Under current law, even if you abide by all the rules that were stated in advance, you still have to wait years and might be denied in the end anyway.
The reason I think this is such a key move is that until now, the landlords and homeowners who reap all the benefits from the status quo have somehow been able to dupe the housing have-nots who suffer from it (low-income renters, etc) into thinking that blocking housing construction will somehow keep their rents low or stem evictions. But anyone who stands against this measure won't be able to pretend they're doing so in the interest of the less-fortunate. They'll have to admit that they're really just looking to protect their view / parking space / skyrocketing property values.
They'll have to admit that they're really just looking to protect their view
But it is my own fault for not noticing that the drainage lot would be eventually filled in. Oh well, was a nice house to live in and I enjoyed living there. Sold in 1996.
That's okay. Last laugh as I'm sure they're dealing with settling/water issues (especially if there's a basement).
'Member when builders used to build around the landscape? I loved growing up with 100-year-old maples (especially around fall)
Now they're stacking 3x median homes right next to each other.
You can argue that the entire market was over-valuing the property, but... that just seems kind of cold.
They buy a large plot of land near the coastline, build condos on the far land side of it, and sell the condos advertising "bay views". Once the first block is sold out, they build the next one in front of it closer to the coastline, and sell more "bay views".
It's crazy how they can get away with advertising the view even if construction on a building that will block the view has already started.
You mean, you need somebody else to tell you if you're sold "view" today, it does not include guarantee nobody will ever build anything on the land between you and the "view" ever, just because otherwise you'd feel bad? You can not figure this out just from knowing you only own property rights on the small piece of land and not on anything else, and did not buy any "view" rights? Maybe if you can not figure this out, buying expensive property is not the best way to go for you, at least without consulting somebody knowledgeable in these matters. You can not expect everybody behaves in your best interest, and they certainly do not owe that to you. If you don't own the rights and the land, there's zero guarantee the view will be there tomorrow.
Of course I can figure out the misleading advertising from property developers, it's common knowledge and has been going on for decades. If I become interested in buying a place one day, I'll look up planning permissions around the area and judge the risk of the neighbourhood changing.
But that doesn't mean that we should accept or approve misleading advertising.
It's not even a case of "who knows what might happen here in the future" - they keep advertising the views when they themselves are building in front of it, and the basement has already been poured.
Cold or not, it happens all the time. It surely happened in 2000s in Silicon Valley, then prices took a big dip in 2007/2008. Now they're back, but if you're assuming somehow this time it's "real", I've got some bad news - it's never real, and entire market is completely capable of overvaluing your property and then regretting it and dropping your property value by 50% or so.
You may not have legal authority over everything that happens, but there's more to the land you purchase, than the dirt within the lines.
Otherwise, why does anyone pay extra for a house near a school, or in a happening city? They didn't buy the school or the city, after all.
No, but they didn't buy the right to control the school or the city either. And if they thought they did, they were wrong and had an unrealistic sense of entitlement.
They at least have a stake, as evidenced by ballot items pertaining to the city and their school. Or do you believe that's wrong?
Sounds like the regulatory environment was an investment risk that wasn't taken
Persistence in regulations isn't some sort of right. Laws change all the time.
Any investment made without considering the risk of the anti-NIMBY movement is
no different from any other un-diligenced investment -- foolish.
Holding an asset and concerned about the risk of diminishing property values in
the face of shifting regulations? Unload. You'd do the same if you're seeing a
company where you're Long run into potentially difficult headwinds.
I'm all for affordable housing and mostly side with YIMBY's, but there's something weird about changing the rules and saying "sucks for you, shoulda seen it coming."
That's not really true. The state can't pass a law saying your house was actually never yours and you are now trespassing get out.
Zoning is a rulebook the state invented, it has to be held accountable to some degree for it. I wouldn't call it reasonable for the state to turn the houses around you into garbage landfills and telling you 'tough luck'
You get what is on the deed, no more, no less. When you buy land, you assume risks. Just like stocks, there are no guarantees of resale value. The government can’t revoke your ownership (outside of criminal use of property), but the government is free to do any number of things that inevitably alter what some people will pay for it. If you want to counter that risk, go buy some insurance, an easement, or all of the adjacent property. The government doesn’t owe you a dime for allowing property owners to do something with their own property that you or potential buyers of your property happen to not like.
This however misses one important point. They build it using taxpayers' money. So, if I give you money and tell you "please build me a shed" and then benefit from the shed, of course I keep all the benefits - after all, this shed was built for me with my own money!
> The primary reason why some land is more valuable than other land is due to the government.
This is probably not true either. The primary reason why some land is valuable, usually, is location, location, location. It can be close to natural things or to things built by people (e.g. a house within 10min drive of Google campus is probably more valuable than a similar one which has 2hr commute to the closest source of employment). Government-built infrastructure is important too, but usually secondary - nobody would build schools or transit systems in place where nobody wants to live, and people rarely move somewhere just because of sewer and transit system.
