Housing in the North Bay is very expensive and demand far exceeds the supply.  The North Bay severely lacks all levels of workforce housing. The rent for the average two-bedroom, two-bath apartment in Sonoma County has increased 49 percent in five years to $2,278 a month.  The vacancy rate is less than 3 percent–essentially full occupancy. In Marin County, the cost of a median-priced home is hovering around $1,000,000. Employers are faced with the need to provide higher wages for their workers, putting a strain on their bottom line, and it becomes increasingly difficult to lure top talent to a region where they cannot afford to buy a home. The cure to Bay Area’s affordability ailment is to significantly increase the supply of housing units throughout the region, and to do so, we must work to mitigate these regulatory barriers to development of all kinds.


The lack of political will, at all levels of government, to solve the housing shortage is causing huge affordability gaps and the displacement of thousands of low income residents in our region.  We must:

  • Immediately remove institutional barriers to smart growth and development
  • Create a sustainable permanent funding mechanism to finance housing development
  • Ensure that good policy trumps bad politics. We must support good development projects and better make our case that we all benefit from smart growth

What We Seek

We support:

  • Declaration of a housing state of emergency: The Department of Finance report found that while California has seen a 6 percent population increase since 2010, new housing has increased by only 2.9 percent. It is time to declare a housing state and temporarily roll back non-health and safety housing regulations.
  • Modernization of CEQA and reform of tax policies driving preference for the most expensive housing to be built due to municipal funding concerns
  • Identify cost reduction strategies to bring down the excessive price tag on housing construction
  • Put real teeth in the RHNA process and allow the state to reward those communities that choose to meet their housing obligations by directing transportation funding to cities that build the most housing and by prudent amendments to the Housing Affordability Act.
  • Allow for new delivery methods for affordable housing such as the ministerial permitting of Accessory Dwelling Units.