Gabriel Metcalfe from SPUR proposes an all-of-the-above approach to solving the housing cost problem in San Francisco. He nails it with the comment:

In the long run, the only solution that will actually benefit the vast majority of people is to fix the supply problem.

and has a shoutout to Seattle, explaining why our housing costs haven’t reached the same levels:

While San Francisco has produced just 1,500 units a year over the past two decades, Seattle has averaged 3,000, adding them in a way that has improved the vitality of its downtown and kept prices from rising as drastically.

Erica Barnett at Publicola has some great quotes from the petition collected by the premier anti-housing group in the city, Seattle Speaks Up. To get an idea of their hyperbole there is:

The mayor and his developer cronies and the collusion of the City Council are raping Seattle.

and then there’s this one:

Capitol Hill is perfect the way it is!!

said no one who pays rent in Capitol Hill.

Nation of Change and the New York Times both write about progress on ending homelessness. It’s heartening to read these accounts because it is clear that ending homelessness is achievable. It’s also pretty straightforward. From Nation of Change:

In eight years, Utah has quietly reduced homelessness by 78 percent, and is on track to end homelessness by 2015. How did Utah accomplish this? Simple. Utah solved homelessness by giving people homes.

The New York times also points out how practical this policy goal is:

A 2009 analysis commissioned by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which handles the largest population of homeless veterans in the country, found that the monthly cost of housing and supportive services for one person was $605, while the public costs of a person living on the streets were roughly $2,900 a month.

Article Author
Owen Pickford holding a beer, wearing a Sounders shirt in front of a bridge, river and large towers in Tokyo.
Owen Pickford

Owen is a solutions engineer for a software company. He has an amateur interest in urban policy, focusing on housing. His primary mode is a bicycle but isn't ashamed of riding down the hill and taking the bus back up. Feel free to tweet at him: @pickovven.