If we used land taxes like the georgists proposed, this would be an apt analogy. As it stands though, the property owner is paying, but so are non property owners as well as property owners that aren't benefiting from improvements. It isn't much different from a lottery: the benefits are concentrated, but the costs are diffused. Did the lottery winner pay for his payout? Sure, but so did all of the lottery losers that didn't get anything.
> This is probably not true either. The primary reason why some land is valuable, usually, is location, location, location. It can be close to natural things or to things built by people (e.g. a house within 10min drive of Google campus is probably more valuable than a similar one which has 2hr commute to the closest source of employment). Government-built infrastructure is important too, but usually secondary - nobody would build schools or transit systems in place where nobody wants to live, and people rarely move somewhere just because of sewer and transit system.
There a billions of miles of beautiful coastline in the world, but people generally build coastal homes where there are roads, and don't where there are not. There are billions of locations where google could have built their campus, but they chose a place with plentiful government funded infrastructure. They even payed more for the privilege. Why would anybody choose to live or build a business in a place where there are no roads, potable pipelined water, electrical grids, schools, sewers, emergency services. Government isn't a secondary determinant of land value, it is primary and foundational. The private markets may build upon the land values that the government created in the first place, but take the government away and everything else will go with it.
How is that a win.
Depends on context. A state can decide to nationalize private property.
And if you read your own link, it's the same in the UK.
>But critics argue that economic benefits don’t justify a violation of 1984’s Proposition K — the “Sunlight Ordinance” — which blocks construction of any building over 40 feet that casts an adverse shadow on Recreation and Park Department property unless the Planning Commission decides the shadow is insignificant.
>The project would throw a shadow on Portsmouth Square between 8:05 and 9:10 a.m. from late October to early February. It would shadow St. Mary’s Square, also in Chinatown, in March and September. It would also shadow Justin Herman Plaza, at the foot of Market Street, from mid-October to late February, and Union Square from early May to early August.
I'm not saying I don't sympathize with people who lose their nice view. That sucks, and I'd be sad if it happened to me. The disconnect comes at the point where you think your right to a nice view trumps hundreds of other people's right to affordable housing.
1. People who have a vested interest in inflating housing prices, e.g. because they own property
2. People who seriously, genuinely believe that more market-rate housing won't help affordability
Targeting just affordable & teacher housing swings group (2), which combined with the YIMBYs is (hopefully) enough to get policy passed.
The only meaningful difference between luxury and affordable housing is whether it’s allocated to the highest bidder or randomly among low bidders.
So why restrict the measure for teacher and affordable income housing.
This measure could end up creating a ghetto.
The reverse would be nice as well and would remove a lot of corruption at the local level.
This should be always the case, it is very sad one has to struggle and take extraordinary measures to make it so.
And by that you mean the people who worked and saved to invest in something wisely to have that take out from under them? I cannot stand people who think home owners and landlords as evil people just because people who come after them cannot have it easy. It was never easy for anyone. It's not the have and have not's, it's the market and hardwork, sure some people are born into wealth but most the time it's just hard work.
How is dumping your savings into a single asset "wise investment"? The idea that housing should be a good investment is ludicrous on its face when you consider its potential volatility, constant upkeep, and lack of liquidity. I'm not sure why it continues to be promoted, and I think people should be disabused of it. Not only so they make better investment decisions, but so that housing speculation is less of driving force in real estate costs.
What you're suggesting is that we allow putting barriers to new development to artificially keep this asset class valuable for its owners. Why does this make sense for housing but not for stocks or mutual funds?
There's a thing as investing in stability, investing in the ability to modify things as you please, investing in not having to answer to a landlord, investing in having a place for your dog or children...
Your desire to change the rules to favor your taking that same block of land for yourself doesn't seem inherently any more holy than their desire to keep the rules as they are today. And when it comes to setting policy based on the whims of 20-something-newcomers, some potential downsides increasingly start to poke out. Let's put a pause on YIMBY-ism, let's fix the NYC and SF Bay Area transit systems to properly serve the density that's already there, first!
Also the word "whim" is just as dismissive to a group of people who are organizing, lobbying, petitioning, etc to get the right to build apartment buildings so they have a place to live and sleep and raise children. It's not a bunch of millennial google employees who just showed up and casually decided they want to buy a house.
But it's so easy to turn this into a "entitled millennials" story instead of discussing a real housing crisis that has been developing for the last 50 years due to restrictive building codes that favor the wealthy I suppose.
Same goes for any IPO, or any investment in a startup, etc... Or is it?
Im advocating not changing the game because the new players find the rules unfair.
