The lack of affordable housing is especially prevalent in coastal California, where some pay more than $1,000 a month just for a bed.
According to a recent survey, $3,500 is the average monthly rent for a person living in a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco. Others are paying $1,800 just to rent a bunk bed. The rest of the Bay Area is similar, with particularly high prices in Palo Alto and San Mateo.
San Mateo held a public meeting recently to discuss the lack of affordable housing, which is supposedly a complex issue. In reality, the “problem” is not complex. It’s a simple effect of supply and demand: when an increase in population results in the demand for more housing – but the government prevents houses from being built – the price of existing housing will go up.
Apartments in the San Francisco have been three or four times more expensive than the national average since the 1970s – but why?
Local laws and policies have prevented Californians from building in the name of preserving land. But the environmental activists in California are usually so well off they don’t have to worry about high rents.
Others complain that there’s just no more room in coastal California, but anyone who has driven on Highway 280 from Palo Alto to San Francisco knows this isn’t true (image above).
Today, more than half of the land that makes up San Mateo is off-limits for building. Until this is changed, the price of housing will not go down.