Once upon a time, a family of four making $100,000 a year applied for housing assistance from the federal government – and actually received it. That fairy tale will come true shortly in San Francisco, where the federal government now labels a family earning just over one hundred grand a year as “low income.” If you ever wanted to find a tangible disconnect between the coastal elites and the basket of deplorables in flyover country, this is it.
Writing for the Council of Community Housing Organizations, Democratic Party Delegate Wade Woods achieves the trifecta of progressive smugness – ignorance of policy, dismissal of the free market, and contempt for blue collar America:
With growing needs for housing as our urban population grows, we need to be pro-housing but explicitly pro-affordable housing, not just whatever housing “the market” wants to put on the ground anywhere. As older cities in the Rust Belt continue to die and become more unlivable, more and more people eyeing the high-income tech industry see California as a desirable location.
Just for the record, with some of the loosest zoning regulations of any major city, Houston, TX boasts rents which are less than a third of what you will find in San Francisco, according to data compiled by apartmentlist.com.
Fittingly, the problem of unaffordable housing facing San Francisco was caused by none other than stifling government interference in the free market. Disturbingly, the solution of choice appears to be further government interference in the free market, which means we must all now subsidize families which statistically earn more than we do. Indeed, the median household income in San Francisco is $81,294, according to the Census Bureau, while the U.S. at large stands at $53,889. In other words, over half of all families that choose to live in San Francisco will now be entitled to receive some of the tax dollars that the government takes from you.
Issuing Section 8 housing subsidies to so-called low-income families is not the solution to the problem of wildly expensive housing. The free market is extremely efficient at matching supply with demand, but it has been reduced to a purely theoretical concept when it comes to building permits and zoning codes in the Golden City. The government cannot even resort to the more visible solution of public housing to address the issue. In an area like San Diego, the wait list to receive public housing is over 45,000 names long, according to SFGate. This backlog translates into an eight to nine-year wait. San Francisco is even worse – the waiting list there has been closed entirely since 2010, with no reopening in sight. It is no wonder the income limits to qualify for a handout were under pressure to rise.
In a district where Nancy Pelosi gets re-elected time and time again by over 80% of the electorate, it is no surprise that the solution to a problem caused by the government is even more government.