Same with Herbalife, it's considered a pyramid scheme and a scam by many people. Maybe one day the US government says they have to shut down because some new law passses targeting them. In my world, I don't think they should be allowed to stay open just because some investors might be hurt.
Property carries a risk just like any other investment and just because property was scarce at one point doesn't mean it needs to be forever. If the bay continues to have skyrocketing rents and no construction then eventually people will leave and the owner's investments will go to shit anyway.
You say it's all hard work.. then why be afraid of opening the market to more competition? They can put in some hard work at maintaining their position... like every other business in existence.
Are you familiar with the property tax structure in San Francisco? It's wacky in a way that causes old homeowners to have vastly different rates from new homeowners, in a way that is frankly ridiculous. It is vastly easier (more affordable) for existing landowners.
The OPs bit that you quoted is accurate. The laws in the bay area surrounding taxation, eviction, and construction significantly disadvantage anyone that isn't generationally entrenched. We're not talking about stealing people's land via eminent domain or anything similarly draconian... old owners and new owners are not on a financially level playing field, and that should change.
Even a cursory amount of research should leave you with the impression that bay area housing is not regulated in a way that allows normal market forces to play out, so saying "it's the market and hard work" is disingenuous.
Sounds like the regulatory environment was an investment risk that wasn't taken into account.
Persistence in regulations isn't some sort of right. Laws change all the time. Any investment made without considering the risk of the anti-NIMBY movement is no different from any other un-diligenced investment -- foolish.
Holding an asset and concerned about the risk of diminishing property values in the face of shifting regulations? Unload. You'd do the same if you're seeing a company where you're Long run into potentially difficult headwinds.
I think this proposition will break that spell, and in a democracy, when the housing-haves vote their self-interest, and the have-nots vote theirs, the latter will win in a landslide.
Are you suggesting that I leave my home, my job, my social life, etc rather than trying to affect changes in policy?
People are complaining about moving to an expensive part of town and finding that it's actually expensive. That's not a problem, just poor judgment.
Because we believe we can effect change. I don't want to screw anyone over but home prices MUST come down regardless of how many second and third mortgages go underwater. What can we do to get you to support new construction?
But let's fix that. Let's do the right thing and get rid of these ridiculous barriers to entry for building affordable housing.
Firstly, we can and should renegotiate not only outrageous pension plans but also outrageous public salary. Or we can just let the local government go bankrupt if the unions won't blink. Maybe we need compensation caps in public office. Sorry for going off-topic but I just wanted to address your premise because it is not solid at all.
They're not evil, they're just selfish, and making life harder and more expensive for the rest of us.
This is a case of the pot calling the kettle black
Just because someone doesn't have a financial stake in the literal plot of land doesn't mean that they aren't affected by new developments. Mediating disputes involving negative externalities is exactly the government's job.
What sets YIMBYs apart is that, in addition to this, they also support building more housing in their own backyards, too.
Beyond the hyperlocal level (like, block level) the externalities lens says build, build, build.
If you purchased real estate on the understanding that no new buildings would ever be built near your land, you did not invest wisely, and it's no one's responsibility to protect you from the consequences of your lack of foresight.
I am genuinely interested in what it means to be a Mission district YIMBY.
The recent history of housing politics in the Mission have pitted left-liberal progressives against housing development on the assumption that: new development will be market rate, this will bring "tech workers" and gentrification, ergo: new housing will (paradoxically) force more existing mission residents out of housing.
So it has been left-liberal, progressive, tenants-rights NIMBYs vs. gentrifying developers (and sometimes, very explicitly, "tech-bus-riders").
BUT, the YIMBY movement in general seems to present itself as a left-liberal, progressive response to incumbent property owners.
Given that context, what kind of reception does "Mission YIMBY" receive and where does it fall in the politics of what is the Mission district in 2017 ?
The real problem seems to be that people have forgotten why certain rules were put in place. BART was largely built as a cut and fill effort; this caused very real problems for businesses along Market and Mission as it was being built since they were harder to get to. It is likely that most people in San Francisco were quite aware of another famous victim of urban renewal in Santa Monica and what it could do to the character of a neighborhood. Coupled with what was happening with the redevelopment in South of Market and the Financial District, it is understandable that voters decided to pull the brakes on this nonsense. The problem, of course, is that like tax cuts, these rules are nigh impossible to revise once in place even if the situation has changed.
The problem is that it's a virtual impossibility to build enough housing throughout the Bay Area in a short enough amount of time as to have a meaningful decrease in property values in every neighborhood, thus preventing gentrification. So in the real world, with limited yearly construction, developers' aims will be to build upmarket housing.
You can't really work around this without dictating to developers what they can and cannot build. SF tried to do that with community approvals being a way for the community to de facto dictate to developers what they can and cannot build, but it's clearly not working.
