Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-13-2019, 12:17 PM
Bone's Avatar
Bone is offline
Extrajudicial
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,979

I am a NIMBY, and there is no housing crisis in CA


Background information from the wiki.
  • Currently and for several years running, CA ranks the highest among states for poverty. Less than 1/3 of Californians could afford a median price home
  • From 2012 to 2017, the SF Bay area cities added 400K jobs, but only issued 60K permits for new housing units.
  • Statewide from 2011 to 2016, the state added 2 new housing units for every 10 new residents.
  • California has the lowest rental vacancy rate the state has ever seen, at 3.6%

With this background, Governor Newsom's latest budget proposal takes ambitious steps to intercede in the housing market.

Quote:
He proposes a $1.75 billion increase in funding for housing initiatives. Of that, he’d like to devote $1.25 billion in one-time spending for building new housing, which includes $750 million in grants to help local governments plan for increased housing production and $500 million to expand the mixed income loan program.

An additional $500 million would be devoted to tax credits, with $300 million going to the state’s program for low-income housing developers, and $200 million going to a new tax credit program to help develop housing for higher income households.

Newsom says he wants the Department of Housing and Community Development to “establish statewide goals that break down by region so that they’re more realistic and more nuanced.” They plan to initially allocate $250 million of the $750 million to local governments to help them start reaching those goals, and then dole out the extra $500 million as the local governments hit certain benchmarks.

...

During his campaign for governor, Newsom said he wanted to see 3.5 million new housing units built in California by 2025. That goal has since been criticized by experts as unrealistic, and Newsom said in a recent roundtable with San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo that it’s a tall order.

“The reason it’s out there? It’s a stretch goal. Because I want to create a sense of urgency around this. We’ve been averaging 100,000 housing units on an annual basis. That’s deplorable,” Newsom said.
There are a few items in CA that come into play:
  • CA currently requires that housing development over a certain number of units meet Inclusionary Housing mandates (tiers of low income housing).
  • CA has a density bonus law that if developers meet certain density requirements, then they are allowed to circumvent certain local zoning rules on a tiered basis for parking, height, and setbacks.
  • CA requires cities to plan for housing units at all levels of income including low and very low income.
  • Certain developments are able to skip or streamline environmental review or design review if they meet certain criteria for location

As a resident, I have a desire to maintain and increase my property value. Increasing supply, all other things being equal, goes against that goal. I think local cities should be able to take steps to restrict development consistent with their neighborhoods and to maintain the character and value for the residents. I chose where I live for a number of factors. It's safe, quiet, close to work, good schools, etc. Those things also make it very expensive. My neighborhood tends to self select on income. The proposals by the Governor seek to increase housing supply, increase density, remove barriers to building, and therefore lower my property value.

CA is a desirable place to live. As a result, the demand is high. It is expensive to build here because of the high cost of labor, environmental regulation, and supply restrictions both due to limited space and local control of land use policies. But no one has a right to live where they want to, irrespective of the cost. If people can't afford to live in the place they want, it's not a crisis, it's reality. I would love to live on a cliff side over looking the ocean with 100 acres and no one around, but that's quite pricey so I can't. This isn't a housing crisis, this is a 'people want things they can't afford' reality. If people can't afford to live here, I suggest they don't.

Last edited by Bone; 02-13-2019 at 12:18 PM.
  #2  
Old 02-13-2019, 12:21 PM
Babale is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,749
In other words, "I've got mine. Screw you."
  #3  
Old 02-13-2019, 12:24 PM
Jonathan Chance is offline
Domo Arigato Mister Moderato
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: On the run with Kilroy
Posts: 22,363
I dunno, man. There are several factors at work there. But when suddenly there are no teachers for schools, no janitors for buildings and no cops to keep the streets safe because they can't afford to live near there it becomes a problem.

Get me, I'm not saying it is such. But housing booms are followed by other factors that can have negative consequences. We're seeing it hear in Charleston, now. We're facing a shortage of all sorts of basic services - teachers, fire, trash, police, nurses - simply because housing is becoming expensive because of the number of people relocating here.

Sensible policy plans for such things and accommodates to those realities. Alternately, taxes could go up so basic service providers can afford to live in their communities. I suspect that wouldn't be too popular, either.
  #4  
Old 02-13-2019, 12:34 PM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 32,543
Housing is one of those things that I think the market probably handles better than government regulation (including local government regulation), at least broadly speaking. NIMBY-ism for zoning (i.e. making sure desirable areas with only detached houses remain that way) benefits the property value for those relatively few that live there, and pretty much no one else. Opening up that area for denser development means that many more can live there -- and those many more will include more skilled workers, professionals, entrepeneurs, etc. -- all the types of people that increase overall prosperity for their communities.

That principle strikes me as reason enough to loosen zoning and building restrictions for prosperous single-family-home neighborhoods in sky-high-rent cities like SF, DC, NYC, and similar.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 02-13-2019 at 12:37 PM.
  #5  
Old 02-13-2019, 12:35 PM
Tamerlane is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: SF Bay Area, California
Posts: 13,515
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
If people can't afford to live here, I suggest they don't.
So you're going to home school then?

C'mon now, I have no problem with little enclaves like Belvedere where the elite can kick up their heels and sneer at the peasants. But it is another thing altogether when an entire region( like much of the SF Bay Area )is spiraling out of reach of the lower middle-class. Not just in terms of home prices, but even affordable rentals. There are quite a few lower middle-class folks necessary to the smooth functioning of a society and they don't function as well as a perpetual underclass living four to a one bedroom apartment and still struggling to make rent.

