Letter to ABAG - One million new homes is the real RHNA number

Dear Mayor Jesse Arreguin, President, Association of Bay Area Governments,

As I wrote in an Op-ed in the Mountain View Voice last year, regional coordination is the only way we can solve the Bay Area’s regional challenges of housing affordability and transit. Now, more than ever, we need ABAG to provide bold leadership to get out of the hole we’re in.

So it was with great disappointment that I read about the dubious assumptions going into our RHNA needs determination. The status quo is a disaster and we shouldn’t extrapolate from it to guide the future! The proposed figure of 440,000 homes is not enough.

Not enough to make a dent in the housing shortage that causes millions to be cost burdened or displaced.
Not enough to undo a century of de jure and de facto racial segregation.
Not enough to reduce vehicle miles traveled, traffic, pollution, and greenhouse gasses.
Not enough to stop our neighbors from cramming into overcrowded homes (all the more unhealthy in a pandemic).
Not enough to save our workers from mega-commutes from outlying areas with increased risk of wildfires.
Not enough to provide political cover for those local leaders who want to do the right thing in the face of local NIMBY pressure.

I urge ABAG to aim for at least one million more homes by 2030.

Sincerely yours,
Jeremy Hoffman
Mountain View YIMBY