Senator Scott Wiener says “market-rate” isn’t a bad wordby
State Senator Scott Wiener took to Medium over the weekend to pen a nearly 1,700-word essay on the merits of new market-rate housing construction in the Bay Area and California.
In piece titled “Market-Rate Housing Isn’t a Bad Word, and We Won’t Solve the Housing Crisis Without It,” Senator Wiener alleges that lawmakers and community groups show “skepticism and even hostility” toward any new construction that is not “exclusively or largely [focused] on publicly subsidized, income-based affordable housing,” creating a culture of anger toward those who want to sell new homes at market rates.
To underscore the need for more housing, the senator breaks out some cold, hard numbers:
“According to California’s Legislative Analyst, the state needs to produce about 180,000 units of housing a year to keep up with [population] growth. In practice, we produce less than half that.”
California’s Legislative Analyst Office did in fact say that in a 2015 report, adding, “Seattle—a coastal metro with economic characteristics and average temperatures that are similar to California’s Bay Area metros—added new housing units at about twice the rate as San Francisco and San Jose over the last two decades.”
So okay, just build more affordable housing if that’s what people want. But Wiener says, pointedly, “We will never — and I truly mean never — produce enough of that housing to satisfy” all of our housing needs.
Posted by Steve Sinai