More Workforce Housing for a Growing Region

The Bay Area faces an unprecedented housing crisis that impacts every family, worker, and company in our region. Despite visionary state planning goals to “build in” and reduce our greenhouse gas footprint, our system of approving and building housing is failing to provide infill housing at a rate that corresponds with job growth, resulting in increased competition for fewer available homes, rising prices, overcrowding, longer commutes and community dislocation. The housing crisis threatens our diverse communities, our economy, and our environment.

The Council is advancing innovative, actionable solutions to address old, persistent problems that impede development.  In the past three years, we successfully passed four important pro-housing bills and helped shepherd many others to a successful conclusion. In the 2007-14 Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) cycle, the Bay Area permitted just 57% of the units needed to meet projected population growth – 17,500 per year. Our objective is to hit 125% of the 2015-2023 RHNA target and average 29,500 units a year (including accessory dwelling units) and implement policies to reduce the per unit costs by 20%.

Recent Wins

  • Continued progress on state housing legislation: SB 1227 (Skinner) to expand student housing on campuses in Bay Area and rest of state; SB 828 (Wiener) to hold cities more accountable for meeting their housing obligations; and AB 2923 (Chiu, Grayson) to increase transit-oriented development near BART stations.
  • Endorsed and fought for projects that resulted in 5,000 approved units.
  • Established “Casita Coalition”, a statewide initiative to support the construction of accessory dwelling units – ADUs, or granny units, which have the potential to add over 150,000 units of housing to the Bay Area. Learn more!

2019 Policy Activities

  • Push for large-scale zoning reform in California.
  • Sponsor and support legislation to reduce the per unit construction costs in California.
  • Continue state and local advocacy to further expand the stock of ADUs.
    • Work to alleviate existing cost barriers such as development fees and stringent environmental regulations (Title 24), as well as supporting amnesty statewide and innovative finance mechanisms.

Committee Chairs

Carla Boragno, Sr. Vice President, Global Engineering & Facilities, Genentech
Lou Vasquez, Principal, Managing Director, Build Inc.

Get Involved! 

Housing Committee: Our housing crisis is impacting people, businesses, and communities well beyond the nine-county Bay Area. Participate in bi-monthly meetings to support our efforts in addressing the housing shortage.

Committee Chairs:

Carla Boragno, Sr. Vice President, Global Engineering & Facilities, Genentech
Lou Vasquez, Principal, Managing Director, Build Inc.

Project Endorsement Subcommittee: Help the Bay Area Council support more housing by reviewing well-planned mixed-use and residential developments in the region, or submit your project for our endorsement.

Committee Chairs:

Jonathan Fearn, Sr. Director, Development at Greystar
Jeremy Bamberger, Architect, Solomon Cordwell Buenz

Casita Coalition: Interested in advocating for more accessory dwelling units? Learn more about the Casita Coalition.

If interested in any of these efforts, email xcisneros@bayareacouncil.org and check out our upcoming events

Policy Leads

Matt Regan image
Matt Regan

Senior Vice President, Public Policy


Xiomara Cisneros image
Xiomara Cisneros

Policy Director

(415) 946-8714

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