Flutterby™! : Sonoma Housing Demand

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

Sonoma Housing Demand

2017-10-18 16:10:56.935031+00 by Dan Lyke 5 comments

Housing shortages and supply and demand are something that I've been thinking about and discussing with various folks before the recent Sonoma Fires destroyed thousands of homes in an area with < 1% vacancy. Now I'm seeing a whole lot of complaints about rents going up and price gouging, and...

On the one hand I see that we have a lot of displaced people who need housing. On the other hand, we have a local political scene that has created suburban sprawl that we can't afford to maintain, and a reluctance to allow the density that'd both give us affordable housing and maintainable infrastructure.

I have to say that if I were a landlord thinking rationally about incomes, and had vacancies right now, I'd undertake some maintenance and upgrades. Keep those buildings off the market for a month or three until the complaining about price gouging wore off and the higher rents were the new normal. Yeah, it's heartless, but it's rational behavior.

So if we want to fix the housing crisis in Sonoma County, we need a two-pronged approach: First, acknowledge that, yes, we have a set of (artificially) limited resources, and that prices on those resources are going to go up until we do something about the root causes.

Second, let's address the root causes: let's start talking about high density multi-story buildings that are walkable distances from urban cores. Let's build attractive housing that doesn't require the expense of an automobile. Let's get some good condos and apartments fast-tracked and up so that we have the housing stock to support the demand.

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Politics Invention and Design moron Sociology Automobiles Architecture Economics Real Estate ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: Sonoma Housing Demand made: 2017-10-19 16:52:10.786591+00 by: Dan Lyke

Aaaand, of course: Our insane real estate market comes in part from the demand for housing not meeting the supply. You can talk all you want about campaign finance reform, but when a decision can easily swing councilmember's house value by $50-100k, and that councilmember is answering to thousands of homeowners who are making similar decisions...

#Comment Re: Sonoma Housing Demand made: 2017-10-19 16:50:15.42463+00 by: Dan Lyke

We have pretty strong urban growth boundaries that protect the rural areas around us, so most development needs to be brownfield development that has relatively high density. Aside from some grain elevators, the tallest building downtown is 4 stories, maybe 5 if you count the half story on top (built after the building was complete as staff lodging, I think it's now a bar).

So any development that goes up is met with "but that's not {Petaluma,Santa Rosa,whatever}" and "we want to keep our small town character" and "no stack and pack development".

Meanwhile we can't afford to pay for the roads we've got because we're all sprawl, and prop 13 limits how we can tax that sprawl to pay for all the infrastructure necessary to support it...

#Comment Re: Sonoma Housing Demand made: 2017-10-19 11:15:02.78832+00 by: battjt

Cities oppose development? Coming from the midwest, it's really hard to relate.

#Comment Re: Sonoma Housing Demand made: 2017-10-18 19:30:25.563076+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

Getting the cities to approve it is the problem. Which is why this is a matter of shifting public will.

There are a gazillion proposals for such buildings from any number of developers, on paper right now.

#Comment Re: Sonoma Housing Demand made: 2017-10-18 19:24:45.200169+00 by: battjt

So what's stopping you? Build it. Sounds like it's a no brainer. If it's a good idea, then getting the investors will not be a problem.

Add your own comment:

(If anyone ever actually uses Webmention/indie-action to post here, please email me)

Format with:

(You should probably use "Text" mode: URLs will be mostly recognized and linked, _underscore quoted_ text is looked up in a glossary, _underscore quoted_ (http://xyz.pdq) becomes a link, without the link in the parenthesis it becomes a <cite> tag. All <cite>ed text will point to the Flutterby knowledge base. Two enters (ie: a blank line) gets you a new paragraph, special treatment for paragraphs that are manually indented or start with "#" (as in "#include" or "#!/usr/bin/perl"), "/* " or ">" (as in a quoted message) or look like lists, or within a paragraph you can use a number of HTML tags:

p, img, br, hr, a, sub, sup, tt, i, b, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, cite, em, strong, code, samp, kbd, pre, blockquote, address, ol, dl, ul, dt, dd, li, dir, menu, table, tr, td, th

Comment policy

We will not edit your comments. However, we may delete your comments, or cause them to be hidden behind another link, if we feel they detract from the conversation. Commercial plugs are fine, if they are relevant to the conversation, and if you don't try to pretend to be a consumer. Annoying endorsements will be deleted if you're lucky, if you're not a whole bunch of people smarter and more articulate than you will ridicule you, and we will leave such ridicule in place.

Flutterby™ is a trademark claimed by

Dan Lyke
for the web publications at www.flutterby.com and www.flutterby.net.