By The San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial Board, The San Diego Union-Tribune
California’s housing crisis takes a brutal toll on millions of families. The extreme cost of shelter hasn’t just established the Golden State as the epicenter of U.S. poverty and fueled explosive growth in homelessness. It’s also an immense weight on households with incomes well above the national average who struggle to pay the rent — families for whom the dream of home ownership seems hopelessly out of reach. Only one state — New York — had a lower percentage of homeowners last year.
These facts make clear the urgent need to make housing costs less onerous. But a new report by the Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project, which is headed by the David Packard-founded Silicon Valley Leadership Group, shows an even larger problem: Unless the housing crisis is resolved, Silicon Valley’s status as the world’s preeminent tech center is doomed. A region in which soaring housing costs make it harder to hire the bus drivers, construction workers, teachers, law enforcement officers and service providers essential to a functioning community is a region doomed to have a shrinking economy, not a thriving one.