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Expect These Hurdles If You Want To Solve The Bay Area's Housing Crisis


Even with increased demand for housing in the Bay Area, several issues continue to stand in the way. Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean partner Todd Williams (above at a Bisnow event earlier this year) recently told the San Francisco Business Times the biggest hurdle is the California Environmental Quality Act.

Todd isn’t the only one to call out this controversial 1970 statute. Several developers and consultants have continued to call for CEQA reform to clear the way for more affordable housing.

Todd said CEQA is often used by opponents of developments to further delay projects, extract money or concessions beyond those required under the law or to prevent the housing outright. This has even included projects with little to no significant environmental impact.

He said a plan being floated to form a 21-county megaregion sounds great in theory, but a lack of follow-through from job centers and builders to actually build housing makes this effort difficult. Public pushback and cities feeling like they have lost local control could also stagnate this regional effort.

The Bay Area also faces challenges related to residents planning to leave the area due to a lack of affordability. The cost of construction, the long approval process and opposition to housing all remain problematic to creating more housing, Todd told the Business Times. [SFBT]