San Francisco’s Prop. A – Expensive Insanity Marches On

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein

There is no solid evidence that one of history’s greatest geniuses ever said this, but its applicability to California’s housing crisis is too big to let attribution get in the way. Because California’s politicians are trying to solve the problem by doing the same thing over and over, and the result is always the same – the problem just gets worse.

One current example of how California’s ruling class continues to attempt fabulously expensive, laughably feeble “solutions” to increasing the stock of “affordable housing” can be found in San Francisco’s Proposition A, “Bond Issue for Affordable Housing.” Voters will decide whether or not to approve Prop. A on November 5th.

One misperception regarding these bonds may be found on the proponent’s website “Yes on A,” where they claim “this $600 million bond will fund the construction of more than 2,800 affordable housing units over the next four years.” This implies a cost of $214,285 per unit. But that’s not even half the story.

The average cost these developers are turning in to construct “affordable housing” and “permanent supportive housing” in California’s big urban areas bottoms out at around $500,000 per unit. For example, in Los Angeles, the Measure HHH bond, approved by voters in 2016, poured $1.2 billion into construction of supportive housing. Three years later, with only a few units ready for occupancy so far, the […] Read More