I don't understand the line of thinking where this itself is a problem. Who cares what the new housing is, what matters is the total supply of housing. If we build new affordable housing, then lower-middle-class people will move there and upper-middle-class people will move to the older buildings. If we build new upmarket housing, then upper middle class people move there and lower middle class people stay in existing housing.
The problem with building only affordable housing, is that 1. it doesn't seem like you could ever build enough because as soon as you do you create pressure for more people who qualify to move to the city, and 2. there will always be a step function where someone just barely doesn't qualify for affordable housing but can't afford market-rate housing because you've been restricting the supply. Building a lot of both is the only reasonable way forward.
Though I think we do need to find ways to make more affordable housing available as well.
If the Mission were a closed population, I would agree with you. However, there's a pool -- or rather an ocean -- of people on the housing market: people in different parts of the SF, people looking to move to the bay, etc. If the upper middle class in the Mission got new housing, I don't see the landlords dropping rent prices so the lower middle class can afford it, when someone from one town over is willing to pay the same or even +10% over their competition.
> Building a lot of both is the only reasonable way forward.
I agree with you here. I think new housing supply should meet demand across the market. My guess is that _new_ housing supply could be 10x what it is now in the bay.
There's something about the housing market in general that's different from typical goods markets. People buying a car don't care as much about depreciation, whereas people buying a house expect it to appreciate as much as possible over time. It's some kind of positive feedback mechanism that counters the typical negative-feedback that lowers price as supply meets demand. There's probably a name for this kind of market but I'm unfamiliar with it.
(New buildings can make a previously-ignored place newly attractive, but usually we’re taking about neighborhoods that are already popular and/or have good immutable features like proximity and transit access).
Re Tenderloin: I understand it’s part of District 6 and her campaign website needs to say something, but that sounds like an anti-gentrification line, which in SF is usually used as an argument against new homes. Is Sonja anti-development in the Tenderloin?
The area is rife with homeless and drug use. It feels to me like an area that would greatly benefit from some gentrification. (I.e. add some rich techies demanding cleaner streets and more policing, and the existing low income residents gain.) Yet I’ve heard more than once that to change the planning rules there is politically “untouchable”. Can anyone explain why?
We want currently exclusive low-rise areas to become mid-to-high-rise and less exclusive.
Translation: "I would like dumps to remain dumps"
If this were true, San Francisco would be a shiny utopia at this point, but income disparity and hyper inflated cost of living have made it just miserable for most people except whatever CTO of the day is moving in.
Also, this is irrelevant to the topic.
I’m not one of them by the way. But I do think that increasing supply in crazy high demand markets is a linear solution to a logarithmic problem.
SB2 - Subsidized housing bond
SB35 - Streamlining construction
SB167 - Housing Accountability Act enforcement, written with help from YIBMY affiliate CARLA (carlaef.org)
The legislation that Scott Wiener was able to recently get through the state government, for one.
So far I see a lot of advocacy for housing density but no concerns for quality of life.
More units will just mean more new residents...developers have no obligation to build to serve existing residents.
If we build 100k new units now, that is just another 100k new residents who will suffer abysmal traffic.
I see density as correlated with quality of life. I want to be able to live near work (so no car needed), with easy access to restaurants, bars, music venues, easy access to cultural opportunities, farmers markets, grocery stores, etc. Neighborhoods with these things are an absolute joy to live in.
Besides, it is not one or the other. Ground level retail, upper level residential, and you get both.
One is cooperative (cities get better as they grow, new residents and businesses and buildings add to the energy) and the other is exclusionary (once too many people live somewhere, it’s ruined).
However I’m with you that building a bunch of high rises in Mountain View, Palo Alto, Cupertino is not a good idea.
However in East Palo Alto, redwood city, San Mateo....the schools are pretty bad and you could place them near Caltrain.
But I really think that expanding development into further areas brings with it economic advantages for those outlying communities (and yes, gentrification as well), and we have far more space right now by going out rather than up. Why not use it?
Suburban sprawl tends to cement car-dominant infrastructure in an area, and eventually leads to a situation where more people are commuting by car into the principal city than the roads can handle, but mass transit is not a feasible solution because most of the area has too low density to support the stations (and the people who live out there are now set in a car-only way and won't support his change). This also helps make people fat as hell.
Suburban sprawl is less environmentally friendly: takes more energy as a lifestyle, and necessarily means cutting more into nature to build homes.
Suburban sprawl tends to be financially unsustainable. The Strong Towns blog goes into this more if you're interested, but the gist of it is that sprawly development means more miles of road, power lines, water lines, etc. per person, without a commensurate increase in tax revenue. It works okay at first, but then thirty, forty, fifty years down the line when things need to be replaced, there's not enough money to do so.
I feel like much of that could be improved by businesses at that point though. Why not set up shop in one of those suburbs (which I've seen many a company do over the years) and use that as a way to not only build up that area, but also bring with it people who are skilled in different fields and reduce general congestion?
