Making It in the Bay in 2020

Bay Area residents have known that Making It in the Bay doesn’t come cheap. But this year, like all things 2020, has really put a spotlight on the housing crisis.

Here’s a breakdown of some of our Making It in the Bay content for a month-by-month review.


Let’s start from the very beginning.

The Bay Area’s housing crisis, which has spiraled out of control, can be traced back to before the start of the tech bubble — all the way to the 1970s when local cities were starting to boom, and taxes were rising with them. Details here.

Unable to keep up with rising rents, tenants of an Oakland apartment building protested in a bold way – they went on a rent strike. Their story here.

When it comes to the Bay Area housing crunch, a recent study found more workers in the region are becoming super commuters, traveling long distances to work and back because they can’t afford a home near their jobs. The full story, here.

Now these may be a little hard to watch.

NBC Bay Area’s Scott Budman and Scott McGrew took a look at what you can buy for a certain amount of money in the Bay Area compared to other locations. Click on each number to watch.


Before we look back at how the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic affected the Bay Area’s housing market, let’s start with something good.

After spending 10 years on the streets, a former homeless man is now happily living in a new South Bay studio apartment thanks to his new friend. His story below.

Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, having a huge impact on the Bay Area market. Click on the following headlines for some of our stories.


Once COVID-19 hit the Bay Area, it became the topic of conversation of almost everything and everyone, especially the housing market. Leaders in most Bay Area counties did what they could to help out.

The coronavirus pandemic seemed to be dumping a big bucket of water on the Bay Area’s once red-hot real estate market, putting the brakes on what was expected to be a booming April. Joe Rosato Jr’s story below.

After weeks, even months, of struggles, much-needed relief came for residents and businesses in April with the stimulus checks. Here’s a story on that topic.

Bay Area Pizza Shop Receives Much-Needed Financial Aid

Though the money was very handy for recipients, it also caused a fight between a tenant and a landlord in the North Bay. Jodi Hernandez’ story below.


By May, the pandemic had already had a huge financial impact on most of the Unites Stated, and the Bay Area was no exception.

A study by a Columbia University economics professor said that COVID-19 could lead to 30,000 Californians ending up homeless, as well as 45% surge nationwide. Details here.

Click on each link below for some of our top Price of the Pandemic stories:

The coronavirus led to a lot of people working from home. Below is a story about what effect that had on the housing market.


Despite the hardship the coronavirus pandemic brought onto the Bay Area, the housing market remained “hot and expensive” in the beginning of June.

However, soon after, rent prices started to drop. Here are some headlines:

And to wrap up the month, Silicon Valley Pain Index provided a by-the-numbers look at disparities among white, Black, Latino and Asian populations in the Bay Area. The report, below.


By July, businesses began adapting to the new norm and residents saw a drop in rent prices in some of the Bay Area, however not all.

Here are some headlines:

Leaders quickly stepped in — some counties extended their moratorium on evictions and gave permissions for more affordable housing.

Some tech companies helped fight the housing crisis by donating big amounts a money.

Click on the stories below for more.


After several months of working from home due to COVID-19, many residents started considering leaving the Bay Area.

In an anonymous survey, two out of three tech workers say they would consider moving out of San Francisco, only if they could work remotely for good. So keep the Bay Area salary but not the Bay Area rent. Details here.

Here are some headlines:


On the first week of September, the housing market hit new highs and new lows — in the same week.

For the first time in six years, the average one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco could’ve been yours for less than $3,000 a month.

Let’s end the month on something good. Standing 6 feet 3 inches tall, he can’t help but capture attention as he walks through downtown San Jose. Here’s the story of a Silicon Valley superhero.

The anonymous 19-year-old dons a Batman costume to bring food and clothes to his unhoused neighbors — and he’s already inspiring others to follow suit.

Fore more stories like this one, check out our Good News of 2020.


While the pandemic caused rent to drop in several cities throughout the Bay Area, in October, San Francisco was hit the harders.

And a new study by Santa Clara-based company Upwork revealed that the Bay Area appeared to get hit the hardest by an exodus in California.

More than 20,000 people and found that cities with the highest housing prices are seeing the largest number of people leaving. And few places are as pricey as San Francisco and San Jose. Details here.


So here comes something that may not come as a surprise to many. Bay Area zip codes are among the most expensive in the U.S., according to PropertyShark. Details here.

A group of women known as Moms 4 Housing took over a vacant West Oakland home in November of 2019 to call attention to the plight of many homeless people affected by the housing crisis in the Bay Area.

Well, a year later, one of its founders was elected for Oakland City Council. The incredible story, below.


The year wrapped up the same way it started, with rent prices in San Francisco at a drop.

It’s a renter’s market in San Francisco, but a combination of economic pain and new “work from anywhere” policies means rents have plummeted and both renters and property owners are adjusting. Scott Budman has the details here.

By the end of the year, renters across California will owe $1.67 billion in unpaid rent, according to a recent study. NBC Bay Area’s Investigative Unit found that statewide eviction protections for those impacted by COVID-19 are set to expire in February, but a pair of bills would extend them through the end of 2021. The investigation below.

As more small businesses fold because of the pandemic, buildings, even entire shopping centers, are increasingly desperate to find new tenants. So, the city of San Jose stepped in with a plan. Details here.

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