I'm not sure a good solution exists, nor am I sold on Gavin Newsome. However not only is Randian NIMBYism not a good look IMHO, but it is illogical. You're going to need service workers in your area, like that EMT that is going to save your life some day.
  #6  
Old 02-13-2019, 12:47 PM
Bone's Avatar
Bone is offline
Extrajudicial
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,979
Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
That principle strikes me as reason enough to loosen zoning and building restrictions for prosperous single-family-home neighborhoods in sky-high-rent cities like SF, DC, NYC, and similar.
One issue I have is that what may work for SF proper, doesn't necessarily work for surrounding cities. Housing policy is greatly influenced and impacted by local factors. The way the state mandates housing laws is to apply various rules regardless of the size or location of the city. If the Apple headquarters in Cupertino creates 1K jobs, then sure it's probably reasonable to force the city/company to take steps to provide commensurate housing. But no, further off places like Gilroy need to provide housing too. The state takes a one size fits all approach and I think it's bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamerlane View Post
I'm not sure a good solution exists, nor am I sold on Gavin Newsome. However not only is Randian NIMBYism not a good look IMHO, but it is illogical. You're going to need service workers in your area, like that EMT that is going to save your life some day.
I'd probably be a poor quality teacher so I wouldn't home school. But I can pay for private school if the situation called for it. Of course service workers are necessary - but if those employers cannot meet the demand, then wages will rise to eventually create equilibrium. People will have to pay more for those services - at grocery store and through higher taxes. So be it.

To be clear, I think there is a balance to be had. There is room for state intervention. But what is happening now is going further than had previously been the case so I feel like pushback is called for.

Last edited by Bone; 02-13-2019 at 12:48 PM.
  #7  
Old 02-13-2019, 12:48 PM
DrDeth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 39,402
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance View Post
I dunno, man. There are several factors at work there. But when suddenly there are no teachers for schools, no janitors for buildings and no cops to keep the streets safe because they can't afford to live near there it becomes a problem.
.
I was a Commissioner in San Jose. We build/subsidized a low income apartment building for teachers. No teachers qualified. Their income was too high. Altho I'd be among the first to say that teachers dont get paid enough for the shit the have to put up with, in CA, at least in Santa Clara County, they get paid quite well.

And no, they can't afford to buy a house on just their salary*. So? They can rent a house, they can rent a apt, or if their partner works, they can afford to buy. You can easily find a place within 30% of your salary.

The idea that you are poor if you cant afford to buy a house is silly.

Altho that problem you pose does occur in San Francisco, where all housing of any type is ridiculously high, remember SF is very small and has BART and Cal Train so affordable housing is but a short commute away.

* well, they can if they can come up with 20% down and are willing to commute a little.
  #8  
Old 02-13-2019, 12:52 PM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 32,543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
One issue I have is that what may work for SF proper, doesn't necessarily work for surrounding cities. Housing policy is greatly influenced and impacted by local factors. The way the state mandates housing laws is to apply various rules regardless of the size or location of the city. If the Apple headquarters in Cupertino creates 1K jobs, then sure it's probably reasonable to force the city/company to take steps to provide commensurate housing. But no, further off places like Gilroy need to provide housing too. The state takes a one size fits all approach and I think it's bad.
I'm sure there's plenty of room for reasonable debate and nuance for a community's particular circumstances. In general, I think there would have be pretty good reasoning -- more than just "the property owners would be unhappy with a loosening of zoning restrictions" -- for tight zoning restrictions that prevent building of multi-family structures. But there may be such good reasons in your community and some others.
  #9  
Old 02-13-2019, 01:19 PM
Acsenray is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 34,917
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
If people can't afford to live in the place they want, it's not a crisis, it's reality. I would love to live on a cliff side over looking the ocean with 100 acres and no one around, but that's quite pricey so I can't. This isn't a housing crisis, this is a 'people want things they can't afford' reality. If people can't afford to live here, I suggest they don't.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Babale View Post
In other words, "I've got mine. Screw you."
Yep.

The OP is setting up an untenable situation, one that could have a negative impact on the national economy. The housing stock in the Bay Area has to increase, which means there needs to be higher density housing throughout the area.

One of the reasons the OP's property value is rising is economic growth, but if the housing costs continue to rise, that will put an end to the growth, causing the OP's property value to plummet at some point. Maybe that's happen after the OP leaves or dies, in which case he doesn't care. But the rest of society has to care.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
I'd probably be a poor quality teacher so I wouldn't home school. But I can pay for private school if the situation called for it.
Jesus.
  #10  
Old 02-13-2019, 01:24 PM
DrDeth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 39,402
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post

The OP is setting up an untenable situation, one that could have a negative impact on the national economy. The housing stock in the Bay Area has to increase, which means there needs to be higher density housing throughout the area.
...
Higher density housing is one thing, and yes, there needs to be more. But there's plenty of it in SF, just too expensive.

The issue is subsidized low income housing. Which is usually not really occupied by low income people. The one we checked had a parent (on Soc Sec) rent the place but actually occupied by the Tech kid, earning quite a bit.
  #11  
Old 02-13-2019, 01:39 PM
Ravenman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 25,416
The thinking of the OP -- and it does have a sound logic to it, as far as it goes -- is actually quite dangerous. Think about how many societies fell into strife based on the conflicts between landowners and tenants. Sure, most of those involved agricultural matters, but it isn't like wealth is a prophylaxis from ending up with one's head on a pike.

