Blogging Bayport Alameda

February 20, 2020

Making space

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:00 am

It’s very exciting to see that former President Barack Obama tweeted about California’s housing crisis and the article was pretty amazing without the endorsement:

The piece itself relives the history of Lafayette and its objections to building housing and the turnaround for the City Manager from housing skeptic to advocate. He’s now the interim City Administrator for the City of Oakland.

From the piece:

According to the McKinsey Global Institute, the state needs to create 3.5 million homes by 2025 — more than triple the current pace — to even dent its affordability problems. Hitting that number will require building more everything: Subsidized housing. Market-rate housing. Homes, apartments, condos and co-ops. Three hundred and fifteen apartments on prime parcels of towns like Lafayette.

What this suggests is that the real solution will have to be sociological. People have to realize that homelessness is connected to housing prices. They have to accept it’s hypocritical to say that you don’t like density but are worried about climate change. They have to internalize the lesson that if they want their children to have a stable financial future, they have to make space. They are going to have to change.

Until then we’re always going to have policy making bodies appeasing local groups by adopting every suggestion they want to throw at an “objective” evaluation standard even at the protest of affordable housing developers, you know the people doing the actual work of building and fundraising low income housing we so desperately need.  Until that time we’ll have people continue to honor the legacy of housing legislation as the “will of the people” at the expense of the unhoused or underhoused.   Until that time we’ll have people urging for straw bans and plastic bags bans to “protect the environment” while they shrug emoji the fact that people commute more than three hours one way because housing it too expensive.  Until that time we’ll have people rah rahing Green New Deals that fail to address sprawl and impact of the lack of housing density.


  1. Amen. Thanks for describing the attitudes of narrow minded progressives who are oblivious to the fate of those who have to struggle for basic food, clothing and shelter.

    Comment by William (Bill) Smith — February 20, 2020 @ 7:03 am

  2. This made me think…I don’t believe any housing or homelessness issues came up in the Democratic Debate last night. Both are clearly on people’s minds in California. I guess the candidates were too busy launching personal attacks on each other and trying to eliminate the threat of Bloomberg. However, I did notice a new homeless encampment leaving Alameda by the Tube yesterday along with police cars.

    Comment by Nowyouknow — February 20, 2020 @ 8:08 am

  3. There are so many people who cheat the affordable housing, they should make it rentals. I know of 1 couple who one was finishing up her nursing degree, and the other a medical resident when they applied and got one when they only made $45,000 and a few months later they were making $400,000, they have never lived in the place they rent it out. They bought a 4,000 sqft house with a huge downpayment from his parents. The neighbors down the block from me have 2 new cars in their driveway, another they applied when only one was working and the other was staying home with the kids but they moved in and tore out the cabinets which were new and remodeled the whole place and now have bought a cabin and they also drive new cars. They both work now and I sure there are many stories like this. I am for affordable housing but they should be rentals. I know I will get backlash on this but I put myself through college, I worked at homeless shelters and MacDonalds, Hotel 6, gas stations, nursing homes, and other jobs. The worst job ever was MacDonalds…I rather clean toilets than work there than MacDonalds.

    Comment by joelsf — February 20, 2020 @ 5:30 pm

    • all the more reason to just build lots of housing to make it more affordable, rather than focus on subsidized affordable housing, Joel.

      Comment by Kevis Brownson — February 26, 2020 @ 9:41 pm

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