LAO affordable housing report>>

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