Many years ago, I heard a description of Silicon Valley: an economic success and societal failure. Well, enjoy your money while people's lives crumble all around you. Sounds comfy!
  #12  
Old 02-13-2019, 01:49 PM
Babale is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,749
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
Jesus.
I'm certainly no expert, but didn't he kinda say the opposite of "I've got mine, screw you"?
  #13  
Old 02-13-2019, 02:29 PM
monstro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 20,045
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
I'd probably be a poor quality teacher so I wouldn't home school. But I can pay for private school if the situation called for it. .
Do you have enough money to pay for your security? Your own EMTs and medical staff?

Do you have enough money to hire your own sanitation workers? Road repair guys?

Surely at some point the costs conferred by your NIMBYism outweigh the benefits of your precious property value. If you are having to educate your kids at a private school because there aren't any good public teachers willing to put up with a three-hour commute (let us ignore for the moment that private school teachers wouldn't want to put up with that either), then that means your "nice" neighborhood isn't all nice. If you gotta pay for your own security force to keep criminals away from your property, again, that is not a "nice" neighborhood. Most people are willing to put up with high property taxes only if they get high quality public services in exchange. Otherwise, they are just paying for a flashy status symbol. That is plain stupid.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk
__________________
What the hell is a signature?
  #14  
Old 02-13-2019, 02:43 PM
Ann Hedonia's Avatar
Ann Hedonia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,023
I can relate to the OP. Housing prices in my neighborhood are garnering a lot of local attention lately, due to our proximity to one of the Amazon HQ2 locations. And when my local politicians are making a concerted effort to keep the neighborhood “affordable”, it pisses me off. It’s like they are developing policies designed specifically to tank my property value.

Especially when the market is so unfavorable to buyers. For example, I want to move to be closer to my family for a couple of years, and I want to sublet my apartment during that time. My apartment has doubled in value during the 13 years I’ve owned it —— so my mortgage is for less than half the market value of the apartment — yet I’m hardly going to be able to get enough rent to cover my mortgage, taxes and common charges, the rental values are really low relative to the market values —- a 500K apartment rents for between $2000 and $2500 a month. I’ve been working on upgrading some of the finishes (stainless steel applicances, marble bathroom )- so I can get closer to the top end of that range. If I can’t, I’m going to lose money on the arrangement, given that I can only realistically count on 11 months of rent a year.

And it’s not like we are going to be short of low paying labor, there are plenty of cheaper neighborhoods that are an easy 10-15 minute mass transit commute. I like living in a nice neighborhood. Nice things aren’t cheap and I resent efforts to make the neighborhood less nice because TPTB want to keep rents low.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 02-13-2019 at 02:47 PM.
  #15  
Old 02-13-2019, 02:48 PM
Dinsdale is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 17,815
I can sympathize w/ some aspects of the OP, but I am curious whether he/she perceives any "concerns" with the current income/housing situation, and if so, how those might best be addressed. I don't know exactly where the OP lives - how large or small it is. Here in the Chicago area, you can have a really exclusive neighborhood/suburb, but people could readily commute from less affluent areas. Does that exist in SF? What length commute are relatively low paid workers expected to make? Could that be addressed by raising their wages? Providing subsidized transportation? I don't know what else.

Just examine your life. Do you ever eat out? Shop in stores? Use government services? How much do you expect them to earn? How should they expect to be housed? And what is a reasonable commute for them?

Middle class folk are another question. I have a friend whose 28 yr old kid in SF earns more than I do at age 58, and she is unable to live w/o a roommate. My dtr lives in Orange County. She and her fiancé both have good jobs, but they question whether they will ever be able to buy a home. But they merit no tears. When I speak with/visit them, I often ask "where to the service employees live?"

The OP sorta strikes me as tho he wishes to exist in comfort, with other people bearing the costs of supporting his lifestyle. Is that what we aspire to in a wealthy society?

Heck, I am a federal worker. I'm currently at the top of my position's pay scale. I COULD request a transfer to Long Beach, or Santa Barbara. But after I sell my 3 bedroom
split-level 6 minutes from my office for $5-600k, what am I going to be able to buy out there?

The poor, uneducated folk commuting hours for lowpaid positions lack bargaining power. How about localities mandate a minimum wage that factors in some basic housing - say, within a reasonable commuting distance. I can imagine that being well in excess of $15/hr.
__________________
I used to be disgusted.
Now I try to be amused.

Last edited by Dinsdale; 02-13-2019 at 02:48 PM.
  #16  
Old 02-13-2019, 02:49 PM
Voyager's Avatar
Voyager is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 45,094
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
I'd probably be a poor quality teacher so I wouldn't home school. But I can pay for private school if the situation called for it. Of course service workers are necessary - but if those employers cannot meet the demand, then wages will rise to eventually create equilibrium. People will have to pay more for those services - at grocery store and through higher taxes. So be it.

To be clear, I think there is a balance to be had. There is room for state intervention. But what is happening now is going further than had previously been the case so I feel like pushback is called for.
You think private school teachers make enough to afford houses in California? You are severely deluded, unless you are talking about private schools that charge six figure tuitions.

