What It Will Really Take to Create an Affordable Bay Area

How much housing does the region need to build to prevent income inequality from getting worse?

White Paper March 9, 2020


One in a series of publications that lay the groundwork for the SPUR Regional Strategy.

The San Francisco Bay Area’s lack of housing and limited affordability have significant ramifications for the people who currently live here, the people who once lived here but have been forced to move elsewhere and the people who used to be housed but now live on the street. These housing pressures are remaking the region’s diversity, culture, economy and environment. There is much to be done if the Bay Area is going to become a region that builds enough housing for all of the people who want to live here — and for the children of those people to be able to stay here when they grow up.

As part of the SPUR Regional Strategy, our long-term vision for the Bay Area of 2070, we are delving into the causes, nature and sheer size of the housing crisis to make sure the solutions we propose are far-reaching enough to address the scale of the problem. We hope that by laying out the challenge in all of its complexity, we can help local, regional and state government adopt solutions that will ultimately have a chance of working. This paper shares our research so far, in advance of the recommendations we will be making in the Regional Strategy.

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