I grant that that's a little pie in the sky, but I have seen it done, and even from startup levels.
Maybe this is something academia could lead in, as I've seen a lot of colleges that are setup in non-urban settings, and they could be the initial hub of activity and a talent pool for businesses to draw from.
I'm not saying you won't have the downsides of not having a large concentrated talent pool, and it for sure makes recruiting more time consuming, but if you're looking to build a company that is sustainable long term, employee satisfaction and happiness can be greatly improved by a dramatically shortened commute and affordable housing, at least in California.
The recruiting constraint also gives you a chance to explore alternative paths of hiring, such as hiring people with non-traditional backgrounds but who are uniquely gifted for what you're needing.
I know we have found some of our best developers in people who graduated with a wide array of degrees that wouldn't make sense on paper.
Oh, you mean the LA that's turning away from cars to solve its problems and is moving to walking, biking, and especially transit? That LA? http://www.latimes.com/opinion/livable-city/la-ol-metro-elki...
> Why not set up shop in one of those suburbs
That's a question you need to be answering. The suburbs are already cheaper and less crowded, so why don't businesses set up shop there? Do they hate money and love traffic?
> if you're looking to build a company that is sustainable long term, employee satisfaction and happiness can be greatly improved by a dramatically shortened commute and affordable housing, at least in California.
Employee satisfaction can also be improved by having a successful company, which I think is probably a higher priority for most businesses, hence why you've seen more companies recently moving from suburbs to major cities (e.g. GE).
> The recruiting constraint also gives you a chance to explore alternative paths of hiring, such as hiring people with non-traditional backgrounds but who are uniquely gifted for what you're needing.
Whoa there bucko, maybe take off your hippie hat? "When you think about it, handicapping your recruiting is actually a good thing!" No. No it's not.
That very one. Even with it's car issues, it has gotten to be successful.
Those "solutions" don't work all that well in so cal because of the sprawl. I'm not arguing it's a 100% pro. There are cons, but I think you're missing my main point, which is that there are tradeoffs, and definite benefits and cons to sprawl, but it's the same with urbanization.
> > Why not set up shop in one of those suburbs
That's a question you need to be answering. The suburbs are already cheaper and less crowded, so why don't businesses set up shop there? Do they hate money and love traffic?
They choose different tradeoffs, and I believe there may be an inherent preference of many people who start certain companies for certain areas for multiple reasons. The founder of my company had his life in the suburb we work out of, so it started there and remains there.
Some suburban spots are inconvenient to reach from only specific other suburbs, so there's an infrastructure issue involved as well.
Lastly, my point isn't that it's the right move for every company or even every industry.
But I have seen and worked for companies that didn't even consider moving outside of certain urban areas because of image reasons. I'm just saying that there are other benefits worth considering.
> Employee satisfaction can also be improved by having a successful company, which I think is probably a higher priority for most businesses, hence why you've seen more companies recently moving from suburbs to major cities (e.g. GE).
My point is that success and location aren't mutually exclusive. It's easy to fail in both types of areas, and a different kind of hard to get it successful.
And the company doing well doesn't always lead to employee satisfaction. Not every company passes on those benefits, or the company culture is toxic.
> Whoa there bucko, maybe take off your hippie hat? "When you think about it, handicapping your recruiting is actually a good thing!" No. No it's not.
Accepting a trade-off isn't handicapping anything, it's accepting reality and working within constraints. And constraints are very often a good thing, and they're still there with urban cities.
At the end of the day, each company should pick whatever delivers the best economic outcome for them, and the smart ones make sure to account for the long term, which includes retaining smart and good people. If your company turn over rate is high, yeah, you'll need to focus on recruiting, but IMHO, that's not a good way to work in this world, hippie hat or not. Maybe it all comes down to how and where we prefer to work, but I think the benefits are often not even considered.
A far more useful regulation would be to require those business owners funding these lobbying operations to release their own massive pads, demolish them and build high rise, high density accommodation for millennials. Then they get to feel the cost of over centralisation personally.
If you want to make a fortune out of this, buy land in the bubble areas and just sit on it. It's a one way bet.
Certainly amongst technology firms there is little need to be in a particular place. That requirement is largely down to a power play and lack of management and organisational skill
Most people moving to urban areas do so because they like all the good things that come with high population density.
It's only a problem when you artificially restrict the supply of new housing and create a shortage.
It’s true that an entire city built out of six story apartments could work, but realistically development needs to squeeze in the gaps (infill). A mere six stories is a huge waste of a gap.
Path dependence is weird like that.
(If they wouldn't, then why did it need to be forbidden?)
Or the plan by South Korea to build a city where cars aren't needed.
I recently became a remote worker and I cannot imagine going back. If this became the norm in the US I think this would do a lot for fixing the housing problems.