I'm in the Bay Area, in what was once an affordable town, and my house has quadrupled in value in the 23 years I've been here. I'd be more than happy for its price to plummet to only 3 times what I paid for it if we could get some more affordable housing.
We depend of workers who aren't making tech worker salaries. I made a tech worker salary and I couldn't afford my house any more. My daughter and her husband would love to move back to California, but while they are both making good money they feel they can't afford it.
People see this as our big crisis now, so it is not surprising that Gavin is trying to do something about it. Whether he succeeds is another matter, but action is needed.
  #17  
Old 02-13-2019, 02:50 PM
Hermitian's Avatar
Hermitian is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,306
I hear all these arguments, and I agree with some of them. However, people are complaining it is too expensive to live there. Then live somewhere else!

Unemployment is a an all-time low. There are tons of jobs in Dallas, Minneapolis, Knoxville, or dozens of other more affordable cities. You can live like a king there compared to SF. So say "Bleep you, San Fransico!" and leave to better pastures. I've been to SF and it ain't that great.

No one is entitled to live in Beverly Hills or Midtown Manhattan. No one in entitled to live in SF.

If SF finds itself with no burger flippers and school teachers, then shame on them. Then they will change their zoning laws. Until then, let them wallow in their money.
  #18  
Old 02-13-2019, 02:54 PM
Acsenray is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 34,917
Mandating higher wages for people isn't going to solve the problem if there isn't more housing for them. All it will do is further increase the cost of existing housing. The high-wage workers are going to have to continue living in their cars, which is what's happening in the San Francisco area.

And you can't say the solution is for people to move further and further out. Longer and longer commute times represent a further cost to people's lives, in terms of money, mental and physical health, and quality of life. You shouldn't have to be rich to afford in time and money to do something with your life besides commute to work and back.
  #19  
Old 02-13-2019, 02:56 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 59,714
The minimum wage in San Francisco is $15/hr-How far does one have to travel to get affordable housing?
The median family salary in San Francisco is $120,470-same question.
  #20  
Old 02-13-2019, 02:58 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 59,714
San Francisco-The Golden-gated community.
  #21  
Old 02-13-2019, 02:59 PM
Voyager's Avatar
Voyager is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 45,094
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Altho that problem you pose does occur in San Francisco, where all housing of any type is ridiculously high, remember SF is very small and has BART and Cal Train so affordable housing is but a short commute away.
I live at the end of the BART, and our houses are only affordable if you use Cupertino as a baseline. I haven't checked prices in Dublin recently, but I doubt they'd be considered affordable for most of the country. I don't know if people are still doing 3 - 4 hour commutes to get to affordable housing like they did in 2007, but I bet they are. 580 is crowded enough.
It is a hard problem to solve, but it is a problem.
  #22  
Old 02-13-2019, 03:10 PM
Voyager's Avatar
Voyager is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deep Space
Posts: 45,094
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermitian View Post

If SF finds itself with no burger flippers and school teachers, then shame on them. Then they will change their zoning laws. Until then, let them wallow in their money.
The zoning laws aren't the only problem. Right before my commute took me past lots of high density condos in San Jose and Santa Clara. They screwed up traffic real good, but didn't seem to make a dent in housing prices. We're fairly built out, and while I'm all for building high density houses near transportation centers, it's not going to solve the problem for the middle class, not to mention lower income people.
  #23  
Old 02-13-2019, 03:16 PM
monstro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 20,045
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
Mandating higher wages for people isn't going to solve the problem if there isn't more housing for them. All it will do is further increase the cost of existing housing. The high-wage workers are going to have to continue living in their cars, which is what's happening in the San Francisco area.

And you can't say the solution is for people to move further and further out. Longer and longer commute times represent a further cost to people's lives, in terms of money, mental and physical health, and quality of life. You shouldn't have to be rich to afford in time and money to do something with your life besides commute to work and back.
It represents a cost on their children as well. And we all know the children today become the tax-paying citizens of tomorrow. You have to worry about the societal ramifications of having a large cohort of parents who are too tired at the end of the day to help with homework or make healthy dinners or read bedtime stories. Do kids somehow magically cope with these things? Or do we end up with a generation of illterate layabouts who only confirm the worst fears of living next to the rabble and the hoi-polloi?


Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk
__________________
What the hell is a signature?
  #24  
Old 02-13-2019, 03:20 PM
andros is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Dejagore
Posts: 10,570
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermitian View Post
I hear all these arguments, and I agree with some of them. However, people are complaining it is too expensive to live there. Then live somewhere else!

Unemployment is a an all-time low. There are tons of jobs in Dallas, Minneapolis, Knoxville, or dozens of other more affordable cities. You can live like a king there compared to SF. So say "Bleep you, San Fransico!" and leave to better pastures. I've been to SF and it ain't that great.

No one is entitled to live in Beverly Hills or Midtown Manhattan. No one in entitled to live in SF.

If SF finds itself with no burger flippers and school teachers, then shame on them. Then they will change their zoning laws. Until then, let them wallow in their money.
"They should just move" is very truthy, but not nearly as simple as you make it sound.
  #25  
Old 02-13-2019, 03:32 PM
Acsenray is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 34,917
For this and other reasons, we need to eliminate "local" counties, cities, and towns and do this planning on a metropolitan-wide basis, to reflect the true needs and costs to the economy and community as a whole. The very fact that these tiny jurisdictions exist in the first place is to enable affluent whites, in particular, to benefit from the economy while escaping the consequences of their own lifestyles. It makes no sense from the perspective of the larger economy or society to put so much power in the hands of so few.
  #26  
Old 02-13-2019, 03:46 PM
Acsenray is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 34,917
If it keeps going in the direction that the OP wants, then I suppose one outcome would be that people like the OP would have to provide housing on their own property for their groundskeepers, governesses, etc.

