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CCRE, Pro-housing advocates address Bay Area’s most urgent issue

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For release:
May 28, 2024

CCRE, Pro-housing advocates address Bay Area’s most urgent issue

SAN FRANCISCO (May 28, 2024) The Bay Area’s housing supply challenge was brought into focus last week at an important cross-sector panel discussion in San Francisco.

Hosted by the Center for California Real Estate (CCRE), an institute of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (C.A.R.), the forum, “Unlocking Potential: Tackling the Bay Area’s Housing Supply Challenge,” brought together leaders in housing, affordability, transportation, and development (Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, California YIMBY, Housing Trust Silicon Valley, MTC/ABAG, and Ponderosa Homes) to discuss the burgeoning housing crisis in a region renowned for innovation and economic vitality.

Watch the recording here.

The conversation ranged from the political barriers and technology sector influence on housing supply, to meeting the needs of diverse communities. Panelists covered contributing factors and models to address the critical housing issues impacting communities across the Bay Area. Key among the 2024 insights shared during last Tuesday’s discussion:

  • Recent efforts to boost housing supply do not compensate for decades of underdevelopment.

    Housing has been historically underinvested. There exists a clear need for continued efforts to develop housing. Focusing on outcome-oriented solutions will aid in the momentum of housing development, though it will take time for expansion.

    “We live in a region that has grown, where innovation happens daily. And, yet, we have not kept it up. We have underinvested in housing for decades. And a couple of years will not change what has been,” said Noni Ramos, CEO, Housing Trust Silicon Valley.

    “In Sacramento this year, there were two bills that were housing creators and eight bills that were housing killers. Still, after all these years of housing crisis, we get more bills that are housing killers,” added Jeff Schroeder, SVP, Land, Planning & Operations, Ponderosa Homes.

    In addressing housing development efforts underway in Houston, Brian Hanlon, President & CEO of California YIMBY, said, "The overall thing that swamps every other impact is they build a lot of housing…They're massively densifying existing neighborhoods and redeveloping them."


  • A shift in public sentiment is necessary to produce housing and eliminate barriers.

    Political will, regulatory hurdles, and rising costs present barriers to increasing Bay Area housing supply. The alignment of pro-housing sentiment and political will of the public are critical to ensure the backing of additional housing developments.

    “If we're going to make a dent in this housing crisis, we need to change the hearts and minds of the larger public. And we need to have a more productive conversation around housing,” said Xiomara Cisneros, Senior Program Officer of Housing Affordability, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. “We need to tell better stories and celebrate the wins. It’s important to fulfill the public will, because once we do, we can unlock the political will.”

  • There is an express need for housing development that meets the demand for all income levels.

A myriad of housing development is necessary to support and meet the demands of both market-rate and affordable housing, while preserving the housing stock that exists. There is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ future that supports the advancement of various socioeconomic groups.

“There’s a housing crisis at all levels,” said Andrew Fremier, Executive Director, Metropolitan Transportation Commission & Association of Bay Area Governments. “We are very supportive of folks that are building market rate housing. And then, of course, our preservation projects are really designed to be investments in historically disinvested communities, which there are quite a few around the region. It's pretty striking how deep the challenges are, how important those communities are to making the Bay Area vibrant.”

“We have to continue to advocate,” said Noni Ramos, “for resources, for policy to preserve, protect, and produce. It must be all three strategies – it’s the only way. We can’t build ourselves out of the issue; we can’t only preserve alone; and we have to protect the folks that are in homes today. It isn’t a one or nothing.”

About the Center for California Real Estate

The Center for California Real Estate (CCRE), an institute of C.A.R., advances knowledge and research by collaborating with varied partners, spurs innovative thinking about key issues facing California and the real estate industry, and extends C.A.R.’s influence via intellectual engagement with different audiences, diverse stakeholders and new external partners.

CCRE serves as a nexus for multi-disciplinary thinking aimed at solving some of the state’s most challenging issues. Bringing together key experts from a variety of fields — from academics and policymakers to industry leaders — CCRE produces new knowledge and serves as a key resource about housing issues for all C.A.R. members, external entities, the media, and the public.


Leading the way…® in California real estate for more than 118 years, the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (www.car.org) is one of the largest state trade organizations in the United States with 190,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate. C.A.R. is headquartered in Los Angeles.

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