ONN – In Oakland State Of The City Address Mayor Schaaf Touts Trickle Down Economics To Reduce Rents
Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf has joined the conservative bandwagon that says more market rate housing development will, eventually, cause lower rents. The 50th Mayor of Oakland touted her effort to bring on more housing units, pointing to an estimated 22,000 of them in her “Oakland State of The City Address”. But Libby avoided explaining that the vast majority of those 22,000 units were market rate. That is not by accident.
She and San Francisco California State Senator Scott Winer are part of a group of California elected officials would are the real engines behind gentrification. The true California money machine consists of real estate developers seeking tech money, building more expensive homes, and trying to keep that supply coming – at the expense of building affordable housing.
At the same time, California elected officials who call themselves “progressive” have helped real estate developers by encouraging this new construction – rather than using the tried-and-true method of tax increment financing to trap and redirect property tax money toward the construction of affordable housing. In the process, the trickle-down economic idea has not worked – just formed larger pools of homeless residents, more small business closures, and greater levels of crime in Oakland.
The fact is that rents have stopped rising not because of new housing development, but because people can’t afford what’s coming on line. It’s great that Oakland has slowed the rate of evictions, but it’s sad that it took elected officials allowing this process of greed to grow and fester.
Now former California Governor Jerry Brown said that gentrification was “neighborhood improvement” when he was Oakland’s Mayor – and then repeated his ideas in a January interview with KQED. Brown, and Schaaf, and Winer, and others must shoulder the blame for Oakland and San Francisco’s giant homeless problem. It’s good that Libby is trying to stop it, but she’s not doing everything she can – she’s not bringing back Oakland’s once power desire to alter the market.
She thinks trickle down economics is the answer – she doesn’t say that, but her actions do.
Here’s hope for her to change.
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