Community involvement is key to solving housing crisis

Community involvement is key to solving housing crisis

This is an excerpt from a guest commentary published in CalMatters on May 18, 2022, by SFF’s VP of Policy and Innovation Khanh Russo and Public Advocate’s Staff Attorney Suzanne Dershowitz.

We can build a Bay Area where all can work, live and thrive in vibrant communities, but we must change the policies that are pricing out families, increasing homelessness and making the state unaffordable to our children. The first step is to join local efforts to expand housing choices and increase housing affordability.

Every Bay Area community has until January to update its housing plan (city officials call this the “housing element” of the city’s general plan, the legal document that guides development). Well-thought-out housing plans can prevent displacement of residents, preserve existing housing, increase affordable housing and reverse racial and economic segregation.

To create a plan, a community must engage a diverse set of stakeholders to identify specific housing challenges and priorities. A strong housing plan then proposes the policy and practice solutions needed to tackle those challenges.

Read the full guest commentary.