Construction in Emeryville, California (Photo Credit: Mike Linksvayer/Flickr)
Originally published by the Ensuring Opportunity Campaign
The East Bay is an amazing place to live. Unfortunately, too many residents fear growth will impact their quality of life and say “not in my backyard.” These residents pressure elected officials to limit any new homes added to their neighborhood. This NIMBY resistance, a tax structure that disincentivizes housing, and regulations that make building increasingly expensive combined to create a full-blown crisis.
Everyone who lives and works here feels the effects of that housing crisis every day.
Employers feel it when they lose an important member of their team to a lower-cost state. They feel it in a workforce that is increasingly unhappy and unhealthy thanks to long traffic-jammed commutes. They feel it when productivity suffers and profits decline.
If we want to ensure that employees can live near their work and employers can retain talent at a price that allows for growth, then we need to focus on getting more housing built now. The East Bay Leadership Council led by hundreds of employers supports increasing the housing supply by all means necessary. Here are a few ways:
- Streamline regulations that slow housing construction and are steered too often by NIMBYs
- Decrease costs of housing construction to ensure that high-quality housing gets built
- Promote accessory dwelling units and traditional housing development near transit
- Reform tax policy to incentivise cities to approve more housing
Members of the EBLC can join the conversation and help shape our advocacy agenda at our monthly Land Use Task Force meetings. Visit eastbayleadershipcouncil.com to learn more.
Kristin Connelly is president and CEO of the East Bay Leadership Council and a member of the Ensuring Opportunity Campaign Leadership Team.