How do you solve the Bay Area housing crisis?
That deceptively concise question has been driving the work of our members and staff for the better part of the last year. Indeed, beyond any other issue area, the topic of housing was identified by our members as the primary area where they felt that ULI could best utilize our strengths to discern, convene, and help to build consensus around solutions and a tangible path forward.
The sold-out Housing the Bay Summit, ULI SF hosted on March 23rd at Hotel Nikko, was the culmination of much of this work. The 400-person crowd engaged in a solutions-oriented dialogue around three discrete issue areas that were identified as starting points related to the housing crisis: the cost of building in the Bay Area, “missing middle” financing, and public processes.
While the ideas that came out of the Summit are nuanced, diverse, and complex, the ultimate consensus fell into a few larger themes:
- Housing and equity are undeniably linked — we cannot talk about addressing the housing crisis without taking systemic inequities into account.
- There is significant potential and interest in approaching the housing crisis on a regional level.
- Rethinking the state tax system could have a major impact on how cities derive their revenue and create priorities around development.
- Community processes should be more democratic, inclusive, and better aligned with the needs of communities.
With these thematic outputs in-hand, our Housing the Bay Steering Committee will be working over the coming months to develop next steps in our work to fight the housing crisis in the Bay Area.
This work will include topics such as:
- Modular construction;
- The latest state policies coming out of Sacramento;
- What the next phase of redevelopment will look like; and
- Inclusive, equitable development that supports all communities.
For ULI San Francisco, the Housing the Bay Summit will help to better inform and engage our members and provide us with a platform to identify and promote best practices as our members and staff continue to work on this increasingly important issue.