Hmm ... kinda reminds me of feudalism.
  #27  
Old 02-13-2019, 03:53 PM
nelliebly is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Washington
Posts: 1,185
People like the OP don't seem to realize there's such a thing as prosperity sprawl. It's not just the middle and lower classes who move a town or six away and commute: as the self-styled patricians are forced to find housing a bit farther away, those housing prices become ridiculous as well.

But hey, if you want to keep middle- and lower-class people out of your town, OP, let's also keep the wealthy out ofmiddle-class towns. Tearing down attractive little houses so they can build bloated McMansions that take up entire lots and block the view isn't doing the rest of us any favors.
  #28  
Old 02-13-2019, 04:01 PM
monstro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 20,045
I wonder if NIMBYists tend to be the same people who expect their young adult children to live on your own after a certain age. It is pretty hard to live on your own when you are just starting out if there is no stock of affordable housing. So I wonder how many NIMBYists are fans of multigenerational households. And how many NIMBYists are fine with their grandchildren attending subpar public schools since the neighborhooda with "par" schools are too expensive for their adult children.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk
__________________
What the hell is a signature?
  #29  
Old 02-13-2019, 04:05 PM
Acsenray is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 34,917
Another way to look at this is that the OP's property value is substantially made up of a public subsidy, in the form of zoning restrictions. But someone is paying for this subsidy, and that's everyone who is affected by skyrocketing housing costs, and bearing the brunt of the resulting negative externalities.
  #30  
Old 02-13-2019, 04:17 PM
don't mind me is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: somewhere over there
Posts: 1,186
Quote:
Originally Posted by monstro View Post
Do you have enough money to pay for your security? Your own EMTs and medical staff?

Do you have enough money to hire your own sanitation workers? Road repair guys?

Surely at some point the costs conferred by your NIMBYism outweigh the benefits of your precious property value. If you are having to educate your kids at a private school because there aren't any good public teachers willing to put up with a three-hour commute (let us ignore for the moment that private school teachers wouldn't want to put up with that either), then that means your "nice" neighborhood isn't all nice. If you gotta pay for your own security force to keep criminals away from your property, again, that is not a "nice" neighborhood. Most people are willing to put up with high property taxes only if they get high quality public services in exchange. Otherwise, they are just paying for a flashy status symbol. That is plain stupid.

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk
A great alternative is building much smaller, working-week rentals on the edge of cities. It's worked so well in other countries.
  #31  
Old 02-13-2019, 04:22 PM
DrDeth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 39,402
Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
The minimum wage in San Francisco is $15/hr-How far does one have to travel to get affordable housing?
The median family salary in San Francisco is $120,470-same question.
Zero. People do, they share, they rent rooms of houses, they rent out rooms.

But yeah, you can find 'reasonable" price places within 30 minutes.
  #32  
Old 02-13-2019, 04:22 PM
don't mind me is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: somewhere over there
Posts: 1,186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
I'd probably be a poor quality teacher so I wouldn't home school. But I can pay for private school if the situation called for it. Of course service workers are necessary - but if those employers cannot meet the demand, then wages will rise to eventually create equilibrium. People will have to pay more for those services - at grocery store and through higher taxes. So be it.

To be clear, I think there is a balance to be had. There is room for state intervention. But what is happening now is going further than had previously been the case so I feel like pushback is called for.
Unless you're prepared to rent a room to your kids' teachers, They'll be riding the luxury bus to Gilroy. Heck, maybe just turn the buses into classrooms.
  #33  
Old 02-13-2019, 04:28 PM
Bone's Avatar
Bone is offline
Extrajudicial
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,979
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Higher density housing is one thing, and yes, there needs to be more. But there's plenty of it in SF, just too expensive.

The issue is subsidized low income housing. Which is usually not really occupied by low income people. The one we checked had a parent (on Soc Sec) rent the place but actually occupied by the Tech kid, earning quite a bit.
Subsidized housing is a facet of the overall scenario, but it's not one that I'm focused on. I'm talking about zoning, density, and state mandates of cities primarily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
The OP is setting up an untenable situation, one that could have a negative impact on the national economy. The housing stock in the Bay Area has to increase, which means there needs to be higher density housing throughout the area.
Why do you think the housing stock has to increase? Someone mentioned Belvedere up thread.Here is the one for Belvedere. The RHNA (Regional Housing Needs Allocation) is listed in table 30, which mandates that Belvedere needs to provide for 16 additional housing units across multiple income levels by 2023. Why is it appropriate that the state mandate that Belvedere increase its housing stock? It's not like any low income people are going to be able to live in a place where the median home price is in excess of $2M.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
The thinking of the OP -- and it does have a sound logic to it, as far as it goes -- is actually quite dangerous. Think about how many societies fell into strife based on the conflicts between landowners and tenants. Sure, most of those involved agricultural matters, but it isn't like wealth is a prophylaxis from ending up with one's head on a pike.

