Affordable housing production: Our region faces a dire shortage of affordable homes, especially for the lowest-income families.

Insights & Analyses

  • In the 2015-2023 cycle, 206 percent of necessary permits were issued for above moderate-income units, compared with only 40 to 55 percent for either very-low or low income units in the same housing cycle for the Nine-County Bay Area. In the previous cycle (2007-2014), 99 percent of above moderate-income housing permits needed were issued, compared with less than 30 percent for very-low income housing. 
  • During the 2015 to 2023 cycle, Napa County made the most progress in meeting needs across all affordability levels (205 percent). 
  • In the 2015-2023 cycle, Napa County also ranked highest in terms of meeting the needs for very-low-income and low-income housing, while Solano County ranked lowest in its share of permits allocated for units affordable to very-low-income households and Santa Clara County for its share of permits allocated for low-income units.

Drivers of Inequity

Bay Area cities are not building sufficient housing to meet needs, especially for lower-income residents. Worse, the number of units affordable to low-income renters is decreasing, as rents rise or stock ages out. Since the 1970s, public housing has diminished while subsidized housing, such as that funded by federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), is increasingly underfunded. 


Strengthen places: Strategies to ensure affordable housing is available to all

Strategy in Action

In December, Berkeley passed new zoning in the Adeline Corridor Specific Plan to increase affordable housing production in South Berkeley. The plan sets a goal of 50% affordable housing throughout the BART corridor and potentially 100% affordable housing at the Ashby BART site. The city also aims to produce an estimated 1,500 housing unites and commercial spaces near Ashby BART by 2040. Learn more.

In Their Own Words...

“ I can't believe I now have a place for my kids and me to rest and study.”

— Elena Macario, San Francisco

Elena Macario and her sons, Jonathan and Darwin, were living with her family when her landlord began eviction proceedings because two of her siblings were not paying rent. Since Jonathan is a student at Bryant Elementary School in the Mission Promise Neighborhood zone, Elena had access to a family success coach who helped her access legal assistance, get a Displaced Tenant Housing Preference, build her credit and savings, and apply for a lottery for a below market-rate apartment created through the city’s inclusionary housing program – where they now live.


Photo: Felix Uribe

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