We have enough space to house everyone, the problem is we believe we need to house them close to where the "jobs are."
But if employers allowed their workers to work from anywhere, then not everyone would need to live in NY, SF, LA, Boston, et al. The cities that experienced the worst emigration (e.g. Detroit, Cleveland, Milwaukee) could stabilize. Housing prices would normalize as a result of everyone not being forced to live within a 2-hr commute of the country's biggest employers. And those same employers could pay less for talent because they wouldn't have to give them a salary to afford places where the average starter home is over $1mm.
And yet, we see articles in the NYT how big companies like IBM are already rescinding their offers for giving people more flexibility. We're not moving in the right direction.
So, why don't more companies encourage remote work, and why are some companies rolling back remote-work policies? Because they learned from experience that it doesn't work out well. Maybe some of them are just being stupid, but others are well-established companies that have been very good at running their businesses.
I've worked at a company that had very flexible working hours and a generous work-from-home policy, and now I work somewhere that doesn't. I much prefer the situation I'm in now -- my coworkers are much more responsive when there is a problem, it's easier to schedule and conduct meetings, there are far fewer slackers, etc.
Ever worked at a company that has office locations across the country (or the world), and tried to conduct important meetings with people in those other offices over Skype or the phone, or even expensive telepresence equipment? It kinda sucks. Imagine that every meeting, and every interaction with your coworkers, and every "whiteboarding" session was like that. That's not a world in which business is easy to conduct -- in fact, it's so difficult that companies are willing to forgo the massive cost savings they could realize by encouraging remote work.
That's a lot less a problem with telecommuting work and a lot more a problem with your company not being able to hire effectively.
If employees are incapable of being responsive, or even productive, without someone over their shoulder, I'm really not seeing where that is any issue but one of personal responsibility/capability, and if that's a question mark in enough employees to render a telecommute policy ineffective, I have to wonder how these people make it through the door.
Plus, how is a recruiter supposed to measure someone's productivity at home?
Well sure. I don't think going completely decentralized is something most larger orgs can embrace yet. But there's no reason that some engineering staff could not perform their work remotely. If on-site staff complain it hampers their productivity, then I ask why productivity is predicated on the "drive-by" model of engagement, which is universally disruptive to programming flow.
Most companies are paying for a combination of Slack/HipChat and WebEx/Zoom/Bluejeans, and you should make use of them liberally.
> Plus, how is a recruiter supposed to measure someone's productivity at home?
They're not. Their job is to ingress a pool of potentially suitable candidates into the hiring process based on experience, acumen, and career interests. The job of determining productivity, and ultimately fit into the environment, is up to the hiring manager/s and the interview process.
If you're already conceding that you can't determine whether an employee will be a productive contributor in their potential employment environment, remote or otherwise, that's a problem with your hiring process.
Part of me hopes that valve is working on this already, bigscreen already is an example of the beginnings of a virtual office space.
You get 1 day (vs 10 minute) response times and nobody really wants to schedule a meeting because you have to get up very early or stay up very late, well out of working hours. Something that would be 1 day of back and forth becomes 1 week. It starts becoming very frustrating.
On top of that with tech, the tech worker hotspots are north america, europe and india/china. And each band have big differences in timezones. It's difficult to say 'we will only hire in the american timezones', because there are barely any tech workers south of the USA.
This may rule out australian employees working for an american company but it doesn't rule out NYC employees working for a Washington DC company.
You can either be flexible about working hours for people in different timezones, or you can end up with people who couldn't do any better than take hours they don't want to work.
1. Difficulty of building trust between individuals remote
2. Lack of understanding concerning communication skills & tactics required for remote work (upholding trust)
Anyone that has played the older generation of mmorpgs actually has these 2 skill sets well practised. But that is a very small portion of the workforce.
For this group I hypothesize a high upfront(2-3 weeks) time spent in person building trust. Once trust is established, remote work time could increase in a cyclic manner. But this required back and forth travel, but the intention is for the new employee to become 100% remote over time so they don't stress about moving and solidifying housing in the expensive markets. They can maintain a cheaper more remote long term lease, and only short term expensive leases when in person time is required for teams to synchronize.
> If this became the norm in the US I think this would do a lot for fixing the housing problems.
Ehhhh... It would allow a small subset of the tech/engineering population to relocate to places with better CoL ratios, but I think we're talking a tiny dent, if any, in housing affordability.
Other comments have touched on it, but to me the most pervasive problem is that housing/real-estate has been allowed to turn into an investment/asset-class first, and living space for human beings second. As long as interest rates stay low(and they have for a very long time to this point), real-estate presents a very attractive class of investment with a non-trivial chance of providing good returns. Couple that with the rise of the sharing economy and things like AirBNB, and the system very much favors those with access to ample, cheap credit(i.e. "the rich").