Many years ago, I heard a description of Silicon Valley: an economic success and societal failure. Well, enjoy your money while people's lives crumble all around you. Sounds comfy!
This is a good point, but only to the extent that the entirety of law enforcement breaks down. Barring that, this problem is addressed with more prisons, maybe in Bakersfield.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
I can sympathize w/ some aspects of the OP, but I am curious whether he/she perceives any "concerns" with the current income/housing situation, and if so, how those might best be addressed. I don't know exactly where the OP lives - how large or small it is. Here in the Chicago area, you can have a really exclusive neighborhood/suburb, but people could readily commute from less affluent areas. Does that exist in SF? What length commute are relatively low paid workers expected to make? Could that be addressed by raising their wages? Providing subsidized transportation? I don't know what else.
Commute times in the bay area can get quite high. At every job I've been at, I've known people who commute greater than 2 hours each way. Public transit is somewhat passable, although I hate it for many other reasons. But that's only if you work in SF proper because SF is treated like a hub.

I don't really agree or have concerns with the current income/housing situation. Ultimately if people can't afford to live where they want, they should get used to disappointment and move somewhere they can afford.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
Mandating higher wages for people isn't going to solve the problem if there isn't more housing for them. All it will do is further increase the cost of existing housing. The high-wage workers are going to have to continue living in their cars, which is what's happening in the San Francisco area.

And you can't say the solution is for people to move further and further out. Longer and longer commute times represent a further cost to people's lives, in terms of money, mental and physical health, and quality of life. You shouldn't have to be rich to afford in time and money to do something with your life besides commute to work and back.
High wage earners are not living in their cars, at least not with any significant magnitude, and not unless it's by choice.

For those people that commute a long distance - they made a choice. They don't have to work and live in a place that is virtually unaffordable except for the affluent. It sucks to commute a long way. I used to do it - about a 4.5 hour commute round trip. I saved money. I worked my ass off. But that was my choice and for me the tradeoff was worth it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
The minimum wage in San Francisco is $15/hr-How far does one have to travel to get affordable housing?
The median family salary in San Francisco is $120,470-same question.
There is "inclusionary housing" in every city. But the cost is variable based on local metrics. It's usually keyed off of a percent of median income.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nelliebly View Post
People like the OP don't seem to realize there's such a thing as prosperity sprawl. It's not just the middle and lower classes who move a town or six away and commute: as the self-styled patricians are forced to find housing a bit farther away, those housing prices become ridiculous as well.
Of course, the farther away from the economic center you go, the lower the price, typically. Eventually those will increase in price as demand rises, and around those areas another economic center may arise. Eventually those on the lower rung of income will be pushed out of those areas as well. Rinse repeat. The market will work, and those that can't afford to live in a given place will have to move. That's the whole point, no one has right to live in a certain place at a certain price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
For this and other reasons, we need to eliminate "local" counties, cities, and towns and do this planning on a metropolitan-wide basis, to reflect the true needs and costs to the economy and community as a whole. The very fact that these tiny jurisdictions exist in the first place is to enable affluent whites, in particular, to benefit from the economy while escaping the consequences of their own lifestyles. It makes no sense from the perspective of the larger economy or society to put so much power in the hands of so few.
And this is the approach that Newsome and others are taking in CA. Consolidating power at the state level and reducing local control and governance. This is precisely what I'm opposed to. Look at the recent example of Huntington Beach.
The state is suing the city for not updating their zoning plan fast enough:
Quote:
But Huntington Beach City Attorney Michael Gates contended “the city has been, in fact, complying with all applicable state housing and zoning laws.”

Huntington “has been and will continue to work with the California Department of Housing and Community Development regarding meeting the city’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment,” Gates said in a statement Friday. “Any delay experienced by the city in its ability to amend its zoning and/or make additional progress has been caused by the city fighting lawsuits and court appeals filed by plaintiffs such as the Kennedy Commission.”

He pointed to recent court victories in an ongoing lawsuit in which the Kennedy Commission, an affordable-housing advocacy group, alleged that an amendment to the city’s development plan for the Beach Boulevard-Edinger Avenue corridor violated state housing law.

Gates called the state’s lawsuit “timed poorly” because it interrupts months of discussions between the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Kennedy Commission toward reaching a resolution of outstanding disputes.

...

Though cities and counties do not build homes, local restrictions on development, such as high fees or a lack of land zoned for residential use, can prevent construction that might otherwise occur. Higher-income coastal communities, including Huntington Beach, often maintain some of the tightest development rules in the state, even as housing costs have soared in the past decade.

The median home value in the beach city of 200,000 people tops $834,000, according to real estate website Zillow. More than half of Huntington Beach’s tenants are rent-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing, according to U.S. Census data.

Huntington Beach put itself in a shortfall toward its state-mandated target for low-income housing units when the council in 2015 amended the Beach and Edinger Corridors Specific Plan, which was adopted in 2010 to help revitalize Beach Boulevard and Edinger Avenue by streamlining the building approval process.

The amendments reduced the cap on new residential development from 4,500 units to 2,100 and imposed stricter height and setback requirements after many residents complained about the high rate at which high-density residential projects were popping up.
Why does this smaller, affluent coastal city need to have the same state wide housing mandates imposed the same way is done for SF, LA, San Jose, or Oakland?
  #34  
Old 02-13-2019, 04:28 PM
don't mind me is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: somewhere over there
Posts: 1,186
Here's one of many cites I found refuting the OP's claim of reduced property values. the worst that could happen is a modest reduction in the skyrocketing rate of increased value.
  #35  
Old 02-13-2019, 04:30 PM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 32,543
"Just move" might work for single and young people, but there are tons of people who just can't move without abandoning elderly/disabled family or their children. NIMBYism does a lot of harm to these folks, just to benefit relatively well-off people. Does this concern you at all, Bone?

