Tuesday, October 7, 2014

San Francisco's housing market is really screwed up

A few months ago Tech Crunch ran this fascinating, epically-long analysis of San Francisco's housing disaster. A taste:
Rent control is a naturally divisive topic in the tech community. Progressives view it as a sacred right that protects the remnants of a working- and middle-class in the city. “It’s a non-renewable resource,” Erin McElroy, who is part of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, explained to me. 
But the tech community is both socially liberal and market-oriented, with more than 90 percent of political donations from Apple and Google employees going to Barack Obama in the last election. So price controls in the name of community stability and equity just makes people’s brains explode.
There are numerous interesting nuggets and concepts packed into the report, but a big takeaway for me is just how strange the politics of land use are in most cities. Most cities are overwhelmingly dominated by Democrats, but there seems to be a huge opportunity for Republicans to naturally extend their governing philosophy and take a strong market urbanist position on these issues. The policy solutions are just waiting collecting dust.

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