Cognitive dissonance


Cognitive dissonance has been described as the anxiety that results from simultaneously holding contradictory or otherwise incompatible attitudes.

It’s what I felt this week reading two separate Daily Press stories about development and housing in our city.

In a story published Monday, former HUD chief and now developer Henry Cisneros is described as receiving a standing ovation at a Chamber of Commerce event for urging the city of Santa Monica to support the building of more apartments and condominiums. Increased development will provide greater housing equity in his vision of the future.  Multi-family dwellings provide a foothold for young families and those in the service industry, creating a more balanced and sustainable community, he argues.

Sounds reasonable, right?

Then I read a story published the next day that outlines city officials’ failure to meet affordable housing quota for the third consecutive year. This year, only 12% of new apartments coming onto the rental market are slated to be affordable – 15 out of 126 new apartments!

Cisneros’ vision may be admirable, but the numbers don’t lie. They almost make me wish for “alternative facts.”

Matthew King

Santa Monica