Blogging Bayport Alameda

September 11, 2015

Damned for all time

Filed under: Alameda, Alameda Neighbors, City Council, Development — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

The other day, Tony Daysog attempted to tiptoe his way around his “support” for increasing protections for renters that are being pushed out of Alameda’s housing market to try to somehow align that with his “there’s too much housing” position and voting against a housing project because the developer decided to build very low income units which earned a 20% density bonus.

He attempted to glom on to a singular section in a larger piece about rent control which referenced the San Francisco Mission Market rate housing moratorium.  In typical Tony Daysog fashion his comment, that he wanted us all to find and reference, was a lot of “on this hand, but on the other hand” but did nothing to telegraph what Tony Daysog actually feels on the issue other than him attempting to gauge which way the political wind might be blowing. From his EBX comment and then cut and paste here:

“Conventional supply-demand economics says something like prices tend to rise when supply is artificially controlled, especially in the face of growing demand. If so, then affordable housing advocates are in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t predicament,no?

“If, as this article says, increasing supply by building more apartments, especially market rate, triggers surrounding prices to rise, a point that seems consistent with Nobel economist R. Shiller’s argument about asset bubbles: but, if conventional economics is to be believed, stifling supply also triggers price jumps.

But perhaps Tony Daysog should have waited to see what the analysis of the Mission moratorium (and therefore what would happen when affordable housing advocates block market rate housing) would do on housing prices before he attempted his own attempt to justify his lack of leadership on providing real solutions for families and Alamedans hurting in this housing market right now.

According to San Francisco Office of Economic Analysis there was no evidence that a building moratorium would slow evictions or gentrification of the neighborhood, from the SF Business Times:

“A temporary moratorium would lead to slightly higher housing prices across the city, have no appreciable effect on no-fault eviction pressures and have a limited impact on the city’s ability to produce affordable housing during the moratorium period,” the report reads.

The analysis concluded that a temporary moratorium would have no potential benefits, such as opening up land for affordable housing developers to buy instead of market rate builders.

The report provides new data on some of the city’s most crucial housing issues. It finds evidence that new market rate housing slightly drives down home prices in the surrounding blocks – a question never studied in San Francisco before, Egan notes.

The report also finds that 97 percent of new upper-income people who move to San Francisco go into existing housing, not new housing.

“This fact alone could cast doubt on the idea that market-rate housing is largely responsible for the clear evidence of gentrification that the neighborhood has experienced,” the report notes.

In addition, “our analysis do not find statistical relationship between housing prices and evictions, in the Mission or in the city as a whole,” the report finds. [emphasis added]

The entire article is worth a read as is the report itself.



  1. Are you implying that Tony was trying to have his (NIMBY) cake and eat it too (be seen as sympathetic to affordable housing advocates)?

    There is way too much of a correlation does not equal causation problem when it comes to adding market rate housing and displacement/gentrification issues. The displacement is a symptom of a lack of supply. The scarcity drives up prices high enough for developers to sporadically overcome the lethal cocktail of NIMBYism and bureaucratic hurdles and get some projects built in the most affected neighborhoods. Locals and some affordable housing advocates see the new market rate housing and identify it w/ their displacement because it is an easy target. Long term land use decisions and zoning laws and CA tax code are much fuzzier targets.

    This is also a “don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good” situation.

    Comment by BMac — September 11, 2015 @ 10:20 am

  2. damned if you do but more damned if you don’t.

    Comment by MI — September 11, 2015 @ 11:27 pm

  3. I been reading a bunch of articles on housing in SF. This one I found interesting. Particularly this part. ” Under the administration of Lee and his predecessor, Gavin Newsom, according to a recent Planning Department report, some 6,600 new affordable units were built. But during the same period some 5,500 price-protected units were converted to market rate. This does not include the estimated 10,000 units in San Francisco, thousands of which are also price protected (rent controlled), that have been allowed to be used as Airbnb type short-term rentals.

    What is missing is how we stop the hemorrhaging of the loss of existing affordable housing and sites for future affordable development in this close embrace of new construction of high density market rate housing.”

    Comment by frank m — September 14, 2015 @ 7:07 am

  4. ‘Suing the Suburbs’ Over San Francisco’s Housing Crunch

    Comment by Jake — September 14, 2015 @ 12:00 pm

  5. Affordable housing projects are funded almost entirely by government financing, the investor tax credit partnership program, or fees from market-rate projects. It is another way of saying housing welfare. I believe in home ownership but why don’t they just say we provided subsidized housing paid for by taxes which mostly is paid by the middle class.

    Comment by Jake — September 14, 2015 @ 2:44 pm

  6. good link Jake.

    From the article:

    “The proposed project does not respect the natural environment of the site and does not preserve the scenic quality of the ridgeline, hillsides, creek areas, and trees on the site. … The project does not preserve or protect the semi-rural character of the area…..”

    By that measure none of the single family tract housing should have ever been built either.

    George Lucas has run into similar resistance to his affordable housing proposal in Marin. The current residents are all die hard environmentalists, dedicated to preserving “open space”, really their private reserve.

    Comment by MI — September 14, 2015 @ 7:02 pm

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