As reported in the New York Times the San Francisco Bay area is known for high housing prices often blamed on the high tech companies that locate there. However those companies are now providing political support to lobby for more affordable housing.
One of the higher profile efforts is Rise SF, a new nonprofit backed by tech firms including Facebook, along with labor unions and developers, to try and support housing construction in San Francisco. Y Combinator, the San Francisco-based “accelerator” that helps aspiring entrepreneurs get started and has helped to foster companies including Airbnb and Dropbox, said it has redirected its political efforts from issues like United States immigration policy to housing.
Rents are a bit less right now, but that is only breathing space after remarkable increases over the past few years. And Laura Clark, the founder of GrowSF, a nonprofit that promotes affordable housing costs in Bay Area communities, is trying to turn the hundreds of thousands of engineers and product managers into a voting bloc. Ms. Clark, who worked for a tech company before becoming a full-time housing advocate, is leading an effort to enlist tech workers to participate in phone banking and distributing pamphlets to guide tech workers on how to vote for various propositions and candidates.
The organization of those hundreds of thousands of tech workers into advocates for affordable housing creation is an interesting development. This could be the dawn of a new era and also an example of how to lobby for what is needed for a growing region-housing available to all at all income levels.