Take a look at some of the 2017-2018 lists of "best places to live" and "places with most constrained housing inventory"... I guarantee a lot of them aren't tech hubs, or even close to one. Anywhere considered "desirable" by a metric that people identify with will see an influx of money/investment, and one of the first places that will land is in real-estate. As a consequence, home prices skyrocket, and rents climb as well as newly minted landlords look to start making their money back.
That's why I don't think remote/telecommuting work will fix the housing problems except for those who are allowed to work remotely.
With regards to remote work:
> And those same employers could pay less for talent because they wouldn't have to give them a salary to afford places where the average starter home is over $1mm.
Please please please do not accept this as a necessary paradigm of remote work. The company is not doing you a favor. Your skills, in a modern global economy, are worth what they are worth. Trying to use some arbitrary gauge of CoL based on your geographic area to meter your pay is a laughably futile exercise when you consider the vast sums they save in commercial real estate costs and operating overhead if they implement WFH programs for even a few employees.
> And yet, we see articles in the NYT how big companies like IBM are already rescinding their offers for giving people more flexibility. We're not moving in the right direction.
I swear to god someone is paying a penny to pump that story on everyone's LinkedIn feed like once a week. I gotta be honest: I'm not breaking a sweat over the "death of remote work" when the headlining examples being cited are.... wait for it... IBM, Best Buy, and Yahoo. Give me a )#($(* break.
By virtually every metric relevant to a modern tech company, IBM is getting pantsed. They barely exist in some of the biggest growth verticals. They're still clinging to the same company model they ran 15 years ago. Claiming you're going to "drive innovation" by strong-arming a decent chunk of your workforce into either re-locating or quitting is thinly-veiled management speak for "we needed to let some people go, and this looks way better for us than calling it a 'layoff'."
Best Buy? I guess years of hyper-expansion and being an overpriced Amazon show room have finally caught up. Like so many retail outlets, building a store anywhere you can find a big enough field that's not either a flood plain or a toxic waste dump looked good on paper(and to shareholders) for a few years, but those chickens are starting to come home to roost. They spout the same noise about "driving innovation and collaboration", but again it's a threatened, suffering company with an opportunity to trim some head count.
Yahoo... well, better writers than I have penned eloquent prose to that vast empire of failure, so I'll spare my keys here.
I have found a lot of remote opportunities in the last few months, more-so than I did the last time I looked even a few months ago, so every indication to me(albeit anecdotal), is that remote work is growing, not dying.
Every city has rules about what you can and can't build within its boundaries. Even lightly-regulated cities like Houston still have rules about density, lot sizes, and what you can build where. There isn't such a thing as a city without "government intervention."
The current rules were put into place by previously powerful people who wanted the Bay Area to be low density. There are new powerful people who want to change the rules so it can be higher density.
Other people (not the people who are the main focus on this article) also want the local government to help pay to build homes for poorer residents. There are families which have been living in these areas for a long time who can no longer afford to stay. Many communities are only strong because there are people who have been there for a long time, who know each other and have worked hard to build that community. Kicking them out to make room for new comers, who may only be there temporarily, in time weakens the quality of life for everyone.
The biggest area of difference between states is the balance of power between city and county, from New England (where counties are basically just statistical divisions) to Hawaii (where cities are just statistical divisions, and counties handle everything). Whatever that balance is, it's at this level that things are administered day-to-day; no state that I know of, for example, has a single state-wide police force (only state forces with limited jurisdiction, like the California Highway Patrol), or a statewide primary and secondary education system ("school districts" run those instead).
That last (school districts) touches on a complicating factor in understanding US local government - special-purpose districts. These are bodies formed by agreement between a set of local governments (usually with a state veto) to jointly handle certain policy areas. For each area of responsibility, the lines are drawn differently - for example, the LA Unified School District runs services for Los Angeles and neighboring cities, which do not share the LA Police Department. The East Bay Municipal Utilities District has a jurisdiction which is based on a collection of cities, and overlaps not-quite-perfectly with the AC Transit District (a body run jointly by Alameda and Contra Costa Counties). The policy areas a special purpose district manages are often quite granular - for example, while AC Transit runs buses, a separate transit district (SF Bay Area Rapid Transit District) - run by Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties - runs the BART commuter rail. Despite BART running into South Bay counties, those counties do not participate in BART governance, and instead participate in the Peninsula Corridor Joint
Powers Board (San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties), which runs CalTrain, a different commuter rail service.
The results are... suboptimal. For example, in public transit, the result is a disjointed system where different transportation modes, and even different lines of the same transportation mode, are badly coordinated (have fun trying to get from Oakland to Mountain View by rail!). Compare with the gold standard of Germany, where Deutsche Bahn runs everything from intercity high-speed trains to local commuter rail and makes coordinated plans for the development of the transit system as a whole.
The insane house prices kind of only apply to newcomers on the scene and the system is rigged. It is inherently unfair and also undermines a functioning economy.