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 02-13-2019 at 04:31 PM.
  #36  
Old 02-13-2019, 04:42 PM
Acsenray is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 34,917
It’s rich to see someone hanging an argument on “the free market will work” when there’s not a free market. In an actual free market, when demand rises, low density “suburban”-style housing would be torn down and replace with high density housing, allowing demand, supply, and cost to re-equilibriate. The OP is actively blocking the free market and then calling it a free market solution.
  #37  
Old 02-13-2019, 04:52 PM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 32,543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
It’s rich to see someone hanging an argument on “the free market will work” when there’s not a free market. In an actual free market, when demand rises, low density “suburban”-style housing would be torn down and replace with high density housing, allowing demand, supply, and cost to re-equilibriate. The OP is actively blocking the free market and then calling it a free market solution.
Exactly. Local government regulation is still regulation, and what the OP is arguing for is extremely tight regulation of the housing market by his local government. Bone, you're arguing for the opposite of a free market housing solution.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 02-13-2019 at 04:53 PM.
  #38  
Old 02-13-2019, 04:53 PM
Ann Hedonia's Avatar
Ann Hedonia is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,023
Here’s a sample of NYC affordable housing in my neighborhood that has pretty much pissed off people on both sides of the debate.
https://astoriapost.com/seven-units-...t-2k-per-month

The link describes 7 affordable apartments, 3 1-bedroom and 4 2-bedroom. A quote from the link
“The one bedroom units are priced at $2000 a month and are available for household sizes of up to two people. The minimum income to qualify begins at $68,572.00 and goes up to $100,200.00”. Then it describes the higher requirements for the two bedroom units.


There are programs where developers can get tax credits or abatements in exchange for putting a certain number of “affordable” below market rent units in their buildings. These apartments are awarded via highly competitive lotteries. Lotteries that may not be completely honest - I haven’t read any news stories regarding fraud in the lotteries but I once met someone that got into an affordable housing unit because her son knew someone and pulled some strings.

The issues with the units in the linked article are:

1: The market value rent for these units is probably only about 20-25% more than the subsidized rents. And rents in these new luxury style buildings are considerably higher than the rents in the older prewar buildings. So the subsidized affordable rent is actually in line with rents in the area. Yet the developer is getting huge concessions, and they will probably cheap out on the finishes in the affordable units, bringing them even closer in line to market rents.

2. These affordable rents are taxpayer subsidized ( either directly or indirectly ). Yet they are not available to people making less than 68K a year. People with 6 figure incomes are eligible for these subsidized apartments. And there aren’t a lot of them ( the apartments, not people who qualify for them). I’m a pretty solid liberal and I don’t have much of a problem with my tax dollars helping folks that are less fortunate than me. I don’t much like them used to help folks that are more fortunate than me because they won a lottery.

3. I’m suspicious. I’m concerned that these subsidized rentals are all going to be going to the adult children of people that know someone and can pull some strings. This program seems really corruption prone.
  #39  
Old 02-13-2019, 05:04 PM
DrDeth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 39,402
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann Hedonia View Post
...
3. I’m suspicious. I’m concerned that these subsidized rentals are all going to be going to the adult children of people that know someone and can pull some strings. This program seems really corruption prone.
Yep.
  #40  
Old 02-13-2019, 05:20 PM
Bone's Avatar
Bone is offline
Extrajudicial
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,979
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
It’s rich to see someone hanging an argument on “the free market will work” when there’s not a free market. In an actual free market, when demand rises, low density “suburban”-style housing would be torn down and replace with high density housing, allowing demand, supply, and cost to re-equilibriate. The OP is actively blocking the free market and then calling it a free market solution.
I don't believe I've asserted that the free market will work. I fully acknowledge that restrictive zoning rules are not an example of the free market at work. It is a market that is heavily impacted and influenced by local and state regulation. Nothing is going to change that aspect, so to the extent it exists, I'd want to use it to push policies I find favorable. This is a 'don't hate the player, hate the game' scenario.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
"Just move" might work for single and young people, but there are tons of people who just can't move without abandoning elderly/disabled family or their children. NIMBYism does a lot of harm to these folks, just to benefit relatively well-off people. Does this concern you at all, Bone?
It's unfortunate for them, certainly. It's a concern also. But not enough to make me change my evaluation or desired outcome.
  #41  
Old 02-13-2019, 05:27 PM
Acsenray is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 34,917
If all this is to you is a game scenario, then it should be fine to out game you by having the state government force local governments to change their policies. The local zoning game is no more legit than the state government game.

But sure, let’s take you at your word that when it comes down to it all that matters to you is your short-term personal benefit. Well that’s why we hope that the political system has a way to override your short-term personal interest by asserting larger goals.

Ultimately the society and the economy don’t benefit from designating certain geographical locations as “affluent” locations for all time. Economic efficiency and a broader notion of the public good has more pressing concerns.

And historical land use patterns—before the advent of zoning—show that mixed use and mixed-wealth settlement patterns produce the highest levels of public welfare. Everyone benefits when people of all economic levels can live close to high energy economic centers. Very few people benefit from the creation of exclusive neighborhoods.
  #42  
Old 02-13-2019, 05:32 PM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 32,543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
I don't believe I've asserted that the free market will work. I fully acknowledge that restrictive zoning rules are not an example of the free market at work. It is a market that is heavily impacted and influenced by local and state regulation. Nothing is going to change that aspect, so to the extent it exists, I'd want to use it to push policies I find favorable. This is a 'don't hate the player, hate the game' scenario.


