Affordable housing production: Our region faces a dire shortage of affordable homes, especially for the lowest-income families.
Insights & Analyses
- As of 2017, 71 percent of necessary permits were issued for above moderate-income units, compared with only 9 to 13 percent for either very low, low, or moderate-income units in the current 2015 to 2023 housing cycle. In the previous cycle (2007-2014), 99 percent of above moderate-income housing permits needed were issued, compared with less than 30 percent for lower-cost housing.
- Looking at progress made in permitting housing to meet housing needs for the 2015 to 2023 cycle, Napa County is making the most progress in meeting needs across all affordability levels (as of 2017, it has met 45 percent of total need).
- As of 2017, 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 and low-income households.
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
- Implement the regional CASA compact to increase housing production, preserve existing affordable housing, and protect vulnerable populations from housing instability and displacement.
- Dedicate more public, private, and philanthropic dollars to expand extremely low-, very low-, and low-income housing.
- Expand nonprofit housing development and financing tools.
- Dedicate public lands for low-income housing developments and expand financing tools for community land trusts, limited equity cooperatives, and nonprofit developers.
- Direct state housing resources to address racial equity and low-income populations through state affordable housing bonds, permanent funding sources for housing trust funds, and expanded equity targets for Cap & Trade revenue.
- Increase and preserve funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to fund social housing, in particular.
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 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
- Regional Reports: The Effectiveness of Regional Housing Policy: Evidence from the San Francisco Bay Area; Rooted in Home: Community Based Alternatives to the Bay Area Housing Crisis; Solving the Housing Affordability Crisis: How Policy Impacts the Number of Alameda County Households Burdened by Housing Costs; 2019 Statewide Housing Need Report
- County-Specific Reports: Alameda County Housing Need Report 2019; Contra Costa County Housing Need Report 2019; Marin County Housing Need Report 2019; Napa County Housing Need Report 2019; San Mateo County Housing Need Report 2019; Solano County Housing Need Report 2019; Sonoma County Housing Need Report 2019