Therefore govt intervention/reform is needed to allow more housing to be built.
It is entitlement on both sides- but the law currently favors long term residents extremely- homeowners feel entitled to keeping their neighborhood the way it currently exists.
Most love the high property value (and low property tax!) for potential retirement and rental income- but some are frustrated their adult children cannot purchase a house and enjoy stability.
New residents feel that the law has been rigged against them and has created this situation.
>If enough people take that approach, maybe the jobs will move elsewhere too?
That is what is starting to happen now, but then there are millions of people desperate for jobs that are willing to put up with terrible conditions to make the finances work.
Given current trends of homelessness (both on street and in vehicles), extreme housing inflation, it will be interesting to see what happens without significant changes.
why aren't there more houses? maybe the government intervention already happened. anyway, they're just using their first amendment right to lobby the government, so yeah, it's an entitlement thing, in that they are entitled to do that.
Of course its reality. Wages can't go lower than subsistence for long, either people move out or wages go up.
I doubt NIMBY or anti-NIMBY is going to solve any problems.
Even if you're just looking at the city of San Francisco itself -- or even just the neighborhoods of the city that surround underground train stations -- the population density is a joke: https://www.reddit.com/r/sanfrancisco/comments/3qu9uv/i_made...
So that's about a 14% growth rate since 2000, compared to Houston's 35% growth in the same time period (3.4 to 4.6 million). And I've heard that Houston even before Harvey had one of the more affordable big-city housing markets in the country.
It’s insane how low density it is for a major city.
It’s only high density in comparison to the usual CA sprawl.
Compare New York (very high density, very expensive) to Tucson (low density, very cheap).
Building more housing may just induce demand: more people will decide to move to SF but rents will remain the same.
In this case, an overwhelming majority of economists are saying that increasing the supply of housing in our cities would bring prices down.
SF's Chief Economist: http://www.sfhac.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Ted-Egan-Pre...
California's legislative analyst's office: http://www.lao.ca.gov/reports/2015/finance/housing-costs/hou...
The Obama White House: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/images...
Even if they're all wrong, and we increase the supply of housing by 100,000 units and prices stay the same, that's 100,000 fewer families that get displaced.
It does mention that it has a strong elasticity for demand. Particularly higher for medium+ income. Since its very hard to measure future elasticity of demand (i.e. SF now known to be expensive, if housing was built agressively and it became "famously cheaper" demand could be even higher) its possible that prices wouldnt go down much.
The correct answer to the OP's concerns is that the goal is not to lower rents, but to increase the total utility: you do that by providing more and better housing. New buildings at same rate for the same amount of people is still better. And naturally, same rate and more people is also better.
There's no doubt that San Francisco needs a massive shock to the supply curve.
I live in New York. Nobody moves here because they want to live in a nice building that happens to be in New York. They move to New York and then find housing. Demand is largely unaffected by new supply in large cities. Also, I live in the Flatiron neighbourhood. A bunch of new development has held my rent flat for 3 years now. My building tried raising rents; I met a potential tenant looking at a unit on my floor. She went to the new luxury building down the street for his $50 more. My building, facing the new competition, dropped their ask by $100.
You can build as much housing as you want, in the middle of nowhere, and it will be useless.
What is needed is housing in prime areas, but those areas are held as speculative investments, because it is cheaper and safer to just wait for the price to rise than to take on the risk and cost of actually doing something with the land. Or maybe they only do some trivial use, like a surface level parking lot, in an area suited for skyscrapers.
Every vacant lot or abandoned building is owned by someone. The trick is to make it too expensive to idly hold. At that point, the artificially high demand for land as a speculative holding will go away, and prices will decline.
But, rent itself will always approximate the value of the location, and if the location keeps getting more valuable, the prices will keep going up. The question is whether they are high because of real production or artificial speculation.
I find this to be a fairly feeble argument. Regulation, to me, is a necessary evil. Most especially when it comes to protecting the common good, or interests of those who do not have other forms of power to get a seat at the table. I’m also a millennial and I’d be just thrilled if you’d hold off on apologizing on my behalf. Regulation is not some bogeyman. It can be effective or ineffective in relation to particular goals.
Less housing available in SF because of too much regulation. That's why the market is not able to satisfy demand. The correct solution is not "more rules" and "government-built housing". This is a typical case of trying to solve an issue caused by over-regulation with more regulation.
So will you address my point or just pick up some other strawman again?
In response the YIMBYs have taken it to the State level to enact a regulation which effectively reduces local power (and regulation) over housing.
Both are examples of over-regulation, and government overreach.
This is one of those cases where the entrenched local interests have no intention of ever solving a blatant and growing problem (sometimes referred to as: "Got Mine, Fuck You") and it is in the State's interest to force a little sanity at the local level.