It's unfortunate for them, certainly. It's a concern also. But not enough to make me change my evaluation or desired outcome.
Then what's the point of discussing it? You're for what's best for your property values... you wouldn't have any reason to expect others to support you in this, unless they lived in your neighborhood, right? And you'd understand if plenty of people opposed you, because your policy is hurting them, right?
  #43  
Old 02-13-2019, 05:42 PM
Bone's Avatar
Bone is offline
Extrajudicial
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,979
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
If all this is to you is a game scenario, then it should be fine to out game you by having the state government force local governments to change their policies. The local zoning game is no more legit than the state government game.
I'm not saying state action is illegitimate. It's certainly within the state's powers to do what they are doing. I'm opposed to it. I hope to convince enough like minded people to also oppose it in sufficient numbers to defeat various housing initiatives pushed by the state. For example, last year State Senator from SF, Scott Wiener pushed SB 827. This bill would have allowed the construction of apartment buildings up to five stories tall near every high frequency mass transit stop in the state. It was killed.
Quote:
The NIMBY side had some surprising allies, among them the Sierra Club and advocates for “Public Housing in My Backyard,” or PHIMBYs, who argued that the law would enrich developers and exacerbate gentrification in low-income minority neighborhoods.
This bill has been reintroduced with some modifications in this term, now SB 50. This bill would limit zoning restrictions near transit and certain job dense areas. But if I were pulling the strings, my approach would be to eliminate transit to avoid triggering this law. This combined with the other recent law that was executed giving BART zoning authority over property it owns in various cities so that they could build housing - it totally deincentivizes any local government from allowing transit in their city. Why would I allow a bus stop or a mass transit nearby if I know that by doing so I cede local control over zoning?

Last edited by Bone; 02-13-2019 at 05:43 PM.
  #44  
Old 02-13-2019, 05:55 PM
Acsenray is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 34,917
If your sole argument rests on the principle “What’s benefits me and the relatively few affluent people like me,” then I hope we have a democratic system healthy enough to defeat that principle in favor of what’s better for everyone.

The fact that you’re willing to scuttle pretty much any and all environmental and quality of life measured such as public transportation just reveals the bare self-interest and ruthlessness at the heart of your position.
  #45  
Old 02-13-2019, 06:03 PM
Bone's Avatar
Bone is offline
Extrajudicial
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 9,979
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
If your sole argument rests on the principle “What’s benefits me and the relatively few affluent people like me,” then I hope we have a democratic system healthy enough to defeat that principle in favor of what’s better for everyone.

The fact that you’re willing to scuttle pretty much any and all environmental and quality of life measured such as public transportation just reveals the bare self-interest and ruthlessness at the heart of your position.
I suppose. If you look at middle class and upper middle class bedroom communities where most of the city is residential single family zoning, and the homes are the most valuable thing the family owns, do you fault those people from banding together to try to take steps to protect their home values? I wouldn't characterize it as ruthless - pragmatic mostly. Unless you believe that people have a right to live in a certain place, regardless if they can afford it. Do you?
  #46  
Old 02-13-2019, 06:07 PM
iiandyiiii's Avatar
iiandyiiii is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 32,543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
I suppose. If you look at middle class and upper middle class bedroom communities where most of the city is residential single family zoning, and the homes are the most valuable thing the family owns, do you fault those people from banding together to try to take steps to protect their home values? I wouldn't characterize it as ruthless - pragmatic mostly. Unless you believe that people have a right to live in a certain place, regardless if they can afford it. Do you?
In a sense it's pragmatic, but it's also destructive, and it doesn't need to be allowed. Through some quirks of the system, some homeowners have outsize influence over policy that provides them with significant short and medium term benefit with the cost of long-term overall harm to the larger community. That's not something that we need to allow in the system. Without this ability there would be greater prosperity for all.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 02-13-2019 at 06:07 PM.
  #47  
Old 02-13-2019, 06:19 PM
Acsenray is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 34,917
The question “do people have a right to live somewhere even if they can’t afford it “ is a red herring. It’s an artificial question that makes everything turn on a question of right and rests on an question of “afford” that conveniently ignores the subsidy underlying the value of property.

What’s really at issue is how do you construct housing and land use policy such that the public benefit is maximized along a variety of factors, including what facilities efficient operation of economy, jobs, employment, energy use, and the mental and physical health of the people.

It’s not that we want to give someone an enforceable right to live somewhere but rather we want to build a community such that we all can live in the most healthy conditions.

Last edited by Acsenray; 02-13-2019 at 06:21 PM.
  #48  
Old 02-13-2019, 06:35 PM
Acsenray is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 34,917
Constructing a zoning policy that forces people to live farther and farther from work creates enormous costs to society, including loss of productivity, increasing costs of wages, increasing health costs, damage to the environment, and others.

The affluent neighborhoods benefitting from exclsioibuilding policy get to push off the costs of these negative externalities onto everyone else.

How about in exchange for protecting your property values in this way, the government taxes you your share of these externalities?
  #49  
Old 02-13-2019, 06:39 PM
Acsenray is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 34,917
And of course this is the same constituency that foisted on California the burden of the disastrous Prop 13.
  #50  
Old 02-13-2019, 07:07 PM
DrDeth is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Jose
Posts: 39,402
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acsenray View Post
And of course this is the same constituency that foisted on California the burden of the disastrous Prop 13.
It wasnt a disaster at all, in fact it was really needed and still is. Unless you like people losing their homes due to RE price fluctuations.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:23 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017