The “real” impediment to affordable housing 1


Dear Editor: 

The July issue of POLITICO Magazine has an article that states: “The middle-class dream of a single-family home is the biggest impediment to affordable housing, according to some housing activists—it keeps prices up by preventing new and denser developments…

This is simply wrong, wrong, wrong!  The “real” impediment to affordable housing is allowing companies to put too many jobs in areas where there is not enough land for additional housing of all types for their new employees and others as well.  We need to say “no” to new office developments that bring people and cars (to overly crowded areas with limited transportation options – other than cars).  Instead, we should encourage companies to move their new offices to communities that have space for housing, schools, parks, etc., etc., etc. (that is, the “American Dream”) and are begging for jobs to come their way.

We should not allow developers (many from outside the area) and other real estate interests to paint current residents as the ones causing the current housing shortage.   Elected officials, at all levels of government, have to start saying “no” to new office developments that don’t provide on-site housing for the new employees or office workers. Even if they are made to do so, we will still continue to have our horrendous traffic conditions. Other communities are seeking jobs and new developments.  Listen to them.  Go there. Your employees or the office workers will be happy you did – and so will those communities.

Joe Hirsch
Palo Alto


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One thought on “The “real” impediment to affordable housing

  • Pardis Beikzadeh
    Pardis Beikzadeh

    Some of us like living in dense walkable urban areas with lots of jobs and services and racial and socioeconomic diversity.

    I know most people’s reaction to this sentiment is “then go live in NYC and leave my neighborhood alone”. Unfortunately for the both of us, the Bay Area is silicon valley and for whatever reason it is the “hub of innovation”. What a shame indeed! Wish that had happened somewhere else, somewhere were people like me would be considered welcome.