The topic was a regional economic forecast, but affordable homes dominated the conversation as 800 business leaders met at the Business Times Mayors’ Breakfast with Ed Lee (San Francisco) and Libby Schaaf (Oakland) February 9.
Citing their regular collaboration with Mayor Sam Liccardo (San José), regional agencies and the non-profit sector, both mayors framed their comments around housing affordability. Mayor Lee spoke about achieving 30,000 new units with a commitment to significant affordability. When challenged by protestors, he pointed to Prop. A, the 2015 housing bond NPH helped to pass, as proof of his commitment.
Mayor Schaaf urged the group to demonstrate “how our growth can lift people up, not push people out.” She described high housing prices as unfairly burdening poor and working families, and said 25% of her constituents are now housing insecure.
The annual summit kicked off with an impassioned plea by Zach Wasserman, chair of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, to build housing that would allow his adult children to continue living in the area. Wasserman spoke about achieving jobs / housing balance and the commitment by the region’s business community to both solve and survive our challenges.
NPH staff attended the breakfast to network with civic and business leaders. The regional economic forecast suggests a slowing economy – but no change in the need for affordable homes.
Written by Sharon Cornu, NPH’s Political Director. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments!