I am COO at a design-build development firm. We have about 300 employees: architects, engineers, builders, finance professionals and production workers in our factory. During employee performance reviews at the end of the first quarter, I was taken aback by how many employees expressed increasing housing cost pressures and are seeking significant wage increases to sustain themselves in the Bay Area.
Employees expressed these requests at nearly every level of the organization, including what most would argue are high-income employees. The housing supply and affordability crisis isn’t just hitting low-income families, or even median-income families. It’s reaching nearly every level of income.
We need affordable housing. We need more housing available to all income levels. And, we need it without delay.
This housing supply/affordability crisis is so severe, there are more than 200 housing bills making their way through the state legislative process. As most legislation goes, there will be stakeholders and opinions on both sides of any proposal. I encourage you to get familiar with the state bills and voice your opinion to state Senate and Assembly representatives.
Most readers will find their representatives to be:
Assemblyman Tim Grayson/District 14: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sen. Steve Glazer/District 7: email@example.com.
At a local level, I also encourage you to contact your City Council representatives about addressing the housing supply/affordability crisis.
It’s a multifaceted issue. We cannot say “yes,” to just any proposed development project that comes along. However, we should usher in – without delay – thoughtful proposals that are mindful of the existing community, won’t displace existing community members and will create more housing units.
As a region, we only created one housing unit for every eight jobs between 2010 and 2015, roughly more than a half million housing units short of the job creation. Basic supply and demand economics would suggest that as a region or state, we need to address the housing supply crisis, which is in turn causing our affordability crisis.
Jason Laub is Chief Operating Officer at RAD Urban and is a City of Concord Planning Commissioner. Email questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org