Housing Affordability

Berkeley is a beacon of hope for many people. I grew up enamored by Berkeley and its reputation for inclusivity, progressive politics, and tolerance. When I moved to Berkeley over 20 years ago, I knew I would raise my family here. Berkeley’s uniqueness, neighborhoods, and spirit amaze me. I want to continue Berkeley’s legacy and make sure that our community can retain its quirkiness, diversity, and incredible residents while welcoming those seeking refuge and sanctuary. These ideas drive my work on the Council every day. Over time, I’ve seen my friends and colleagues priced out of Berkeley. These are Berkeley’s teachers, first responders, artists, and children. We have a moral obligation to address housing costs which are directly related to homelessness, income inequality, and displacement.   

As a policy maker and professor in public policy, I rely on data-driven, evidence-based strategies to guide my vision for a more affordable and equitable Berkeley. I’ve proposed and passed several pieces of legislation to improve housing affordability and ensure that people can remain in Berkeley, including:

  • Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) are a way to increase Berkeley’s housing stock and encourage aging in place. Also known as backyard cottages, ADUs provide residents an opportunity to house family members, caretakers, or downsize while remaining in our neighborhoods. I’ve championed policies to streamline regulations around ADUs so they can built quickly and efficiently. I’ve also held community workshops to educate neighbors about how an ADU could benefit them. 
  • Workforce and Affordable Housing Streamlining: People who work in Berkeley should be able to afford Berkeley. We also need affordable housing today not five years from now. I passed legislation to both help house teachers and others who may not qualify for subsidized affordable units in new buildings and speed up the process to create affordable housing in Berkeley. I’m currently working with the Mayor and experts in the field to further streamline housing for our city workers, teachers, and first responders.
  • Affordable Housing Streamlining  Berkeley’s Significant Community Benefits Package I brokered a compromise agreement to ensure that as tall buildings are developed in our downtown, their developers provide community benefits including investments in affordable housing, the arts, environment, and well-paying jobs.
  • Neighborhood Preference Program I wrote legislation to allow evicted tenants and residents of Berkeley to have first dibs in accessing affordable units in new projects across Berkeley so they won’t be displaced from our City.

Read a 101 guide on how affordable housing is built in Berkeley here.

Read an analysis of Bay Area municipalities Affordable housing Impact Fees here.

Learn about my Green Affordable Housing Package here.  

Learn about my plan to build workforce housing here