Sharpen That Pencil

I also spoke at this meeting covered in the May 15 story on affordable housing. Funny that the reporter seems to be very pro-developer since there were two of us who spoke and he chose to quote the developer. Having lived in the Bay Area and Redwood City, I have heard many developers of luxury market-rate apartments that when asked to pay for the costs of mitigating the affordable housing impacts their projects make, complain they can’t get their projects to “pencil out.”

The reality is that insisting developers build affordable housing as part of their project doesn’t slow down construction one bit. In fact when inclusionary affordable housing is passed, both market rate and affordable housing continues to be built as it should be (and despite developer protests it worked in Redwood City).

Like other cities with such policies, S.B. conducted an extensive “nexus study” proving that building market-rate luxury apartments increases the demand for affordable housing because of all the service workers needed to support new wealthy households. They need housing too, and it needs to be affordable! So if we allow the AUD developers to continue building luxury market-rate apartments without an inclusionary affordable housing provision or in lieu fee, we make the housing crisis worse for people in the moderate to low income level.

Write your councilmember now, and tell them you support this inclusionary affordable housing provision because at prior meetings it has all been developers, architects, and business people arguing against it. Speak up before it’s too late!


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