Change is a part of life, and while change can be scary, it cannot be avoided by any one of us. Those espousing NIMBYism need to remember the lesson they were taught in kindergarten: to share what we have and to care for others.
We should all be embarrassed that in one of the wealthiest nations in the world, we have people living on the streets even though we have the means and the ability to provide them all with decent and affordable housing. What is missing is the will.
Myo Kyaw Myint, San Jose
Bigger not always better
Proposals by San Francisco and other California cities to permit three-to-eight unit complexes in existing single-family areas should be viewed with caution. There are several potential problems I have encountered as a planning and housing consultant.
These type of units have often been packaged as real estate investments for small-scale investors often located throughout the country, many of whom are interested primarily in maximizing tax advantages, rental income and minimizing maintenance expenditures.
With neither local or on-site management, these units often fall into disrepair and become a blight on the neighborhoods.
Either condominium ownership or a management contract with locally based property management should be required. In California at present, the only management requirements are for an on-site manager for larger projects.
The other issue is potential for increases in land value leading to demolition of older, affordable housing.
Tom Cooke, Oakland
Let’s assess the need
I’m a moderate who would welcome an unbiased assessment of the housing issues confronting the Bay Area, without rhetoric, name calling and buzzwords. Facts only, please. A clear definition of affordable housing and how many Bay Area residents need it would be a good place to start.
For example, a new development of multimillion-dollar townhomes in Sunnyvale boasts that 12% of the units are affordably priced at 120% of the average area median income, which is $180,000 a year for a family of four. Huh?
Before welcoming newcomers with more luxury housing, let’s focus on the people who already live here and their needs.
Carlene Nakagawa, Sunnyvale
Build more, build often
Increasing the availability of the full range of housing by building more should help with affordability. Newer housing can be made more resource efficient by saving on water and energy. Even building more expensive housing increases supply and frees up cheaper housing.
People are commuting for hours from communities built on flat, formerly agricultural land because they want a bigger house. I think more housing projects should be approved to increase supplies.
James Martin, San Leandro