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Developers Aren't Going to Solve the Housing Crisis in San Francisco--or Berkeley (News Analysis)

Thursday October 09, 2014 - 09:38:00 PM

[Editor's note: Do you believe that giving developers free rein to build all and any skyscrapers they want downtown will end Berkeley's problems with the Bay Area's housing crisis? Do you plan to vote against Measure R2.0? You might change your mind after you read this piece on the Truthout web site which disproves common pro-building myths.]

It starts:

"Activists marauding Google buses, the hippie enclave turning into a playground for the rich, the threat of beautiful Victorians being plowed over for boxy condos. The housing crisis in San Francisco is capturing the world's attention, and it seems like every day there's someone putting forward the magic bullet to mow down the housing boogeyman. But many of these solutions are obsessively focused on saving the day with a build, build, build strategy.

"Affordability for working-class people in San Francisco isn't going to come from letting profit-driven developers have their way. After months of research and interviews by a journalist who has worked as a developer and on housing policy, this feature dismantles the arguments driving housing policy in the city and offers real solutions instead of "trickle-down" approaches.

"San Francisco is the epicenter of the changing US economy. The gap between rich and poor in the United States is growing as the middle class and manufacturing sector are being squeezed out. A recent study equated San Francisco's income gap with Rwanda's. City living is ideal for young professionals and, increasingly, the suburban elite. US cities need to look at smarter ways to thrive and not simply rely on the invisible hand to provide housing for working-class Americans.

See the whole piece here: