Guest opinion in tackling the housing crisis, cities are stronger together news mountain view online gas pump heaven


Let’s review how bad things are. California used to build enough homes for its growing population, but over decades we’ve fallen short by a staggering 3.5 million homes. San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, and Los Angeles are in the top seven highest-rent cities in the U.S. Here in Mountain View, median sale price of homes nearly doubled in the past five years; one-bedroom rents rose 35 percent in the past year. In Silicon Valley, a quarter of tenants spend more than half their income on rent.

Since 2010, the Bay Area has added seven times more jobs (722,000) than housing units (106,000). With nowhere origin electricity login to live near their jobs, Bay Area workers move further and further away. Hundreds of thousands suffer soul-crushing mega-commutes, and all of us suffer from traffic and car exhaust. Others pack themselves into residences in violation of safety codes or become homeless, sleeping in cars and RVs.

Cities have wielded their power over land use to say yes to jobs and no to housing. They believe it’s in their own interest, because offices and stores boost local tax coffers, while residents consume costly services like schools. Each city wants u gas cedar hill mo some other city to be the bedroom community for its workers. This is irresponsible and unfair. When Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Mountain View add tens of thousands of jobs without housing, they drive up rents in East Palo Alto, where one in four students is now homeless.

How do cities restrict housing? First, they’ve actually made it illegal to build anything other than single-family homes in most residential areas, even next to the North Berkeley BART station. Second, new multi-family homes are delayed and downsized by years of discretionary reviews, burdensome fees, and frivolous objections, like a four-month study to confirm that a laundromat does not merit historical preservation.

Fortunately, there is a way forward. After 18 months of deliberation, the us electricity hertz blue-ribbon Committee to House the Bay Area produced the Casa Compact, A 15-Year Emergency Policy Package to Confront the Housing Crisis in the San Francisco Bay Area. The compact’s three pillars are produce, preserve, protect — produce more housing, preserve existing affordable housing, and protect residents from displacement. Specific provisions include tenant protections, funds for affordable housing, streamlining regulations that inhibit new housing, and focusing growth near transit to reduce traffic.

If enacted by the state Legislature, the compact will provide affordable housing opportunities for hundreds of thousands of our Bay Area neighbors of all income levels. Unlike the status 9gag instagram quo of sprawl and mega-commutes, it will protect natural lands and save energy and water with walkable neighborhoods and green buildings — critical measures in California’s fight against global warming. Unlike the status quo of local control, it will actually work, and it will be fair — each city will be held to the r gas constant same standard and follow the same best practices.

Understandably, some local leaders are uncomfortable giving up even an ounce of direct control. Some residents support some provisions but feel uncomfortable about others. But if we wait for solutions to this systemic housing shortage that don’t make anyone uncomfortable, we’ll be waiting forever. And waiting is something that our neighbors paying half their income on rent cannot afford.

You didn’t mention the sweeping changes to the building code in 2013. New housing has to pass very stringent requirements on heating, ventilation and insulation. Houses have to be practically air-tight to reduce energy use, but then they discovered that an air tight house traps in unhealthy toxins released from building materials, gas stoves, etc. and so you also have to have special ventilation. You have to have a special energy compliance study. The smallest change in plumbing now triggers a replacement of all fixtures, faucets and toilets to pass low-water use requirements. You even have to get no electricity jokes a lighted number on the house, and then a permit from the fire department to check that it works. Living rooms must have dimmers and bathrooms must have electronic sensors to turn the lights on and off.

A year or two ago, East Palo Alto had a significant number of people removed from garages and illegal aditions to their homes because the aditions were not up to code. When home owners discovered what they needed to do to bring properties up to code, they discovered that all of these new regulations had to be met, even if the property was old. The regulations do not differentiate between safety issues, comfort issues, or someone in Sacramento’s idea of the latest technology (I remember having to install can lights with built-in fluorescent balasts to meet code . Then LED lights came out and that all had to be ripped out to be able to work with LEDs). All of that code must be met, and gas what i smoke its all very expensive, and so those residents simply had to leave. The EPA city council said their hands were tied by the code.