Opinion: Real progressives would embrace Scott Wiener’s SB 827 housing bill

April 20, 2018

For decades, efforts to restrict new housing in Berkeley and the broader Bay Area have driven up housing costs, pushed out low-income residents, and reinforced historical, racially discriminatory housing policies. Our city’s and region’s failure to build adequate housing is also exacerbating climate change by giving our middle-income workers no choice but to commute long distances in their cars.

Meanwhile, homeowners sitting on million-dollar-plus properties benefit as the artificially constrained housing market heaps unearned value into their homes.

In common political parlance, this effort to lock in the status quo on behalf of the wealthy, and to prevent change at all costs, would be considered “conservative.” So it is genuinely ironic that it’s so-called “progressives” driving such restrictions. And it was genuinely bizarre seeing some affordable housing advocates allied with white, wealthy outposts like Beverly Hills and Marin County to kill SB 827, as the battle for a solution to the housing crisis screeched to a halt in Sacramento.